Friday, April 11, 2008

Print Runs and Sales Numbers

How large a print run is good, especially when compared to the percentage of the print run that's sold?

Miss Snark wrote about What Sales Numbers are Good?

Editorial Anonymous wrote about how many books sold is good?

Tess Gerritsen wrote about The Print Run. On a related note, she also wrote about How many copies sold is a bestseller? and how to tell how many of your books were ordered by Borders.

Anna Genoese wrote about Bookscan sales figures. To quote a part of the article:

...whenever a book is sold at a place that tracks by ISBN or ISBN-13 (aka EAN), the sale of that book is recorded and put into a database. Publishers have access to that database--not just for our own books, but for every single book sold through this method....

On the other hand, we don't take Bookscan all that seriously because the numbers are very often skewed in a bizarre way. What Bookscan is good for is if I look up, say, Josh Lyman's sales on Bookscan specifically. Bookscan tells me that Josh Lyman's autobiography...netted 70,000 copies in the last year. Then I compare that to the records I have--our sales information from our database says that Josh Lyman's autobiography netted 150,000 copies in the last year.

Then I compare it to General Adama's biography....According to Bookscan, that's sold 150,000 copies in the last year.... I can extrapolate that since Bookscan only showed me 47% of the sales of Josh's book, it's probably only showing me 47% of the sales of the Old Man's book. That means that probably the Old Man's book sold about 319,148.

No comments: