Now indies are revealed to be No 1 on Nook

After wide-ranging and exhaustive analyses of bestselling ebooks on Amazon, self-publishing phenomenon turned data maven Hugh Howey has dug into the sales figures for Barnes & Noble’s Nook online store.

The new report points out that B&N have said that self-published ebooks make up 25% of the Nook market. Howey and his team wanted to see if this meant 25% of the bestselling titles were self-published, 25% of the sales came from self-published e-books or if self-published e-book sales accounted for 25% of the gross dollar market.

The data spider grabbed a sample comprising 5,400 of B&N’s top genre ebooks, basing its findings on the fact that, like Amazon, ebooks on Nook get an overall ranking correlated with sales.

The first finding shows that indie titles punch way above their weight, making up over half by number (53%) of the top 5,000 genre ebooks.


 For daily unit sales, indies take a 30% share, which makes them the biggest single entity if you break up the Big Five into their component parts, although Penguin Random House isn’t far behind on 24%.


 The Big 5 take an overwhelming 70% share of sales in value terms but that is publisher revenue rather than author revenue, which is a very different matter.

Analysing author revenue, the survey shows the Big 5 on 52% and indies on 39% and when the Big 5 are split individually, indie authors’ 39% is by far the biggest segment of the market, beating even the biggest of the Big 5 (Penguin Random House on 25%).


I don’t know how Hugh Howey manages to combine his prolific output of best-selling novels with his equally prodigious output of highly informative articles about publishing and this latest venture into sales data but all indies (and, for that matter, traditional publishers also if they want to get to grips with the new paradigm) should be thankful that he does.  This is particularly so in light of some of the vociferous reaction from some quarters which seem to delight in tangling themselves in self-contradiction while simply strengthening Howey’s main conclusions.

You can read the full report with more graphs and commentary, etc, together with the previous two reports on Amazon sales figures at