Amazon Book Sales Statistics

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From Words Rated:

  • Approximately 10% of Amazon’s worldwide revenue comes from book sales
  • Although this sounds small, it still equates to $280 billion
  • Amazon is responsible for roughly half of all the sales of the big 5 publishers
  • Memoirs and biographies were the top-selling genres on Amazon in 2022
  • Amazon controls up to 80% of all book distribution in the US

. . . .

  • Amazon pays $250 million in royalties to self-published authors each year
  • Only 1% of audiobooks on Audible are self-published
  • More than 1,000 self-published authors made $100,000 last year from Amazon
  • Self-published books account for 31% of Amazon’s ebook sales

. . . .

  • E-books make up 21% of Amazon’s total book sales by revenue
  • However, because they are significantly cheaper than print books, e-books actually make up 36% of sales in terms of total number of books sold

. . . .

  • Amazon’s market share when it comes to e-books is 68% before even looking at the books that Amazon have published themselves or the books within Kindle Unlimited
  • With these figures factored in, it is thought that Amazon may be responsible for up to 85% of all e-book sales

. . . .

  • Amazon’s subscription services such as Prime and Kindle Unlimited earn the company more than $6 billion each year
  • Kindle Unlimited is estimated to have 3 million subscribers

. . . .

  • Best-selling is simply the books that have sold the most copies
  • Most read are the books that have been interacted with the most on Amazon devices rather than simply being the books that have sold the most copies
  • Up to 60% of the books available on Kindle Unlimited are thought to be self-published

Link to lots more info at Words Rated

2 thoughts on “Amazon Book Sales Statistics”

  1. The numbers don’t add up.
    (They might be made up.)

    The KDP and KU numbers don’t add up.
    KU is easiest: monthly payouts for 2022 add up to over $500M so 3M subscribers makes no sense. A back of the envelope calculation sets a minimum of 6M KU subs, with 10-12M likely.

    And KDP paying out $250M out of total ebook sales of $59B (21%) in a $280B book market doesn’t compute with a total trade book market of $15B in the US and $89B globally. And Amazon selling $690B total.

    A more realistic estimate of Amazon US book sales based on 50% of the BPHs ($5.5B) + $1B KU + APub + KDP would be $8-10B or a under 2% of total sales, not 10%. Even adding global pbook sales isn’t pushing it beyond 5%.

    I smell another attempt to pretend ebook sales don’t matter.

  2. Hmmm, color me skeptical about this company’s research. This list of bestselling self-published authors on Amazon has the usual cast of characters, such as Hugh Howey and Andy Reid and Marie Force.

    All right, but it appears these were pulled from media reports and self-promotion, and not even from sources that would have given more value (such as certain Facebook groups where authors freely share their numbers). Their research seems to be limited, and their reluctance to reveal their working methods suggests they’re flexible about reaching whatever conclusions the payer wants.

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