HomeWritersLiterary AgentsEditorsPublishersResourcesDiscussion
Forum Login | Join the discussion
+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    Harper
    Guest

    book sales tracking?

    Any way to track book sales numbers without have The Discussion with the publisher? Doing pretty well on Amazon, no complaints there. It's a voodoo number though. I wonder if there are other ways?

    Tnx.



  2. #2
    barbara english
    Guest

    Re: book sales tracking?

    I've often wondered about that. How can a person track book sales? Af representavive from Authorhouse told my friend, via the telephone, that they sold two of her books, but when she got her report, she only got a royalty check for one book sold.

    Barb-e

  3. #3
    Anthony Ravenscroft
    Guest

    Re: book sales tracking?

    Amazon.com is a "thumbnail" number. We make roughly half our sales there, but far more of our fiction is sold off-line.

    The only way I can think of requires access to the Bookscan figures, but I gather than costs a large amount of cash for a subscription.

  4. #4
    barbara english
    Guest

    Re: book sales tracking?

    How large is the amount? I wouldn't mind subscribing if the amount is not toooo large.

    Barb-e

  5. #5
    Verdancy
    Guest

    Re: book sales tracking?

    I couldn't find the exact cost of Nielsen's BookScan in a quick search, but Wikipedia says it's "upwards of $75,000 per year."

    But for $85, you can get a report on the sales of one ISBN number for any one given week, plus year-to-date totals. So if you requested your sales for last week, you would also see how many copies had sold this year up to now--but if you wanted the info again for next week, it would be another $85. Here's an example: <http://www.bookstandard.com/bookstandard/images/pdf/SalesReportSample.pdf>

    They also sell selected info at a cheaper cost. For instance, members of the RWA can get Nielsen's The Book Standard, which is a compilation of best-seller charts, with analysis and commentary, for $7.95/month, or a weekly report containing just the top 100 selling romance titles for $52.50/year. It's more expensive for individuals, but if you belong to another writers' organization, they might also have discounted rates and/or access to the specific charts for your genre.

  6. #6
    barbara english
    Guest

    Re: book sales tracking?

    What are they sellling for $75,000 per year? I could buy a house for that amount of money. And a decent house, too.

    Thanks for the info, Verdancy.

    Barb-e

  7. #7
    Cathy C
    Guest

    Re: book sales tracking?

    They're selling the value of sales figures, Barb-e. They gather actual cash register rings from pretty much every brick and mortar store, independent distributor and several discount chains. That's a LOT of data for the money to a publisher with several hundred titles on the shelf at any given time.

    I subscribe to BookScan through RWA--but it's only available to those in the Published Author Network, which requires publication through an "RWA-approved" publisher.

    However, here's the bit I can tell you without violating the confidentiality agreement that I had to sign when subscribing:

    The outlets surveyed each week are:
    B.Dalton, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Borders, Deseret Book Co., Hastings, Musicland, Tower Music & Books, Waldenbooks, BN.com, Borders.com, Buy.com, Costco, Target & K-Mart.


    The information included on the Top 100 report (which is NOT the full report--that has loads more data, including tracking by ISBN or title) is:

    Publisher name/imprint
    Ranking this week
    Ranking last week
    Ranking two weeks ago
    Title
    ISBN
    Author
    Current week sales
    Last Week sales
    Total sales YTD

    Remember that $75,000 is the BOTTOM of the cost, and is probably one genre's report only. The whole list is somewhere in excess of a quarter million dollars a year. But it's definitely worth the cost to larger publishers, because they have actual data to show how advertising and marketing is working and whether books are doing better at regular bookstores or in "secondary markets."

  8. #8
    Anthony Ravenscroft
    Guest

    Re: book sales tracking?

    Yep, when Bookscan was put in, suddenly the industry had actual single-unit & to-enduser figures. Previously, we relied on "what the clerks told me when I called a handful of stores on Long Island" & "what the sales reps recalled from memory a week later" & "what WalMart hugely over-ordered but we expect them to return 86% in a month."

    I've heard the New York Times list still uses the latter, while USA Today uses the former.

  9. #9
    Cathy C
    Guest

    Re: book sales tracking?

    Correct, Anthony. The NYTimes Bestseller's List is still based on bookseller ORDERS. These are "sales" because the bookseller is actually the publisher's only customers. This is why you can have a book on the NYTimes list before it's actually released (think Harry Potter or Lemony Snicket).

    The USA Today Bestseller's List is "point of sale" or actual cash register rings, so it's the more accurate of the two, as far as sales.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts