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Author Topic: Latest Author Earnings Report has been posted  (Read 8039 times)  

Offline G.L. Snodgrass

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Offline Sever Bronny

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Re: Latest Author Earnings Report has been posted
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2018, 09:59:49 PM »
For those asking how much the price of your books affects sales, this report furnishes us with a very interesting graph showing a steep fall in the $5+ category.

EDIT: Actually, that could be because there simply are fewer titles available at those higher price points. The $1.00-1.99 category is a prime example of low availability, namely for two reasons: Amazon dings authors selling for less than 2.99, and few books are put "on sale" at those price points, preferring the more traditional 99 cent / free discount tiers.

http://authorearnings.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Screen-Shot-2018-01-21-at-7.51.51-PM.png
« Last Edit: January 22, 2018, 10:17:37 PM by Sever Bronny »

Offline Rinelle Grey

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Re: Latest Author Earnings Report has been posted
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2018, 10:04:16 PM »
Fascinating stuff!

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Online Crystal_

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Re: Latest Author Earnings Report has been posted
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2018, 11:22:04 PM »
Interesting. Though I have to say it's awfully silly to put out an actual author ranking then say that revealing numbers would be uncouth. I think that bridge has been crossed. But maybe I'm just salty because I want the numbers.

It would be interesting to see that list extended out into the 200s.

Online kw3000

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Re: Latest Author Earnings Report has been posted
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2018, 12:14:54 AM »
Definitely an interesting read. I find it encouraging as well in the face of all the doom and gloom I'd been hearing lately. Thanks for posting this, OP.  8)

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Offline Ebook Proofreading

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Re: Latest Author Earnings Report has been posted
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2018, 12:31:01 AM »
This is very interesting!



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Offline TheLass

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Re: Latest Author Earnings Report has been posted
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2018, 01:23:40 AM »
Very interesting.   And wow, <claps>Amanda!</claps>

Offline TwistedTales

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Re: Latest Author Earnings Report has been posted
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2018, 03:02:07 AM »
Author revenue is a composite of number of sales and page reads (if the author is in KU). The rank is derived from the number of books sold plus the number of times the book was downloaded. The revenue is based on the sale price plus the number of pages reads, but you cant assume every download was a full read of the book. Ive never understood how some of these numbers are derived, especially when it comes to authors in KU. Unless Amazon or the author publish their page reads, you really cant assume how many pages were read and therefore how much was earned based on rank, so how does he work that out?

I also find using the term earnings a bit misleading. At best, the report is a guess at the revenue. I need to look at revenue minus costs to know how much was earned. Dont get me wrong, in strict accounting terms using that word is fine, but its really important to know how much you have to spend to get the revenue because the profit is what you get to keep.

Anyway, I scan these reports when they come out, but I dont find much use for them. Maybe if I was a TP they might be useful, but as an indie I dont know what Im supposed to use them for. Even the price break data doesnt help me because theres no genre or in/out of KU breakdown. Those things count when it comes to deciding where to pitch your pricing. I suppose theres some trending data like audio, but Id need to know how much is derived through subscription/Amazon discounting versus full price because that affects speed of ROI, particularly if you dont plan to sign up to ACX for seven years.

But Ill keep scanning the reports just because theyre there.



Offline TimothyEllis

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Re: Latest Author Earnings Report has been posted
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2018, 03:11:50 AM »
plus the number of times the book was downloaded.

 :o

Where does that number come from?

It's the one number Amazon wont tell us. It's the one number we want to make sense of the reads numbers.

Or are they guessing based on the book's rank?

Offline TwistedTales

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Re: Latest Author Earnings Report has been posted
« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2018, 03:24:01 AM »
:o

Where does that number come from?

It's the one number Amazon wont tell us. It's the one number we want to make sense of the reads numbers.

Or are they guessing based on the book's rank?

I dont know, but its why I dont understand some of indie numbers. If you dont know how many pages were read, then the earnings numbers for authors in KU arent known (unless Amazon or the author tell you and even then Im not sure all authors would be honest about it).

