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  • Writer's pictureNicole Angelique Kerr

STATS: What the numbers say about books

November 2022

WOW, I did it. I can now say I am a National Best-Selling Author because my book, You Are Deathless: A NDE Taught Me How to Fully Live and Not Fear Death, hit key criteria including being a #1 New NDE Best Seller and selling over 500 copies in two months. It is also in the top 100 NDE books. In case you were not aware, most books, 90% in fact, do not reach that number sold. So nearly 2 1/2 months on the market mine is already considered a “success.” I still am blown away. I wasn't even thinking in those terms I just wanted people to be helped by it. So why all the pressure with numbers? It is about sales, just like any business and since the self-publishing world opened up things have changed.

According to PRESStinely (the company I used to help me self-publish) Amazon/KDP does not disclose exactly how many books there are in each category and they are getting vaguer and vaguer each year.

According to BookScan, the association that manages the big best seller lists in the US such as NYT and USA Today, 4 million books are published every year through Amazon combining traditional and independent publications. Total, there are about 13 million books available, if you consider ebooks and printed books. If you add titles that are only sold in ebook format than it almost doubles. But again, these are all estimates as Amazon never presented a clear report of the books they publish and sell.

Books publishing statistics show increases across the board. (Source: TonerBuzz)

  • Young adult fiction sales jumped 30.7% in 2021.

  • Adult fiction sales increased 25.5% in 2021.

  • Children’s fiction sales rose 9.6% in 2021.

  • eBook revenue was up 11.7% in 2020 over 2019 figures.

  • In October 2021, eBook revenue reached $84 million (AAP).

  • Today, eBooks make up 21% of total book sales.

  • Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited paid out $39.8 million in royalties in October 2021.

  • Bookstore sales in 2021 were approximately $9 billion, up from $6.5 billion in 2020.

  • In the first four months of 2022, bookstore sales are down 23% compared to the same period in 2019.

  • Bookstore sales peaked at $17.17 billion in 2007 but have been steadily decreasing since.

Clearly reading went up during the pandemic. Now the challenge to keep it up!

In this social media world reviews are super important for a variety of reasons. It is hard to ask people to review all the time because it seems every company you buy something from (especially Amazon and the grocery store) want you to review an item/their company. We have gotten numb to it. But I will say we all seem to read the reviews on an item we want, so why not take a few minutes and especially for books that you value, leave a review?

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