If we add the KU pay-out to the AAP figure we have an ebook market value for January of $132.9 million, and that’s without factoring in APub revenue from Kindle Unlimited, which will be substantial. Nor does it factor in APub à la carte revenue or à la carte revenue from the self-published sector. Nor does it factor in self-pub revenue from other ebook platforms and subscription services.
For anyone new to TNPS, a reminder the Association of American Publishers (AAP) collects submitted data from a large number of US publishers. It makes no claim to represent the full US market.
Many small presses do not submit. APub, the publishing arm of Amazon does not submit. And self-published authors do not submit.
With that in mind, the AAP has just reported trade revenues up 3.1% in January, compared to January 2022. Ebooks are up 3.7%. Impressive in its own right – ebook revenues are not just rising, but are above overall trade trends.
And that’s before we start thinking about the uncounted ebook numbers the AAP does not track.
Like the unreported Kindle Unlimited pay-out to self-publishers, up 5.7% on January 2022. Of course percentages alone tell us nothing, so let’s add some meat to this bone
Of course, only Amazon knows the APub numbers from Kindle Unlimited, although Podium-owned Bookstat makes a bold claim to having a good idea – immaterial to us if it’s not sharing those numbers.
But we do have a good idea of the self-pub revenue from the Amazon-owned ebook subscription service Kindle Unlimited, because for many years “KU” has published its monthly pay-out to said self-publishers.
In January it was $47.9 million – more than half as much again as the “official” figure put out by the AAP.
In fact, if we add the KU pay-out to the AAP figure we have an ebook market value for January of $132.9 million, and that’s without factoring in APub subscription revenue from Kindle Unlimited, which will be substantial. Nor does it factor in APub à la carte revenue or à la carte revenue from the self-published sector. Nor does it factor in self-pub revenue from other ebook platforms and subscription services.
Compare that clearly conservative valuation of $132.9 million for ebooks against the $69.6 million for audio and we see that the gap between ebook and audiobook revenues is much wider than we are usually led to believe.
For unit sales the value will be much higher still, as even “Big Pub” ebook prices are typically lower than average audiobook prices.
As Jim Milliott reported for PW in February, ebook unit sales rose 8% in 2022, to 526 million. Unit sales of audiobooks increased 23%, to 188 million units, and print unit sales fell 1.3%, to 403 million.
Referencing Bookstat, Milliott said 51% of all unit sales were self-published titles, while 34% of revenue was nabbed by self-publishers.
According to Bookstat, self-published titles accounted for 51% of all unit sales and 34% of revenue in 2022, and that selfpublishers collectively generated revenue of $874 million just from ebook sales last year.
Hopefully we will see more numbers from Bookstat through this year, now it is owned by Podium. Previously Bookstat had gone in the opposite direction of its original incarnation as Author Earnings, and was at pains to keep self-pub data out of the public debate.
#USbookmarket #USebookmarket #selfpublishing #authorearings #ebookrevenues