Top Sales Categories, Most Common Prices, Box Sets, And Other Useful Indie Sales Data

This Friday I recommend checking out Smashwords survey results for 2017 regarding sales by independent (self-published) authors. Smashwords is the world’s largest distributor of ebooks by indie authors.

The slides below summarize and show graphs of the survey results. Slides 29-30 show Top Categories for fiction sales on Smashwords (the top three are Romance, Erotica, and Fantasy) and non-fiction (top three are Self-Improvement; Health, Wellness and Medicine; and Business and Economics).

The slides also cover the most common prices ($2.99, but Free for Book 1 in a series), facts about box sets, the value of pre-orders, and the word counts of best selling books.

There was a little bit here that gave me pause, as a pie chart on Slide 32 shows of the Top 200 Best Selling Smashwords titles, 73% were Romance, which I don’t write, and only 1% mystery, and I just finished a first draft of Book 1 in a new mystery series.

But it’s important to look at more than one of the slides, and to look at the big picture. Despite the 1%, Mystery and Detective is No. 3 on the list of pre-order books capturing an outsize share of the market (Slide 78). Looks like I’ll be doing a pre-order of The Worried Man.

Until Sunday, when I’ll write about Kobo, an ebook publishing platform that can help you reach readers all over the world.


L.M. Lilly



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