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Yeah, I’m aware of the website http://www.authorearnings.com/, which supposedly contains the results of a big data-crunching project instigated by Hugh Howey. Apparently, a coder/analyst/whatever approached Howey with the idea of taking self-reported sales to Amazon sales rankings and using them to analyze Amazon’s bestsellers list to see which types of books (self/other/small press) do best for authors.

I say “supposedly” above because as I write this, high traffic has crashed the site. [Update: I accessed it a few minutes ago.] The only place to find the data at the moment is on Joe K*nr*th’s blog, and he’s added long exchanges with a straw man figure “Legacy John”.

Which… ugh. So. Much Smug.

As a so-called hybrid author who has self-published before and will self-publish again this year (thank you, Kickstarter backers) I’m interested in this analysis. Unfortunately, Howey and K*nr*th are not exactly the most trustworthy of sources. If confirmation bias were a medical condition, both men would have to be kept alive by a machine in some ICU somewhere. Anyway, the numbers are interesting but I’m reserving judgement on them until someone with more time and expertise picks them apart.

Mirrored from Twenty Palaces. You can comment here but not there.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 12th, 2014 12:48 am (UTC)
The site is up now, and you can read the report with charts (there’s a downloadable xcel spread sheet) without the thousands of words of angry commentary.

The only thing I would point out is: the information is from Amazon.com, and - unless I read too quickly - is therefore only about kindle ebooks. So - it’s a report based entirely on ebook sales, which - fair enough. That’s where the bulk of the relevant information to people who are going to self-publish *is*.

I would personally love to see a comparison across formats - but, not my rodeo and the paper sales are going to remain irrelevant (largely) to people who choose to self-pub.
Feb. 12th, 2014 01:10 am (UTC)
Heh. I'd started a comment that read "Still won't load for me" and then it did.

Honestly, I have too much work to do on my own soon-to-be self-pubbed book to really dive into the whole thing. I'm going to have to rely on other people to give it the real once over.
Feb. 12th, 2014 09:10 am (UTC)
Amazingly, less expensive books sell in greater quantities than more expensive books!
Feb. 12th, 2014 04:43 pm (UTC)
Yeah, but more expensive books are more likely to be read, instead of sitting neglected on someone's Kindle.
Feb. 12th, 2014 03:33 pm (UTC)
This: "If confirmation bias were a medical condition, both men would have to be kept alive by a machine in some ICU somewhere."

is a thing of great beauty.
Feb. 12th, 2014 04:43 pm (UTC)
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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May 2020


  • 14 Jan 2019, 21:47
    Oh, yeah, excellent point.
  • 14 Jan 2019, 21:46
    Oh yeah. Like the lawyers who get obvious really venal criminals off because it makes their success rate look good. But those are not the ones I am referring to in meaning well. These guys are mixed…
  • 14 Jan 2019, 20:37
    This reminds me of the time my wife was injured and the insurance guy handling her case did everything possible to deny and stall the payment. We had to put her surgery on a credit card because this…
  • 14 Jan 2019, 19:24
    The creepiest part is that some of them are actually well meaning.
  • 14 Jan 2019, 19:08
    Yeah. It's godawful what people will do when they have authority and no fear about using it.
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