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10 Ebook Statistics to Help You Better Understand Your Readers

Last updated: March 15, 2023

While print books have been the most popular format for a long time, there’s been a growing trend to read eBooks. Ebook sales have grown since they were first popularized. And those who work in the publishing industry will continue to generate eBook sales due to the large audience size of eBook readers. If you’re thinking of writing an ebook or starting an author website, this article will share some of the popular eBook statistics to help you craft eBooks for the right audience.

10 Ebook Statistics to Help You Better Understand Your Readers

By 2026, the eBook market is expected to grow to $18.693 billion dollars.

ebook statistics

First off, let’s begin with some good news. Ebooks are still growing in popularity. Despite the popularity of social media, video content, podcasts, and more, people still consume content through reading. While physical book sales dominate the market, there’s still a lot of demand for purchasing eBooks. A multi-billion dollar industry means that creating eBooks is still a viable option or career path for those looking to make money selling eBooks.

You can sell your eBooks on platforms like Amazon and earn a commission for each sale. However, if you’re looking to increase your earning potential, selling ebooks on your website can be a great way to sell ebooks profitably. Platforms like Payhip have a Free Forever plan that only charges a 5% transaction fee. With that plan, you can sell an unlimited amount ebooks and charge any rate you’d like. Unlike Amazon, which encourages authors to price ebooks between $2.99 and $9.99 to earn the highest commission percentage on their platform. If you’d rather sell ebooks at a higher price point above $9.99, you can earn more revenue while still selling your ebooks profitably by hosting your ebooks on your own Payhip store.

About 45% of the growth in eBook sales will come from North America.

If you tend to publish e-books in English, a big chunk of eBook sales comes from North America. You can promote your eBooks to Canada and the United States to focus your ad spend on North America when writing your ebooks. If you’re writing English eBooks, it might be a good idea to center your concepts around a North American lifestyle. For example, if you’re writing a non-fiction romance novel, you’d include references to a city or town in North America. Alternatively, if you’re writing a cookbook, there may be cuisines that Americans love that aren’t as popular in Europe. So, knowing where most of your eBook readers are based is a critical piece of information to help guide you as you write and produce e-books. You’ll likely generate more e-book sales when centering a story or content around something that your audience can easily imagine because they understand the references. Also, different cultures have different expressions and nuances. So, if writing an eBook to a North American audience, you’ll want to incorporate the common expressions, sayings, and communication styles they use in your eBook.

E-books in Spanish are growing in popularity and generated $10.91 million euros in 2021. 365 million people in China read an eBook in 2021.

These eBook statistics are a good reminder that not everyone reads eBooks in English. The eBook market is an international one. You don’t need to be a native English speaker to write eBooks. There are many eBook readers internationally. You can also hire a translator to translate your eBooks for other markets. Ebook in Spanish can be sold to many markets, such as Spain, Mexico, Colombia, the United States, Argentina, Venezuela, Peru, Chile, and more. Alternatively, China’s eBooks market is also enormous. With millions of eBook readers in China, eBooks can be translated into Mandarin to help reach a big audience. You can also translate your eBooks into other popular languages, such as French, Italian, and Portuguese.

Keep in mind that when translated books into other languages, it’s not as simple as translating the words. Different cultures have unique societal norms, expressions, nuances, and locations that can be changed to make the experience of reading your eBooks more enjoyable. For example, if you’re writing business eBooks, business culture in Japan is quite different than business culture in North America. So, when translating your eBooks, remember that your international markets may have differing experiences from your own, which can impact their thoughts on your eBooks.

Reading declines with age. Most ebooks are read by 18-29 year olds.

The eBook industry is most popular among young adults. There tends to be a decline in reading as people age, and possibly, older adults prefer reading books in print instead of digital formats. If you prefer writing eBooks instead of print books, focusing on a younger audience may help you generate more sales revenue. Consider writing eBooks about topics that younger adults tend to consume, such as making money online, social media, fictional stories with young adult characters, niche topics that are popular college majors, and more. If you prefer niching down into a specific age group, the 18-19 age group is best for that. However, keep in mind that all age groups do have e-book readers.

In 2022, the top five most popular eBook categories are: religion, memoirs, business, self-help, and food. But if you include Kindle Unlimited, romance is number one.

The eBooks statistics that matter help you better understand how to position yourself as an author. Sure, an author can write a book about any topic and find an audience. However, some niches prove to be a powerhouse for authors due to their vast popularity. Ebook revenue can increase when there’s a large audience due to the high demand for the topic. There may also be more competition but if you have an interesting concept, an engaging writing style, and first-hand knowledge on a topic, you can earn a living selling eBooks online.

The most popular religion books tend to be religious texts, such as the Bible or Quran. However, you can also write eBooks about religion history, simplifying religious concepts, religion vs science, and more. Memoirs and biographies are also another popular topic. You can write an autobiographical book about your life or a moment in your life where you’ve overcome adversity. Typically, people with fans, such as celebrities, influencers, or public figures write autobiographical memoirs about their lives. However, if you’ve been through a tragic event or overcame challenges in life, you can write eBooks about your experiences to help people. Business books are also a popular category and cover ranges, such as finance, making money online, ecommerce, marketing, and entrepreneurship. Overall, there are countless categories you can write eBooks about that are profitable and generate a large portion of the eBook market share. If you’re selling digital books, you might lean into what’s popular today to help you maximize the number of eBooks sold.

