Sunday, January 5, 2014

150 Amazon KDP Select Authors Each Sold Over 100,000 Copies in 2013

Amazon's recently released statistics are no doubt causing gray hairs to sprout all over the heads of print publishers. Why? 

For one thing, 200,000 additional authors decided to sell their books exclusively on Amazon through their KDP Select program. Not all of these authors will reach the sales of the top 150, but even if each author sold a few hundred books in 2013, Amazon made quite a profit. 

Success, for Amazon, is not measured by how many best-selling authors they produce, but by how many authors decide to throw their hats into Amazon's ring.

Of course, another reason for CEOs to go gray is the exodus of well-known authors who have decided that they would rather get a greater chunk of the profits their books generate than whatever percentage their publishers mete out to them. In some cases, this amounts to millions of dollars in royalties that would otherwise have gone to publishing houses.

Press Release: Amazon Media Room

SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 26, 2013-- (NASDAQ: AMZN)—Amazon today announced a record-setting holiday season for Amazon Prime, the annual membership program offering unlimited Free Two-Day Shipping on millions of items. More than one million customers around the world became new Prime members in the third week of December. On Amazon’s peak shipping day, more Prime items were shipped worldwide than ever before. The entire 2013 holiday season was the best ever for Amazon, with more than 36.8 million items ordered worldwide on Cyber Monday, which is a record-breaking 426 items per second, and millions of customers unwrapped Kindle e-readers and Kindle Fire tablets this holiday season.

Kindle and Amazon Digital Media Facts:
  • Amazon’s digital media selection grew to more than 27 million movies, TV shows, songs, magazines, books, audiobooks, and popular apps and games in 2013.
  • Selection in the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library in 2013 grew from 250,000 books to more than 475,000 books.
  • More than 200,000 exclusive books were added to the Kindle store in 2013.
  • 150 Kindle Direct Publishing authors each sold more than 100,000 copies of their books in 2013. Top sellers this year include “Hopeless” by Colleen Hoover and “Wait for Me” by Elisabeth Naughton. (Read about Colleen Hoover HERE.)
  • The best-selling Kindle Direct Publishing author during the holiday season was H.M. Ward.
Read the rest HERE.


  1. 200,000 authors is a lot. Although those top 150 reaped a great amount of royalties, is it worth it for authors to try and play the numbers game to get to the top? How do we know that those at the top 150 are worth reading? Are they quality?

  2. Best sellers are rarely "quality." They are meant to appeal to the lowest common denominator. Unknown authors will rarely make it to the top, but even as an unknown you can still move 30,000 copies a year if you promote your book properly. 30,000 is considered a success by publishing standards, which means you can use that figure to get an agent, and to get a publisher.


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