Monday, February 18, 2008

Pesky Book Sales Numbers

Last August, I wrote about the challenge that anyone who works on the outside of a particular publishing house has to get sales numbers for a competitor. We look for these numbers as you write the competition section of your book proposal and just work in general to understand the marketplace. If you didn't read this post from last August, please do so and follow the links in it which give some additional instruction.

In the general marketplace, in my opinion often too much emphasis is placed on Nielsen Bookscan. I can think of a missed opportunity that I was involved in a couple of years ago. Our publishing house missed the opportunity and didn't make a high enough offer for a project because the leader based their projected sales figures on information from Bookscan. In general you can't do that with the Christian marketplace because many sales do not show up on Bookscan.

While the information is a couple of months old, last weekend I found this post on Galley Cat at Media Bistro. It points out some places that Bookscan doesn't report like Walmart/ Sam's Club and the Christian Booksellers Association. Why does anyone care about the exact sales figures of Become A Better You? The rumor within the book circles was Joel Osteen received a $13 million advance for this book. If it is true, you have to sell a lot of books to make back that $13 million.

I found this discussion interesting--and hopefully you will as well.

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1 Comment:

At 3:49 AM, Blogger Kristi Holl Left a note...

My word! Thirteen million dollars for an advance??? Boggles the mind. If that's true, no wonder he gets so much advertising. They really need to sell a LOT of books to make that back!


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