Self-published Books & Authors Sales Statistics [2023]

Self-published Books & Authors Sales Statistics [2023]

  • 30-34% of all ebooks sold are self-published.
  • 300 million self-published books are sold each year.
  • $1.25 billion worth of self-published books is sold each year.
  • Amazon pays $520 million in royalties to self-published authors each year.
  • Only 1% of audiobooks on Audible are self-published.
  • 67% of top-rated, self-published books are written by women, compared to just 39% of traditionally published books.
  • The global publishing market is expected to grow at 1% CAGR per year, whereas the self-publishing market is expected to grow at 17%.
  • The number of self-published books has increased by 264% in the last five years.

The market for self-published books

  • 300 million self-published books are sold each year.
  • The number of self-published books has increased by 264% in the last five years.
  • $1.25 billion worth of self-published books is sold each year.
  • The average self-published book sells for $4.16.

How much do self-published authors earn per book?

  • Self-publishing platforms pay up to 70% of each book sold to authors (fantasy authors get between 40% and 60%).
  • Self-published authors do not receive an advance and have to put up the costs of publishing and advertising themselves.
  • Independent authors who sell their books on their own websites receive up to 96%.
  • The average self-published book sells 250 copies.
  • The average self-published author makes $1,000 per year from their books.
  • 33% of self-published authors make less than $500 per year.
  • 90% of self-published books sell less than 100 copies.
  • 20% of self-published authors report making no income from their books.
  • More than 1,000 self-published authors made $100,000 last year from Amazon.
  • Of authors who have published their first book in the last 10 years:
    • 1,200 traditionally published authors have earned $25,000+ a year
    • 1,600 self-published authors have earned $25,000+ a year

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Self-published ebook statistics

  • 30-34% of all ebooks sold are self-published.
  • Amazon pays $250 million in royalties to self-published authors each year.
  • 85% of Kindle Unlimited books are self-published.
  • Self-published books account for 31% of Amazon’s ebook sales.

Do self-published authors own the rights to their books if they are published on Amazon?

  • When selling an ebook on Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, an author licenses the right to sell an ebook to Amazon.
  • This means Amazon and only Amazon has the right to sell the digital version of the book.
  • An author cannot sell the ebook version of their book elsewhere — not even on their own website.
  • The only way to do so is to cancel the contract by written notice.
  • The book can be sold in other formats (e.g. print or audio) in other places.

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