The average royalty price is 25% of net receipts.

One of the eBooks statistics that matters is the average royalty price. Royalties vary depending on what platform you sell on, your ebook pricing, and how many eBook sales you generate depending on the publisher. The publishing industry has set standards for royalties, and it’s currently 25%, on average. On Amazon, your royalty price changes based on your eBook pricing. However, Amazon encourages sales within the $2.99 to $9.99 range for the best royalty price. Yet, that price may not be favorable depending on the amount of effort, resources, or costs associated with your eBook.

Payhip has the best royalty rate when it comes to platforms to sell your eBooks on. Payhip only takes a 5% transaction fee for each eBook sale. That means you get to pocket 95% of your sales, unlike Amazon’s high of 70% royalty or low of 35% royalty. You can promote your eBook to your email list, on social media, or in Facebook groups to profitably market your ebook to remain as profitable as possible.

Over 70% of eReaders sold are Amazon’s Kindle.

Amazon’s Kindle e-reader is the most popular device for reading eBooks on. However, just because Kindle is the most popular e-reader doesn’t mean all of the e-books added to the device are from Amazon. You can also add non-Amazon eBooks, magazines, and other pieces of content to your device. If the e-books sold on your website aren’t available on Amazon, no worries, you can format your eBooks so that your customers can read your content on the device of their choice.

Formatting your e-books in .pdf, .doc, .docx, .rtf, .txt, .jpg, .jpeg, .png, .htm, .html, .epub, and .prc are some of the alternative, non-Amazon formats you can use for your ebooks on your website that can be easily read on a Kindle device. When selling eBooks in one of these formats on your website, you can remind readers that they can read your books on Kindle devices to help generate more eBook sales revenue.

32% of all eBooks are sold outside of Amazon

While the majority of eBooks are sold on Amazon, there’s still a large portion of eBooks sold off the platform. Hosting eBooks on your own website is the most popular place to sell outside of Amazon. Typically, websites with some traffic monetize their website with eBooks, courses, affiliate links, digital products, or physical products. If you have your own built-in audience, email list, or social media accounts, naturally it makes the most sense to generate ebook sales on your website instead of using a third-party platform.

Payhip allows you to sell all digital products on your website. So, if you’re looking to sell more than eBooks, such as courses, coaching services, or software, the all-in-one digital downloads website builder can be a great choice for selling your eBooks and more. With no mandatory monthly subscriptions, you can generate the best profits for hosting products on your own website. You can sell e-Books or physical books on Payhip, without having to pay royalties to the publishing industry. You’ll have full control over your unit sales as you’ll be able to run your own marketing, such as paid ads, email marketing, or social media marketing.

Women are more likely to read eBooks than men.

Women tend to read more eBooks than men, which can also play into the types of books they read. For instance, earlier we learned that on Amazon Unlimited, romance books are the most popular category. Whether you write fictional romance stories, relationship books, marriage eBooks, or other relevant topics, the popular niche is a great choice if targeting women when publishing eBooks. As women read more eBooks than men, keeping that in mind when publishing fiction books is also a good choice. Typically, people use he or his when using examples in eBooks. If you’re creating fictional examples, adding more female pronouns may help your readers better relate to your eBooks’ content to land better reviews and hopefully more eBook sales too.

90% of readers are college graduates whereas 61% of high school graduates read books. 86% of readers earn $75,000 a year or more.

Our next set of eBook statistics helps you better understand your readers, their education and net worth. Typically, people who are college educated earn more income. Nearly all eBook readers are college graduates who earn $75,000 a year or more. On average, it’s recommended to write content at a grade 6 level as an author, especially if you’re aiming to write a book for the masses. However, if your eBooks are catered to a college educated reader, you’ll want to write eBooks at at a grade 8 to grade 12 level. However, keep in mind that the higher the reading level the more challenging the book will be to read for the average consumer. Higher reading levels are typically best suited for niches, such as science, literature, or scholarly books written by PhDs, doctors, or other graduate level professionals.

Ebook statistics next steps – Final Thoughts

Ebooks are the second most popular book format after print beating out audiobook sales. So, naturally, writing eBooks is a viable option for those looking to monetize their new book. If you’re keen to learn more about selling ebooks online, check out our guide on How to Sell Ebooks Online with just 3 simple steps.

Now that you’ve learned eBook statistics to better understand who eBook readers are, it’s time to write an eBook that caters to them.

You can host your eBook on a digital products platform like Payhip to earn the highest earning potential from your eBook sales and bypass the minimal royalties that the publishing industry give their writers. You can still sell print books on your Payhip store in case some people prefer purchasing physical copies. And you can also create course content, offer coaching services, or other digital downloads to help you increase your sales revenue. Sign-up for Payhip today.


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