Author Robin L. Rotham (http://robinlrotham.com/index2.html) has painstakingly compiled statistics about how, for erotic romance authors, previous exposure through e-publication relates to future success in print book sales. Yep, we're not surprised at all that so many erorom authors started out with (and in most cases are also still with) e-publishers.
Per Robin (and provided here with her permission)--
At this moment on Amazon.com, for print books:
1) The TOP 10 Erotica bestsellers were written by e-published authors.
2) 4 of those 10 were actually published by e-publishers -- EC and Samhain.
3) 13 of the top 25 Erotica bestsellers were published by e-pubs -- EC, Samhain, NCP, and Loose ID.
4) 40 of the top 100 Erotica bestsellers were published by those same e-pubs.
5) 13 of the top 100 Romance/Fantasy, Futuristic & Ghost bestsellers were written by e-published authors (that I recognize -- there may be more).
6) 6 of the top 100 Romance/Fantasy, Futuristic & Ghost bestsellers were published by e-pubs -- EC and Samhain.
(Robin accumulated these figures by hand, many hours work. Ahem, I'm going to have to have a word with her editor - shouldn't she be working on her next book? ;-0 )