INSIDER TALK: Basic Analytics of a Small Press

I was closing the Apex Publications books for the month of May when I decided to play around with the data. I found it interesting so I thought I would share it with the world.

Print sales vs. eBook sales
Apex Publications print sales vs. eBook sales through 5/31/2015

Through the end of May, Apex sold 3 eBooks for every print copy sold.

eBook sales by vendor
Apex Publications eBook sales by vendor through 5/31/2015

Incredibly, Amazon accounts for 79% of our eBook sales. The next highest vendor percentage is Nook with a whopping 7%. Third is direct sales from our website at 5%. If I broke this out by revenue, the Amazon percentage would be even greater, because other than direct sales, they nearly always have the best net receipt per copy.

With Amazon and Apex Direct accounting for 84% of our sales, it is tempting to save time and drop the other vendors. But I can’t abide the thought of letting Amazon have ALL our 3rd party sales.

The “Other” basket includes Google, Smashwords, Oyster, Scribd, Drive Thru Fiction, Sony, and a couple of other smaller vendors.

Sadly, second place Nook has seen a gradual decline as the year has progressed. Could this be a reflection of B&N’s mishandling of its tablet over the last couple of years?

The lesson of this data? That Amazon has Apex by the cajones. It’s an uncomfortable position, but most other small presses share our business structure, so at least Apex isn’t alone.

2 responses to “INSIDER TALK: Basic Analytics of a Small Press”

  1. ecgarrison Avatar

    Thanks for sharing this, Jason. I research print/ebook market share every so often, and this is an even greater Amazon share than I’d seen previously. I believe it though. I understand that dilemma, each outlet takes effort/time, and you’d have to weigh it versus returns, but at the same time, I’d rather Amazon had some competition, too.


    1. Jason Sizemore Avatar

      I have 3rd party vendors complain to me…why don’t you upload all your books to us? Because I can spend an hour to upload a book and maybe see 5 sales total from that site while Amazon will do 5 a day without me having to do anything.

      But I want to support non-Amazon vendors, especially indie vendors, so it is a dilemma that I hope pays off in karma down the road.

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