The book industry makes $113-billion a year. What does that mean for you?

In 2015, the book publishing market generated over $113,000,000,000 dollars [1]. That’s billion. $113 billion!

And here’s the thing…

It’s growing!

It’s estimated to break through $120-billion by 2020.

That’s a huge amount of money! In fact, it’s so big, it’s hard to really grasp it. So let’s compare it to something.

If you ask the average person, which makes more money… movies or books, they would probably answer “movies.” But they would be wrong.

The global box office revenue for 2016 was a mere $38-billion [2]. That’s only a third of the book industry.

Book industry makes $113 billion a year

That’s a lot of numbers… what does it mean?

For me, it means a lot.

First off, when my family or friends make snide comments about how nobody reads anymore, I can let them know that my industry makes 3 times the amount of money than the movie industry… including all of those comic books movies!

Second, I don’t have to be huge to do well.

Let’s say you want to make $100,000 a year off your book sales.

That means you only need to a 0.00009% of the market. That’s an incredibly small number!

For every $1,000,000 that is made in the industry, I just need to make $90.

That seems doable.

Which leads to the next question…

Do you need a big time bestseller?

A couple things here…

First, off many of the books that hit the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists don’t go on to sell millions of copies. Many of them gamed the system so much that, once they hit the list, the book never sells another 1000 copies ever. You can read more about this here.

Second, the writers I know making real money on their books are not the ones hitting the big bestseller lists. Instead, they write great books, launch them in a smart way, then continue to promote them long into the future.

It’s much more about building something over a period of time then trying to have a big hit.

The goal is to build an author platform that can regularly get you your 0.00009% of a $113-billion dollar pie.

How to win in the book industry.

  1. Keep writing. Continue to hone your craft, keep writing, and keep publishing. The best marketing can’t help a book that was never written.
  2. Learn book marketing. Dive into the basics. Look at all the options. Take the time to build a platform that will support your entire writing career.

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1. Facts, U. (2018). Topic: Book Industry. [online] Available at: [Accessed 7 May 2018].

2. Facts, F. (2018). Topic: Movie Industry. [online] Available at: [Accessed 7 May 2018].

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