ALLi’s Self Publishing Facts and Figures 2023 + The Big Indie Author Data Drop

ALLi’s Self Publishing Facts and Figures 2023 + The Big Indie Author Data Drop

June 23, 2023

If you’d like a better understanding of how to publish a book successfully and what may lie in store for you as a self or traditionally-published author, you can tap into the latest data compiled by  the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi). Alli’s self-publishing facts and figures page has a wealth of useful information from the use of reader lead magnets and free books as a marketing tool through to average earnings of authors around the world.

Some of the key datapoints that stood out to me were:

75% of book sales were part of a series (fiction or non-fiction) by both unit and $

Why do I think this is important?

  • The days of writing a one-off bestseller and being able to live on the royalties are long gone.
  • A one-off book does not make a writing career sustainable long term.
  • Writing in series form allows you to build a loyal readership.
  • The more books you write, the better your backlist normally sells.
  • The more books you write, the more you are able to launch, promote and get visibility for.
  • Writing a series means when you invest in a website or ads, the costs are spread across multiple books, not just one.
  • The more books you write, the better you also get at writing (and publishing!). This leads to readers who want to stick around for what you have coming next!

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t write the one-off fiction book or memoir that you’re drawn to, it just means you need to be aware that it may be harder to promote and profit from. Not that that is a problem if you are writing to spread awareness, for joy or because you just can’t not write that particular book, but if you want to write and earn money from it, the data about writing in series-form is important to take on board.

ALLi’s Independent Author Income Survey also found that:

  • “Romance, fantasy/scifi/speculative, and crime/thriller/detective were by far the most prevalent genres in which self-publishers primarily were engaged, representing a combined 57% of respondents”.
  • “Financially successful authors do three core things: they use professional editors, professional cover designers and they keep writing more books.” Written Word Media, 2019-2022

There is so much great information in the reports including that:

  • Self-published authors earn more than authors who are traditionally published.
  • There is a reverse gender pay gap in self-publishing vs traditional publishing in that women authors earn 40.9% more in indie publishing than male authors; while in traditional publishing male authors earn 41.4% more than women authors. (That stat and the huge difference blew my mind!)

There was also a great quote from Rev’d Professor Alison Baverstock, Professor of Publishing, Kingston University, UK

Firstly, the common assumption that self-publishing is only undertaken by the desperate, dim, or declining proved untrue; demographic analysis of our research populations consistently showed those involved to be busy, well-educated, professionally successful, and generally mid-life.

So there you go! Get on over to ALLi’s Self Publishing Facts and Figures page for all latest publishing statistics.

I’ve been a member of ALLi for many years and am proud to be an Australian Ambassador for this international organisation. It’s a great organisation for authors, shines a light on best practice self-publishing and has an active author community. If you decide to join as an ALLi member and click on this link, I may receive a partner commission but it won’t affect what you pay, it just helps me keep blogging.  Cheers.