2013 eBook Self Publisher Research Survey Results

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This survey reports research findings from more than 300 eBook self-publishing respondents, a group under-represented by book industry surveys which tend to focus on larger publishers. Responses address questions about eBook production, distribution, marketing and budgeting. Responses were gathered from members of book publishing associations, Making Connections (Goodreads author group) and Marketing on Amazon, a Linkedin group for self-publishers.

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2013 eBook Self Publisher Research Survey Results

  1. 1. 2013 eBook SelfPublisher Survey Results Photo credit: John Blyberg 1
  2. 2. About the Survey • Objective: Gather insights from self-publishers, a group under-represented by book industry surveys. • Conducted between August 30 and September 24, 2013 • 307 respondents • Sources: Survey responses were submitted by publishers from Making Connections (Goodreads), Marketing on Amazon (Linkedin), Publishers and Writers of San Diego and the Independent Writers of Southern California. You are free share and quote these results but please credit Sellbox.com. Cover photo credit: John Blyberg Sellbox.com 2
  3. 3. How many books have you published? 16% 23% Book in Progress 1 Book 2 Books 20% 3 to 5 Books 24% > 5 Books 17% Sellbox.com 3
  4. 4. In what genres do you publish? (Check all that apply) 9% 2% Fiction 42% NF-Narrative NF-Other 31% Children's Textbooks 15% Sellbox.com 4
  5. 5. How often do you read eBooks? 6% 12% Regularly 45% Occasionally Never Exclusively 37% Sellbox.com 5
  6. 6. Do you use print-ondemand? (Check all that apply) eBooks Only 10% Traditional printer 21% Lulu 7% CreateSpace 48% Lightning Source 15% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% Sellbox.com 6
  7. 7. How much did you spend on your book cover? > $1500 $1000-1500 $500-1000 $250-500 < $250 $0 2% • Fewer than 30% of the authors surveyed spend >$250 3% 7% 17% 28% 42% Sellbox.com 7
  8. 8. How did you edit your book? Asked a Friend 20% Edited Myself 34% Hired an Editor 46% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% Sellbox.com 8
  9. 9. Do you use DRM? I Don't Know 26% No 42% Yes 33% 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% 45% Sellbox.com 9
  10. 10. What do you charge? <$2.99 12% $2.99 23% $3.99 21% $4.99 14% $5.99 3% $6.99 6% $7.99 • 70% charge <$4.99 4% $8.99 2% $9.99 10% >$10 6% 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% Sellbox.com 10
  11. 11. How did you get your eBook into the store(s)? Other 10% BookBaby 4% Smashwords 12% I hired someone 16% Did it myself 58% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% Sellbox.com 11
  12. 12. Where is your eBook available?(Check all that apply) My Website 6% Smashwords 9% Google 2% Kobo 12% Apple 12% B&N 19% Amazon 40% 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% 45% Sellbox.com 12
  13. 13. What percent of total sales come from each store? Other Smashwords Kobo • Contrast these findings with industry estimates that Amazon Kindle market share is ~60% with Apple and B&N splitting ~35%. 5% 2% 1% Apple 2% B&N 4% Amazon 85% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% Sellbox.com 13
  14. 14. Have you used publicists? Were they effective? 5 4% 4 11% 89% Hired a Publicist Did Not Hire Most effective 16% 3 28% 2 32% 1 16% 0 4% 0% 10% Least effective 20% 30% 40% Sellbox.com 14
  15. 15. Have you paid for book reviews? No 89% Yes 11% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Sellbox.com 15
  16. 16. Where do you have the most reviews? All others 5% Goodreads Apple 9% 1% B&N 2% Amazon 84% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% Sellbox.com 16
  17. 17. Do you use KDP Select? Signed up? Used promo days? 23% 29% Yes No 71% Yes No 77% Sellbox.com 17
  18. 18. Did you spend money to advertise your free days? (Bought advertising) Yes 26% No 74% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% Sellbox.com 18
  19. 19. Is KDP Select effective? I didn’t advertise vs. I paid for advertising Paid ads, effective 21% Inconclusive? Paid ads, not effective 17% No ads, effective Self-fulfilling? 12% No ads, not effective 54% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% Sellbox.com 19
  20. 20. Do you blog? If so, how many times per month? 13+/month No website 10% 9-12 5-8 I don't blog 3% 10% 22% 2-4 1 or less I'm a blogger 7% 30% 26% 67% 0 times 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 24% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% Sellbox.com 20
  21. 21. What social networks do you use? (Check all that apply) 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% • Book cataloging sites seem under-utilized • Shelfari was mentioned just once. Still Writing Published 10% 0% Sellbox.com 21
  22. 22. What is the budget for your next book? Production Budget Marketing Budget > $2,000 > $2,000 $1,000-2,000 20% $1,000-2,000 14% $500-1,000 35% < $500 $0 23% 23% 8% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 15% $500-1,000 30% < $500 $0 32% 0% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% Sellbox.com 22
  23. 23. Receive 240 responses to: • What other marketing helped you sell more books? • Was self-publishing easier or harder than you thought? What would you do differently next time? It’s free: www.sellbox.com/results Sellbox.com 23
  24. 24. About Sellbox.com Founded in 2002, Sellbox specializes in helping publishers, businesses and organizations develop and market their content in eBook and print-on-demand formats. We provide eBook strategy consulting, conversion services, CreateSpace POD publishing support and eBook marketing services including distribution to the largest eBookstores. David Wogahn david@sellbox.com Sellbox.com 24

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