Ive asked this question before, but Ive never gotten a satisfactory answer other than data guy is a magician, which Im pretty sure he isnt.  :P

Offline AlecHutson

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Re: Latest Author Earnings Report has been posted
« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2018, 03:48:43 AM »
:o

Where does that number come from?

It's the one number Amazon wont tell us. It's the one number we want to make sense of the reads numbers.

Or are they guessing based on the book's rank?

Assuming a download is weighted equally to a sale for ranking purposes, couldn't you determine how often a book was downloaded by simply comparing its rank to books not in KU, so long as you know all the sale numbers?

Also, here's an example (a few years old) of how DG approaches the KU problem. I'll agree that KU makes it hard to determine how much individual authors earn, but it should be simple to figure out broadly how much indies have earned (obviously), since they share the size of the payout.

http://authorearnings.com/calculating-indie-author-earnings-under-ku-2-0/

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Re: Latest Author Earnings Report has been posted
« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2018, 03:54:07 AM »
:o

Where does that number come from?

It's the one number Amazon wont tell us. It's the one number we want to make sense of the reads numbers.

Or are they guessing based on the book's rank?

I read in one of their earlier reports that they use a system that was developed to count app downloads. They also provide the raw data and if there were any flaws, then I'm sure that the publishers would have jumped all over them. If you dig down into the numbers, you can see just how far indies have penetrated into what were once exclusive markets for traditional/corporate publishers, and they only really started to become visible 7 or 8 years ago.


Offline kalencap

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Re: Latest Author Earnings Report has been posted
« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2018, 04:59:36 AM »
Nice summary here. At least gives me an idea of what is going on in the current marketplace compared to all the conjecture.

Online Amanda M. Lee

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Re: Latest Author Earnings Report has been posted
« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2018, 05:19:24 AM »
As someone who is on the list I honestly kind of wish they would have published the number so I could see it and compare it to the real number to see how close it was.

Amanda M. Lee

Offline MelanieCellier

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Re: Latest Author Earnings Report has been posted
« Reply #14 on: January 23, 2018, 05:22:25 AM »
As someone who is on the list I honestly kind of wish they would have published the number so I could see it and compare it to the real number to see how close it was.

I bet you could email and ask them to tell you your data at least. It would certainly be interesting to see how close it is to reality.

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Offline TimothyEllis

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Re: Latest Author Earnings Report has been posted
« Reply #15 on: January 23, 2018, 05:29:25 AM »
I bet you could email and ask them to tell you your data at least. It would certainly be interesting to see how close it is to reality.

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Offline dianapersaud

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Re: Latest Author Earnings Report has been posted
« Reply #16 on: January 23, 2018, 05:31:47 AM »
Thanks for posting. I've been waiting for a new AE report.

I love the top 50 list of Indie authors. I recognize quite a few names on there. Congrats to Amanda. You've worked hard and deserve your spot on the list.

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Offline Marty South

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Re: Latest Author Earnings Report has been posted
« Reply #17 on: January 23, 2018, 05:53:56 AM »
My takeaway: Changing my name to Bella.  ;)

Offline Bill Hiatt

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Re: Latest Author Earnings Report has been posted
« Reply #18 on: January 23, 2018, 06:09:26 AM »
:o

Where does that number come from?

It's the one number Amazon wont tell us. It's the one number we want to make sense of the reads numbers.

Or are they guessing based on the book's rank?
If I recall correctly, the number of borrows is extrapolated from ranking. Yes, that's an approximation at best, but it's still the best data we have. It would be ideal if Amazon would let us know what our borrow numbers were, and it would be great also if Amazon released overall sales and borrow figures. Alas, I doubt that will ever happen.

I think I remember Data Guy saying he compares his estimates with some authors willing to share data, and the estimates are always pretty close in those cases.

I suspect the financial data is probably a little wider of the mark than the sales/borrows data because, as Twisted Tales points out, there is no way to tell the number of pages read from ranking data.


