A few months ago, I published a survey aimed at self-published authors. The results are in. Here are some of the key points:
- Writing more correlates strongly to more sales. Which way the causation goes is difficult to say, but few people with just one or two books make a living from writing. The average number of books published by authors responding that they make a living was above 6, and that’s probably on the low side, since I only had an option for 10+ books on the high end for the survey.
- Most authors don’t make enough to live off of, but many aspire to.
- The top categories were: fantasy, science fiction, mystery, romance and thrillers, in that order.
- Most people self-published first, although a significant number – around 25% – first published through a traditional publisher.
- Fiction was significantly more common than non-fiction.
- In terms of pricing, between 1 and 6 dollars is where the bulk of authors are selling their books.
- “Social media” – Facebook and Twitter – are a popular way to market books. This is something people could probably learn from, as email is reportedly a much more effective means of reaching a lot of people, yet fewer people report having mailing lists.
For anyone who has been following the self-publishing world, I don’t think the results are all that surprising, but it’s good to see some confirmation.
Here are some charts created with the results:
The results can be found here if you’d like to make your own charts from them. Just be sure to link back to this post: