Are ebook sales going through the roof…or the floor?

Most of what I read lately regarding ebook sales by freelance novelists—independent authors, indies, self-publishers—whatever you want to call these entrepreneurs—has been either mediocre or depressing. For the most part, authors are giving away massive amounts of books or selling them for $1.99 or less.

Is this the fate of ebooks? Is this the fate of freelance novelists?

I don’t think so.

There’s no doubt if a book is horrible it won’t sell thousands of—possibly not a dozen—copies. If the book is truly not worth reading, then it doesn’t even belong in the free bin because it makes the rest of us freelance writers look bad. A good majority of us are working hard, hiring professionals to edit and design our books, so the readers experience is the best we can make it. We are setting high standards, hoping others who take control of their writing careers will do the same. It’s a win-win situation for all of us.

It’s hoped that even the most sceptical of readers who today say, “Self-published? It can’t be good.” will eventually buy books because they are interested in the story, not by who published them.

Is there hope for freelance novelists?

You bet there is.

Many are already selling thousands—literally hundreds of thousands—of ebooks. Rubbish, you say?

Take a look at the dozens of self-published authors who have sold more than 50,000 ebooks on the Publishing Success Stories website.

I never would have believed freelance novelists could sell that many books in such a short period of time.

Are you as amazed at these numbers as I am? Did you think this was possible? Is this just a fluke or will the numbers continue to grow?

Diane Lynn Tibert

3 thoughts on “Are ebook sales going through the roof…or the floor?

  1. I think it will be awhile before this catches on since an app for reading these books is necessary. But like everything else, when the prices drop and it becomes more common, the numbers will soar. I also see ebooks as a way to find out about your own writing.


  2. Diane, I originally was not impressed with the whole idea of e-books. My thought was that writers would lose even more of their hard-earned and well-deserved money, but I don’t understand the numbers and how it all works out. Besides that, I love paper books, you know … REAL books.

    Confession: Last Fall I relented and now have a pc Kindle. I think I downloaded it because a book came along that I wanted to read and it was only obtainable electronically. *sigh* I only have about thirty e-books on it, and all of those were offered for free. How can writers make anything off those? (And I’m not helping!) Perhaps when I tell someone else what a great book I just read they will buy a copy for themselves.

    I still don’t know what is the better thing, or perhaps one is not necessarily “better” than the other, but simply another option. I hope “real” books don’t go out of style. I know publishing firms are getting concerned, but I’m thinking perhaps it will all go full circle and all options will have their own niche to the continuation of them all.

    This hasn’t really answered your questions, but more to the point … I am not totally surprised the numbers are so high since we are in an electronic age, but I also said .. wow, really? The realistic side of it is that, just like with paper books, not all e-books will sell like that. It could be enough for Hopefuls to try it, though. The added configuration is the self-published author … whom I think has just as much chance these days. BUT, GOOD EDITING IS CRITICAL! As a part-time reviewer, I have been sadly amazed at how much is missed.

    Great post, Diane.


    • Lynn, I think many writers have lost money because of ebooks, and not just independent writers; many traditionally published writers have signed away their rights (and money), too. On the other hand, things are changing fast and writers are becoming more aware of their rights and what they can do with and without large publishing companies.

      I believe I’ll have an ereader by the end of the year, too, mostly because there are a few books I want to read which are only available in ebook form. But like you, I love paper books. I will never trade one for the other. I have no fear that paper books will go out of style. They still own the majority of the market. Ebooks, like you say, are just another option. If anything, it helps all writers; it creates more readers and ultimately more buyers of all types of books.

      I agree; some books will have huge sales while others won’t. It doesn’t matter if they’re paper or ebook, self-published or published by a large company. Unfortunately, books published by their authors are no more free of errors than books published by large companies. No book is perfect; all have errors of some sort.

      Thanks for stopping by, Lynn.


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