Best Sellers...

9 years ago | Letitia Coyne (Member)

FROM: http://www.ireneziegler.com/ 15 Top-selling Books of All Time.

....'Of course, all this is put into depressing perspective when you consider a Neilsen BookScan report from 2006:

950,000 titles out of the 1.2 million tracked by Nielsen Bookscan sold fewer than 99 copies. Another 200,000 sold fewer than 1,000 copies. Only 25,000 sold more than 5,000 copies. The average book in America sells about 500 copies.”
-- Publisher’s Weekly, July 17, 2006

Of course, a first novelist can get a boost from library sales. I found out you can look up how many libraries have a copy of a particular title on Worldcat.com. I looked up Ashes to Water.

28.

I'm going to drink alcohol now.'

Makes you feel better about that little hit counter at the bottom of the page, now, doesn't it? :))

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Responses

  1. Dary (Member)

    Posted 9 years ago

    On my creative writing degree we were told the average fiction book only sells 2,000 copies.

    Having well over half that in readers has helped me demonstrate this whole web fiction serialisation thing isn't such a bad idea after all. Especially to people who cling to the idea that they *have* to get published traditionally to be "successful".

  2. Eli James (Moderator)

    Posted 9 years ago

    We're talking about averages here, right? My bet is that the distribution in web fiction and print are quite different - in print you get low averages, but a few mindblowing outliers, whereas in web fiction it may(?) be easier to get reader numbers above a certain threshold, but not so easy to achieve mindblowing outliers (the kind that moves piles of money, inspires films and creates little subcultures, etc etc).

    Of course, this is hypothetical and all, so feel free to add your own analysis. But averages are tricky things - useful for some metrics, not so for others.

  3. Ryan A. Span (Member)

    Posted 9 years ago

    Does that report count non-fiction and other ultra-niche works? I have a feeling the figures may be skewed, since I've sold around 500 copies of Empathy over the last two years, and it's not exactly a New York Times best-seller.

    Regards,
    Ryan

  4. Letitia Coyne (Member)

    Posted 9 years ago

    It's the nature of statistics, I'm afraid.

    These figures don't take into account aberrances like huge markets in China, or specific publishers - Torstar claims $131Million pa in sales for Harlequin from a loose stable of about 1300 authors.

    But the webfiction counters don't take into account the browsers. Book sales are completed after the buyer has wandered the shelves, reading a few pages here and there and finally made their choice. Not everyone who opens a book, print or digital, reads it or buys it.

    Metrics are always worth as much credence as you feel like giving them. I just smiled when I saw the article and thought we might all feel a little bit encouraged by the apparent failure of others :)

  5. Eli James (Moderator)

    Posted 9 years ago

    Metrics are always worth as much credence as you feel like giving them. I just smiled when I saw the article and thought we might all feel a little bit encouraged by the apparent failure of others :)

    :P I feel encouraged already - but by your comment, not by the article ;-)

  6. MedleyMisty (Member)

    Posted 9 years ago

    This is one part of why I go back and forth on trying to get published traditionally - my blog has more readers than a book might have, and I don't care about money and I only want readers.

    I figure Valley has had at least 1000 readers - and I arrived at that number by looking at how many times the last chapter had been viewed (1350 at the time) and rounding down some for re-readers and people who looked at the end first and then didn't go back and read it all. So not perfect, but better than just the straight up total pageviews counter.

  7. Letitia Coyne (Member)

    Posted 9 years ago

    Ah Misty, I could dream of getting the sort of comments and feedback you get. Comments for 'Valley of the Sun' were amazing, now the same for '10' Good going. Keep it up.

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