I started publishing ebooks at Amazon in 2011. That was before Select and you weren’t allowed to give books away. You had to charge at least $.99. I started making money since I had a backlog of books that I had written. The golden years came, and everyone was happy and made money. A few writers found a way to give away books and that helped them. Then Select let everyone give books away and our sales went up.
A point was reached when sales started going down. So, lots of people starting advertising to help their sales. That helped the ones that advertised so many people started doing it. Then sales started dropping again.
Each year sales continued to drop regardless of what we did.
The number of book stores and publishing companies went out of business. We weren’t the only one’s suffering.
That makes me wonder if people have stopped reading books or reading less.
Link to the rest at KBoards
PG notes there is quite a discussion responding to this post on KBoards.
PG’s opinion is that traditional publishing is mostly flat while indie publishing, while much more competitive than it was ten-fifteen years ago, is growing.
In 2010, Amazon announced that it was selling more ebooks than printed books. PG sees no reason to suspect that the ebook/printed book sales ratio for Amazon has become more and more larger for the ebook side of the house. He would be interested in seeing any credible estimates of Amazon’s ebook vs. POD sales numbers, however.
Another source estimated that there were about 9 Million ebooks in the Kindle store in 2021. That same source estimated that there were 12 Million ebooks in the Kindle store in May of 2022.
Wikipedia estimates that the United States has issued a total of 3,485,322 ISBN numbers for books. The UK is in second place with 185,721 ISBN numbers issued. That said, it is PG’s understanding that few indie authors publishing on Amazon bother getting an ISBN number, especially for their ebooks since ISBN service is used primarily by physical bookstores and libraries for ordering traditionally-published books.
PG’s bottom line is that the number of authors on Amazon is growing rapidly. The number of authors who earn a significant sum of money from their books on Amazon is growing, but less rapidly.
Traditional publishing numbers are pretty flat. PG hasn’t seen any inflation-adjusted numbers showing year-by-year sales of traditional publishers, however.