Author Topic: Sales Numbers  (Read 6738 times)

Lanternpost

  • Level 2
  • **
  • Posts: 19
  • Fell Points: 0
    • View Profile
Re: Sales Numbers
« Reply #30 on: July 31, 2006, 01:24:17 AM »
Thanks, everybody.  All cleared up.
It’s a beautiful world but everyone’s insane
Either you swim or either you fade
It’s a revolution time we’re sleeping at the wheel
Apocalypse child in a nuclear field.

EUOL

  • Moderator
  • Level 58
  • *
  • Posts: 4708
  • Fell Points: 33
  • Mr. Prolific [tm]
    • View Profile
    • Brandon Sanderson dot com
Re: Sales Numbers
« Reply #31 on: August 18, 2006, 07:31:26 PM »
Just got some sales numbers.  (My agent bought Bookscan finally.)

MISTBORN sold about 800 copies in its first week.  However, since then it has tapered off significantly, and is now actually selling less per week than ELANTRIS was.  Totals, however, still put it at about 200 copies more than ELANTRIS than at this point.  

The ELANTRIS paperback is holding very strong, selling about 500 copies a week.  The ELANTRIS hardback still sells around 20-30 copies a week.  

We'll know more in the next few months, obviously.  This looks okay.  Of course we'd rather have stronger numbers, but if we can end up selling about 10% more than ELANTRIS in the long run, I'll be happy, considering that this book is more expensive.  Still, if there's anyone you can persuade to buy the hardback, it would be very much appreciated....  
http://www.BrandonSanderson.com

"Technically, I don't even have a brain."--Fellfrosch

Peter Ahlstrom

  • Administrator
  • Level 59
  • *
  • Posts: 4902
  • Fell Points: 2
  • Assistant to Mr. Sanderson
    • View Profile
Re: Sales Numbers
« Reply #32 on: August 18, 2006, 09:46:02 PM »
Bookscan is expensive!

Elantris paperback is selling 500 per week? So it's sold around 7,000 by now?

I wonder how much difference for Elantris the Publishers Weekly review and the B&N pick of the week placement made.

It seemed to me that Elantris had a better scattering of cover quotes. The glowing Card review had not to hurt as well.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2006, 09:48:26 PM by OoklaTheMok »
All Saiyuki fans should check out Dazzle! Emotionally wrenching action-adventure and quirky humor! (At least read chapter 6 and tell me if you're not hooked.) Volume 10 out now!

EUOL

  • Moderator
  • Level 58
  • *
  • Posts: 4708
  • Fell Points: 33
  • Mr. Prolific [tm]
    • View Profile
    • Brandon Sanderson dot com
Re: Sales Numbers
« Reply #33 on: August 18, 2006, 09:55:56 PM »
7,800 on the pb so far, Ookla.  Unmodified bookscan, so it's probably a great deal higher.  

Yes, all of those are good points about ELANTRIS.  However, I have a feeling that not many of them mattered that much.  We like to pretend that all of those things are really important, but the truth is that:
1)  Pretty much everyone ignores PW, particularly consumers.  
2)  I'd be surprised if BN.com sold more than 50 copies of ELANTRIS in hardback.  They're a tiny, tiny market.

The Card quote, however, was probably a very big seller.  
http://www.BrandonSanderson.com

"Technically, I don't even have a brain."--Fellfrosch

Peter Ahlstrom

  • Administrator
  • Level 59
  • *
  • Posts: 4902
  • Fell Points: 2
  • Assistant to Mr. Sanderson
    • View Profile
Re: Sales Numbers
« Reply #34 on: August 18, 2006, 11:34:47 PM »
Being in the book business myself--though not on the "business" end of it, per se--I've been trying to figure out the big question--what causes books to sell? I really have no idea what effect TOKYOPOP advertising has on TOKYOPOP books, and there have been all sorts of things we've been trying up to and including making the TOKYOPOP website a sort of myspace for manga. In the end, I have a feeling that past a certain very low awareness point, it's just word of mouth.

There's a certain title we've got where both volumes that are out got starred reviews on PW (the head editor loves it), but they've sold like crap. The main problem is that the main market for it really doesn't read manga or comics. The author himself is very, very good at identifying people on the street who will like his book and going up to them and selling it to them. He has personally sold more copies that way than any one store.

Anyway, if it ends up that Elantris sells better than Mistborn, does that mean it's a better book? I think for raw entertainment value alone Mistborn beats Elantris, but is there something else people are looking for?
All Saiyuki fans should check out Dazzle! Emotionally wrenching action-adventure and quirky humor! (At least read chapter 6 and tell me if you're not hooked.) Volume 10 out now!

Spriggan

  • Administrator
  • Level 78
  • *****
  • Posts: 10582
  • Fell Points: 31
  • Yes, I am this awesome
    • View Profile
    • Legacies Lost
Re: Sales Numbers
« Reply #35 on: August 18, 2006, 11:45:54 PM »
I think the fact Elantris was a stand a lone book from a first time author had a lot to do with it, there were a lot of people talking about that fact on the book blogs and forums.
Screw it, I'm buying crayons and paper. I can imagineer my own adventures! Wheeee!

