The amount of money an author – self published or otherwise – makes is entirely dependent on how he or she markets books.
Recently I read about one of the biggest success stories in self publishing. What I remember from that story is the extensive advertising, marketing and selling that the author did. Top notch landing page design, well placed ads in social media and print media, connection with journalists and many other such activities helped boost the sales of her book.
You too can do all this – start small, never lose sight of the fact that active selling is very important.
Now if you are still curious to know what some of the overall trends in author earnings are, here are some resources for you.
Please see the author earnings report here: February 2017 Big, Bad, Wide & International Report: covering Amazon, Apple, B&N, and Kobo ebook sales in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand
Another survey about money self published authors (indie authors) make: Survey Indicates Indie Publishing is Pot of Gold for Some, Work in Progress for Many
Smashwords conducted a survey too: 2017 Smashwords Survey Helps Authors Sell More eBooks
So far we have discussed primarily eBook reviews, how about print on demand: Here is an eye opening survey from SFWA – Print-on-Demand Self-Publishing Statistics
Here is a story to inspire you: Publishers rejected me, but I went on to earn six-figures selling 1,000 books a day
Here are some more real life success stories to inspire you: https://www.zavesti.com/stories-about-self-published-authors/
How much money you actually take home depends on how well you manage your taxes. So this article is a good read: A Tax Cheat Sheet for Kindle eBook Self-Publishing
In conclusion, we at Zavesti believe that while general trends in author earnings are important, those authors do well who take matters in their hands and market their books actively.