Monday, December 09, 2013

A Quarter of all Amazon Ebooks Sold Now Are KDP Books

There was an interesting article on The Guardian’s site last week, and it touched upon several interesting things regarding the publishing industry.

Amazon announced that a fourth of all eBooks sold were by independent publishers. The term independent covers any publisher or self-publisher who has used Kindle Direct publishing to publish ebooks. Writer.ly Tweeted a picture of the top 100 on Wednesday with a quarter of the books highlighted - all published via KDP.

This is good news for small publishers and self-publishers. It represents a leveling of the playing field and sales driven by consumers rather than advertising and bookstore placement. While the percentage probably isn’t as high for Barnes and Noble and other ebook retailers, the change is occurring there, too.

Many traditional publishers are annoyed that Amazon lists KDP titles alongside traditional and large-publisher titles, though. They want Amazon to list those separately. In the past, the big publishers have used their marketing dollar to sway Amazon. Now it looks like that power is finally shifting to the smaller publishers and self-publishers as their books sell more and more titles.

Where do you fall in that equation? Are you benefitting? Any predictions what the big boy publishers will do to regain some of what they are losing in sales and visibility - and can they?

On a side note, this paragraph in the article caught my attention:

“CreateSpace topped the league of self-published print book producers in the US, registering 131,460 ISBNs in 2012, an increase of 123% on the previous year, and of 3,300% compared to 2007, according to figures from US ISBN agency Bowker.”

Note that CreateSpace registered those ISBNs with Bowker - meaning they were the ones to purchase the ISBNs and are listed as the publisher. ISBNs cannot be sold or transferred, so the authors who purchased an ISBN from CreateSpace are actually “renting” the number and are NOT listed as the publisher in the Books in Print database or with Bowker. If you use CreateSpace to print and distribute your book, be sure to purchase your own ISBNs from Bowker if you want to be listed as the publisher.


Be sure to check out the contest we are holding at The Insecure Writer’s Support Group.

40 comments:

M.J. Fifield said...

That is interesting (and encouraging, too, maybe) that a fourth of their ebook sales come from independent publishers. And I definitely like that Amazon lists those titles alongside the traditional pub titles.

But maybe that's just because I'm planning to go through CreateSpace and KDP when/if I'm ever ready (I already have plans to purchase my own ISBNs).

Karen Walker said...

This is, indeed, interesting Diane. And, as M.J. said, somewhat encouraging.

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Trad. publishing and self pubbing can really go hand in hand, if you're a hybrid writer. It's a good thing the books are all listed together...since that's how readers cross over to the other things I've published.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

MJ, wise choice to purchase your own ISBN.

Elizabeth, I hope they are always listed together. Only the big publishers want them separated.

Jennifer Shirk said...

Wow, very interesting. And yes, I agree with Elizabeth about readers better discovering books that way.

Jo said...

Didn't know you had to purchase an ISBN. I assume when you are self publishing? As for listing books, in my opinion, books are books whatever format they are produced in and should therefore all be included in such lists.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

A quarter of the books? I think that is great news!

Bish Denham said...

I think it's about time that the snobby big publishing companies had some competition. Of course, with self-pub it does mean that a lot of crap gets published. But with buyers ruling the market, the crap will more than likely settle to the bottom of the pit and fade away.

J.L. Campbell said...

Interesting stats, Diana and thanks for that information about the ISBNs and Creatspace. That's useful to know. Tweeting this post.

shelly said...

Good stuff to know.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Jo, I agree.

Bish, exactly.

Thank you, Joy.

Arlee Bird said...

The Guardian stat doesn't surprise considering the nature of the market now. I would expect that number to grow. Encouraging in one way, but I hope quality of published books is not diminished.

Lee
An A to Z Co-Host
Tossing It Out

Johanna Garth said...

Very cool stuff. I love that there is more and more room for creativity in this new world of publishing.

Donna Hosie said...

