Alex Keegan is a highly successful author, most of whose titles have been traditionally published. Here are his comments in the discussion group Fiction Writers Guild of LinkedIn:
Some Staggering Figures About Self-Publishing
The best estimate of SP titles was 1.2 MILLION in 2011.
During the various debates on the rightness or otherwise of the market, various people have pointed to certain successes.
You might name half a dozen big hitters.
You might research and come up with 200 authors doing very well.
You might REALLY do the digging and come up with 2,000 Names.
I was driving to the station this morning, and having once done a course in statistics I paused a moment and thought, 1,200,000 titles (2011) and growing.
Shouldn’t I EXPECT the occasional freak result?
Now look at this
1,200,000 90.00% bad = 120,000 decent -best-sellers
1,200,000 99.00% bad = 12,000 decent best-sellers
1,200,000 99.90% bad = 1,200 decent best-sellers
1,200,000 99.99% bad = 120 decent best-sellers
Is there anybody arguing that there are more than 12,000 (TWELVE THOUSAND) SP titles doing well
If the figure is 12,000 that is just ONE per cent of SP
But are there 12,000 titles doing really well? You tell me. Even if you got to 120,000 that would still mean that the market you speak of is 90% junk.