Is Self-Publishing Profitable?

Admittedly I’m a bit of a skeptic when it comes to self publishing success stories. Don’t get me wrong, I fully believe that self published authors have what it takes to reach phenomenal success in the field of publishing.  My skepticism is mainly directed towards mass media reporting of that success.  Think about it.  Traditional publishing houses have dominated this industry for centuries.  These power companies have forged impenetrable  relationships with media outlets, distributors, libraries, and publishing clearinghouse.  To think that their influence in mass media is silent would be naive.  Now maybe I’m a bit of a conspiracist, but it would not be to the benefit of top publishers to tout the success of the underdog (a.k.a self published author).
I believe our success is always underrepresented.  According to an article written in Nougats Blog, only 40 self published authors make money.  Purportedly this is based on information directly from #Amazon.  Now if this information is true, then  Amazon has  provided a  valuation of  self published authors that is rather bleak.  Fact is, according to their February 2016 Author’s Earning Report – self published authors account for a big chunk of ebook sales, even surpassing top publishing companies.  The book selling giant also reports:
  • 4 of Amazon’s overall Top 10 Best Selling ebooks were self-published indie titles
  • 10 of Amazon’s overall Top 20 Best Selling ebooks were self-published indie titles
  • 56 of Amazon’s overall Top 100 Best Selling ebooks — more than half — were self-published indie titles
  • 20 of Amazon’s overall Top 100 Best Selling ebooks were indie titles priced between $2.99 and$5.99
Those numbers are pretty impressive if you ask me.  Now I get that these sales may not be indicative of whose actually turning a profit; however, the accuracy of that information will always be skewed in favor of the big publishing houses. The presumption is that if a self published author hasn’t become successful by scales, then he/she probably isn’t turning a real profit. Yet for many indie authors, any amount of success is profitable and worth the journey.
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2 thoughts on “Is Self-Publishing Profitable?

  1. Andrea,

    Thanks for sharing your insight and perspectives on indie publishing. I got a lot out of the composition and brevity from your article. In the world of publishing today, as a medium, it’s constantly changing. I can’t exactly wrap my mind around the whole thing. It’s like publishing is mutating and evolving at the same time. That goes for music, movies, and televison as well. The internet has removed the glass ceiling, so that the big picture seems a tad bit out of focus to me, in this microcosmic world of mine. However, I am just a writer, a poet, and a dreamer who’s compelled to write at least one humdinger of a story, before my birth certificate expires. I love creativity, and self-expression through the art and craft of writing. In essence, you have my utmost gratitude for your painstaking efforts in reaching out to the community of writers, poets, and authors throughout the world, Andrea.

    I will remain,
    Andre L. West, Editor

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