So many positive things from this article. The rise of the professional indie and hybrid author has really taken away any stigma surrounding indie authors.

I've just had a quick look at my Kindle app and 90% of the ebooks I have are indie.

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

I think the big boys and girls will keep shrinking. Go, Create Space!

Thanks for the interesting info and stats, Diane.

Be well, and enjoy the season.

xoRobyn

Karen Lange said...

This is interesting news. I am glad we have so many options these days. Makes the journey a little smoother. :)

Sherry Ellis said...

It doesn't surprise me. It's so difficult to get into traditional publishing houses, that people are opting to self-publish. There are a lot of really good books out there that are self-published, so I think the image that self-published books aren't as good as traditionally published ones, is starting to diminish.

J E Oneil said...

I'm not exactly surprised that traditional publishers don't like indie publishers in the same category as them. They're not a very welcoming group.

Karen Jones Gowen said...

I'm always interested in what Amazon is doing, and so very glad that they have evened the playing field.

Jemi Fraser said...

That's exciting news! this industry keeps on changing :)

David List said...

I'm super stoked to hear this. Especially since I've chosen to independently publish. I won't be going KDP (because last I checked they require exclusivity) but I'll be self-pubbed nonetheless when I get to Amazon! :)

klahanie said...

Hi Diane,

All of your information, which I know is meticulous, will be of much food for thought for writers.

I thank you for this. A contest at the IWSG? I shall have a look see.

Gary

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

It is interesting and I think I am benefiting from that as the three small publishers I work for are all doing very well and encouraging me to write more.

Morgan said...

Thanks for this post, Diane. I'm just eating up all this information as I'm starting my own journey into the publishing world. It's all very fascinating.

Laura Marcella said...

This is really interesting. I'm tucking away all this information because I know I'll need it...

Happy reading and writing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

Sheena-kay Graham said...

So much to learn. Thanks for the info Diane.

Natalie Aguirre said...

That's great news. And I do think that the lists should be together. It's time to recognize that small press and Indie books are just as valuable as the traditionally published ones.

Stephen Tremp said...

I saw that article then lost it. Glad I stopped by as I wanted to keep it to my favorites. Thanks!

I see more of the same in the years to come. Maybe the Barnes and Noble will have to allow more self pubbed books in their stores, at least the ones that are selling in large numbers.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Lee, the cream will still rise to the top.

Sherry, I think so, too.

David, you can still use KDP, just don't use KDP Select.

Natalie, they do.

Stephen, some do, but shelf space is at such a premium.

Emily R. King said...

That is so cool to hear. I'm glad independent publishers are getting a piece of the pie! Thanks for the info.

cleemckenzie said...

The numbers are quite impressive.

Kimberly said...

This is fabulous and welcome news! It'll be interesting to see the numbers next year. :)

Clarissa Draper said...

That is a very interesting article. I'm thinking of self-publishing one of my books next year and this is very useful information to know.

Medeia Sharif said...

This is very cool. I've discovered new indie and self-pubbed books. Also, I take advantage of borrowing books for free since I'm a Prime member.

Misha Gericke said...

That's definitely interesting. I hope I can say that I'm benefiting, but I'll only know once I see an accounting of my royalties. :-D

Maurice Mitchell said...

By this time next year it'll be up to 50% L!

Susanne Drazic said...

That is interesting news. Thanks for sharing this information, Diane.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Thanks for that information about the ISBNs and Creatspace. That's useful to know. Tweeting this post.

I'm the most prolific unknown author out there it seems. :-)

Tina said...

Wow, that's amazingly good news for the indie folks. Sounds like what happened in the music industry is happening in its own way in the publishing world.
Tina @ Life is Good

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Diane .. thanks for highlighting this - I've kept it over to read when I could take it in.

I note your words of caution particularly regarding the ISBN nos ..

KDP is certainly being noticed .. but it's great to be reminded of what's going on in the industry - thanks for telling us .. cheers Hilary