From the Guardian:
Despite the splash caused by self-publishing superstars such as Amanda Hocking and EL James, the average amount earned by DIY authors last year was just $10,000 (£6,375) – and half made less than $500.
With Hocking raking in sales of $2.5m, Fifty Shades of Grey’s James signing up to a mainstream press for a six-figure advance and a slew of deals for other self-published successes, the sector is starting to look like a gold mine for would-be authors. But a survey of 1,007 self-published writers – one of the most comprehensive insights into the growing market to date – found that while a small percentage of authors were bringing in sums of $100,000-plus in 2011, average earnings were just $10,000 a year. This amount, however, is significantly skewed by the top earners, with less than 10% of self-publishing authors earning about 75% of the reported revenue and half of writers earning less than $500.
“The majority of the information out there is about the outliers, whose success is inspiring, but as we can now confirm bears scant resemblance to the experience of most authors,” said Dave Cornford and Steven Lewis, who carried out the survey, published on Thursday, for the Taleist website.
. . . .
But money isn’t always the primary goal for self-published writers, they discovered, with only 5% considering themselves “unsuccessful”. The respondents were also still keen to continue self-publishing: nearly half plan to release more titles this year than they did last, and 24% have a whopping five or more works due for publication this year.
Link to the rest at the Guardian
And here’s a link to The Taleist Self-Publishing Survey. They’re selling it for $4.99 on Amazon.
When considering any survey, you need to take a close look at the methodology and sampling techniques.