There’s a genre under “general fiction” that defies the traditional data, according to Data Guy at Digital Book World. Twenty-eight percent of General Fiction is published by indie/self-published authors, but Data Guy decided to break the data down even further.

Turns out that African-American fiction, which lacks a separate Nielsen category, is sold predominantly by indie and self-published authors.

Just how much?

Seventy-one percent of African-American fiction is sold by indie and self-published authors with 96 percent of the unit sales being ebooks.

Less than 1 percent of sales are audio books with about 2 percent of the unit sales going to print books – with the total amount of unit sales being slightly above 12 million.

It’s not just perhaps there aren’t enough traditionally published books being made in this category, but there is a huge gap between the pricing of self-published books and traditionally published. On average, self-published books sold for $2.76, Amazon Imprints $2.87 and Non Big-Five Publishers were $2.58.

Then, you get to the average price of Big Five Publisher sales – a whopping $12.45. The reason this number is significant is that when you look at the other popular categories, the average price from the Big Five publishers is much lower.

Romance: $6.88
Thriller/Suspense: $9.54
Mystery/Detective: $8.83
Science Fiction: $8.98

Yet the African-American fiction is priced, on average, $3 more.

You can see all of the slides from Data Guy’s presentation here.

As discussed earlier, readers are going to buy books that are cheaper whether they’re ebooks or print books. But there is more going on here in just that the books from the indie authors are priced cheaper.

A bigger issue is that non-white communities have been underserved when it comes to fiction books from the Big Five publishers. Self-publishing has given a voice to authors who may not otherwise get opportunities to have their book published.

And here’s the worst-kept secret in all of it – the books sell. Of course, they do. But maybe some people just need to see the data spelled out for them to understand.

A look at the current Amazon top 100 best seller for fiction shows several African-American books on the list. For anyone paying attention, this shouldn’t be surprising. It’s time to start.