Only 40 Self-Published Authors are a Success, says Amazon

#Self-publishing – And I thought the “Top 40” only applied to radio hits!

Claude Forthomme's Blog about Social Issues and Books

The cat is out of the bag, finally we know exactly how many self-published authors make it big: 40.

Yes, that’s not a typo.

40 self-published authors “make money”, all the others, and they number in the hundreds of thousands, don’t. This interesting statistic, recently revealed in a New York Times article, applies to the Kindle Store, but since Amazon is in fact the largest digital publishing platform in the world, it is a safe bet that self-published authors are not doing any better elsewhere.

“Making money” here means selling more than one million e-book copies in the last five years. Yes, 40 authors have managed that, and have even gone on to establishing their own publishing house, like Meredith Wild. Her story is fully reported in the New York Times, here, and well worth pondering over.

That story reveals some further nuggets about the current…

View original post 730 more words

10 thoughts on “Only 40 Self-Published Authors are a Success, says Amazon

  1. Interesting post, and one I hope to someday challenge. I have noticed that self-published books with a publishing company attached to them (As Meredith Wild did) tend to sell better than those without a company attached.

    As such, one of the things I’ve been researching off and on for the better part of a year has been the creation of a sole-proprietorship or LLC just to stamp my books with a company name. I haven’t gotten very far with this research and now I think I’ve hit a roadblock where I need to speak to a lawyer and/or tax agent before I can continue, but at least it’s a start and something I’m seriously thinking of doing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Several authors in one of my groups have done that, for their brand of fiction. I’m not sure how well their joint proprietorship is working out yet, but these endeavors take time. Another option is to sign up with a small publishing house. I know several authors who’ve had luck with Solstice.

      Thanks for broadening the conversation on this subject, Skye!


  2. Since when do we define success this narrowly? Selling 1 million books is the marker? Who says so? Amazon? Seems to me that this is another indication that Amazon’s leadership is out of touch with the readers and writers of the world. The most any of my books sold was 47,000 copies, but I’m far from being a “failure.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree With much of what you say, Roundheadlady For myself, I’ve never even considered the possibility of selling 1 million books. My goals are much more modest, and I will be happy if I hit those that I set for myself. It is interesting to note how many people Actually have accomplished the million book level, And more power to them. I congratulate them on their great success. But in no way do I measure mine by theirs.

      Very interesting information, but not something I’m particularly worried about at this point in time.

      Liked by 1 person

        • I know for a fact that plenty of self-published authors are making a living from their craft. Rich or not, I call that success! And I, for one, plan to keep plugging away at it! Who knows? If I live long enough, I might hit that 1 million mark someday, too. But regardless, I’ll be happy with what I’ve done.


    • Yes, I must admit, I got a kick out of the “silly post,” which is why I joked about the title. If I had your kind of sales, I’d consider myself a smashing success! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ditto! My goal was to establish an increase in our monthly income when my husband retires, not to get rich. Though that would be fun. And I wanted to do this by telling my stories to those who might enjoy them, and loving yhe process. Everything else is gravy!
        To me, 47,000 sounds very impressive. Congrats!


Leave a Reply to Linda Lee Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s