Amazon’s courting of self-published authors through services like Kindle Direct seems to be paying off, at least in part. The retail and publishing giant announced at industry event Writer.ly that a quarter of the best performing books from the week preceding the event on the Amazon store were self-published, either directly or via the author’s own imprint publisher.
Although these figures aren’t reflective of overall revenue, they are absolutely reflective of a marketplace that is increasingly receptive to author who go outside traditional publishing channels.
The ease with which authors can now upload content they themselves have created and distribute it to a readership base that either may not have heard of them, or that they’ve built up already in niche online environments has already been given a huge amount of treatment already and doesn’t bear repetition. What’s key about this particular piece of news is that it underscores how successful Amazon’s own predatory market-share capturing initiatives have been.
Traditional publishers have of course already responded with self-publishing initiatives of their own to reach out to independent authors, but it’s worth mentioning that Amazon’s omission of any indication about the revenue these independent books have accrued is probably due to the fact that big name traditional authors, who work within the boundaries of traditional publishing contracts, are probably still the most profitable segment in fiction-publishing and that self-publishing’s difference to the bottom line, outside of (arguably anomalously) hugely successful self-published novels is slim.