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Offline TimothyEllis

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Re: Latest Author Earnings Report has been posted
« Reply #19 on: January 23, 2018, 06:15:57 AM »
If I recall correctly, the number of borrows is extrapolated from ranking. Yes, that's an approximation at best,

Not, its wild guessing.

Last time I used the various sites to compare rank to sales and full reads, none of them were even vaguely right, and the sites themselves varied enormously.

There are too many variables involved, including what amazon does to boost ranks of those in KU, and punish those who are not.

Without hard data, the best this sort of thing can be is wild guesswork. And year by year, Amazon makes it worse.

Online Elizabeth Ann West

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Re: Latest Author Earnings Report has been posted
« Reply #20 on: January 23, 2018, 06:16:54 AM »
The graph titled Amazon Ebook Units Sold By Price Point does show a drop off at $4.99 and then another spike up at $9.99.
The very NEXT graph though breaks down Amazon Ebook Dollar Spend By Price Point which has the highest spikes at $9.99, $3.99, $4.99, and $14.99. Obviously in this index, the higher pricepoint has a leg up because 1 sale at $9.99 is 2x the dollars spent at $4.99.

Chop off the subscription "sales" on $3.99 and $4.99 and you are left with a $4.99 bar that's half the length of $9.99 meaning there are about equal numbers of readers buying in those price points (since $4.99 is half the dollar spend of $9.99, 2x $4.99 = 1x $9.99, x being the purchases made).

Also interesting that PREORDERS seem to be a bigger deal to readers at $4.99 and $14.99. And that the .99 dollar spend is the only bar where subscription is higher than actual sales.


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Offline Steve Voelker

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Re: Latest Author Earnings Report has been posted
« Reply #21 on: January 23, 2018, 06:26:49 AM »
Not, its wild guessing.

Last time I used the various sites to compare rank to sales and full reads, none of them were even vaguely right, and the sites themselves varied enormously.

There are too many variables involved, including what amazon does to boost ranks of those in KU, and punish those who are not.

Without hard data, the best this sort of thing can be is wild guesswork. And year by year, Amazon makes it worse.
You make it sound like he's throwing darts at a board covered with author names and random numbers.

Some of the sites that claim to estimate sales are way off. I've tried them as well. I don't think that's what he's using.
Also, no offense to most of us here, but they are going to vary much more wildly when you are dealing with smaller numbers. Being off by a few sales really makes a difference. Probably not so much for the folks on that top 50 list.
From everything I've heard, the people that are willing to share hard numbers with him say he's usually pretty dang close.
So it is an estimation, of course, and it will never be 100% accurate. But that's not the point. It is there to give us a look at the big picture, and how things are stacking up for the industry as a whole.
To call it wild guessing is a bit strong.

Offline TimothyEllis

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Re: Latest Author Earnings Report has been posted
« Reply #22 on: January 23, 2018, 06:35:30 AM »
To call it wild guessing is a bit strong.

I used to be a Systems Analyst. There is hard data, and there is guesswork. You can use all the fancy names you like, but estimating is still guessing.

Whatever floats your boat though. If its useful to you like it is, it shouldn't matter what its called.

Offline LilyBLily

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Re: Latest Author Earnings Report has been posted
« Reply #23 on: January 23, 2018, 06:45:11 AM »
I may be missing something, but to me the most useful piece of data was the $9.99 price leading the pack. I assume, although perhaps wrongly, that those are trad pub books. To me it sends a complicated message: It could be worth pursuing a trad pub contract just to get more high-dollar market penetration and then use hybrid status to sell self-published books at trad pub ebook prices and pocket the considerable profit. Rather a labyrinthine strategy, and one would give up a lot to be a HarperCollins book, for instance, but played right, it could break a romance author out of the $2.99 pit too many of us are in. In dollars, we're trailing genres that in units we completely rule.

Offline Sapphire

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Re: Latest Author Earnings Report has been posted
« Reply #24 on: January 23, 2018, 06:51:27 AM »
The $9.99 spike could be the result of all the authors wanting to price high without losing their 70% payout. In other words, they use $9.99 as the cap.