Chuck Norris is the reason Waldo is hiding.


stacer

  • Level 58
  • *
  • Posts: 4641
  • Fell Points: 0
    • View Profile
    • Stacy Whitman's Grimoire
Re: Sales Numbers
« Reply #36 on: August 19, 2006, 12:04:29 AM »
Ookla, you've also got librarians, teachers, and other gatekeepers in growing numbers starting to recognize the value of manga, so I think that's probably part of it, though I'm sure most of it is word of mouth through the readers themselves. That's an advantage that books written for the below-18 crowd have, though--if a book is well-reviewed, librarians and booksellers pay more attention, and are therefore more likely to read it themselves and handsell it. I'm sure for manga it's different than other children's books, but that's the buzz I'm hearing about manga from librarians.

I think reviews make a bit of a difference in the adult market in a similar way, but not nearly to the magnitude that they do in the children's/YA market, because in that market, the parents (usually controlling the money, up to a certain age at least) listen to the recommendations of the other gatekeepers a little more.

Advertising usually makes no impact whatsoever--reviews and word of mouth, radio and other interviews, and especially TV publicity like Oprah's picks or an author appearance on the Today Show are more likely to be influential than advertising. I think the reason is that with books, people want to know more about the story--either the story within the book, or the story of the author.

Since few books get put on NPR and Oprah, though, most authors have to settle for trying to get the word out via blogs, publisher-sponsored PR, appearances, signings, readings, etc.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2006, 12:05:52 AM by norroway »
Help start a small press dedicated to publishing multicultural fantasy and science fiction for children and young adults. http://preview.tinyurl.com/pzojaf.

Follow our blog at http://www.tupublishing.com
We're on Twitter, too! http://www.twitter.com/tupublishing

Bookstore Guy

  • Level 21
  • *
  • Posts: 1089
  • Fell Points: 2
    • View Profile
Re: Sales Numbers
« Reply #37 on: August 19, 2006, 12:25:00 AM »
1.  You also have to factor in the people who sell the book.  I sell just as much (and in many cases more) Brandon Sanderson novels than i do many other "popular-bestselling" authors.  If booksellers make an effort, it is actually very easy to get a person to buy a book.

2.  Some bookstores dont get the books to sell because the main suppliers dont send it out.  We didnt get any copies other than the ones we ordered directly from Tor.  

3.  Some stores don't actively look for new authors and new novels - why?  laziness - im am dead serious (B&N is the perfect example with Borders a close second).

4.  He's still a new author.  I know we all love his books, and no one that bought mistborn from me has complained AT ALL.  But, lets face it, many authors dont become big sellers until they either luck out, write something controversial or trashy, or have a large series that people look at and go, "Holy crap look at all these books!"  I had this exact conversation with EUOL the other day.  The more books he gets out the better the ALL will sell.

Those are my observations on the selling side of the book business.
Check out our blog, Elitist Book Reviews at:
http://elitistbookreviews.blogspot.com/

Peter Ahlstrom

  • Administrator
  • Level 59
  • *
  • Posts: 4902
  • Fell Points: 2
  • Assistant to Mr. Sanderson
    • View Profile
Re: Sales Numbers
« Reply #38 on: August 19, 2006, 05:17:28 AM »
Hmm. Distribution didn't send you any books? Does that mean Borders/Waldenbooks didn't get some copies for all their stores?

Scholastic should push Alcatraz hard, and if that does well, I wonder how it will affect the sales of Brandon's other books.

How much has Brandon gotten involved in other popular sites? I mean, I know his posting of Warbreaker was mentioned on boingboing, and I saw a couple interviews he did a few places...well, I guess he's making an effort. :)

Ah well...there's a lot that time will tell. Brandon doesn't have to be super-ultra-successful for a few years yet. Just successful enough that he keeps getting new book contracts. :)
« Last Edit: August 19, 2006, 05:19:34 AM by OoklaTheMok »
All Saiyuki fans should check out Dazzle! Emotionally wrenching action-adventure and quirky humor! (At least read chapter 6 and tell me if you're not hooked.) Volume 10 out now!

Spriggan

  • Administrator
  • Level 78
  • *****
  • Posts: 10582
  • Fell Points: 31
  • Yes, I am this awesome
    • View Profile
    • Legacies Lost
Re: Sales Numbers
« Reply #39 on: August 19, 2006, 04:01:27 PM »
You'll find him poping up on some book forums every once and a while, though there hasn't been as much forum activity for Mistborn as there was for elantris, but there are a lot more blog posts about the book.
Screw it, I'm buying crayons and paper. I can imagineer my own adventures! Wheeee!

Chuck Norris is the reason Waldo is hiding.


EUOL

  • Moderator
  • Level 58
  • *
  • Posts: 4708
  • Fell Points: 33
  • Mr. Prolific [tm]
    • View Profile
    • Brandon Sanderson dot com
Re: Sales Numbers
« Reply #40 on: August 20, 2006, 07:17:08 PM »
Here's what sells books (from what I've heard):  Word of mouth.

Somebody has to recommend it.  Either a bookseller or a friend.  

The other thing that has an effect is packaging--meaning how good it looks on the shelf, the cover quotes, and--very important--how many copes/books that author has on the shelf.  Steve is right.  People can ignore a single book or a couple of them. When an author starts to get a big stack, however, people think "Wow.  That's somebody I'd better read."

As for the sales numbers, remember--MISTBORN is outselling ELANTRIS.  By only about 15%, but still, sales are good.  I think the reason the last few weeks have been below was because the first few weeks were so good.  The better an author becomes known, the more his sales become front loaded.  Joshua says that his really big authors sell with a bang their first few weeks, then almost disappear.  
http://www.BrandonSanderson.com

"Technically, I don't even have a brain."--Fellfrosch