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How many copies do you need to sell to personally consider yourself 'successful'?

superluminal23

first registered 20.06.12

last online 188 days ago

I've read that only 2% of all books published today sell more than 5,000. On the other hand, I see a lot of authors, including self-published ones that claim that they make a decent amount of money from sales each month. I'd think that if you had a book published (either self or with a publishing house) and sold zero copies, you'd have to say that you were not a successful author. But how many copies do you think you'd need to feel satisfied?

Personally, I don't write for money, and I'm just as happy to see someone take a free copy of one of my ebooks off my website as pay for it, so my satisfaction comes from generating buzz and hearing other people 'like' my work (via reviews on amazon or goodreads or wherever). But I still feel very unsatisfied when I only get a few sales/downloads of my work.

Obviously the answer is going to be different for everyone. Stephen King would probably think a book that only sold 100k copies was a complete failure, but a self-published unknown author might be thrilled to sell 50 copies. How many copies of your book would you like to se sold?




Posted: 27/06/2012 17:51:29

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liberscriptus

first registered 09.02.12

last online 310 days ago

I'd be happy with 100 sales to people who aren't family/friends Smile

Posted: 27/06/2012 20:47:56

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JasonMatthews

first registered 28.10.09

last online 2 days ago

One million books sold, that's my first goal. We can adjust after that Smile

Posted: 28/06/2012 04:39:18

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M. A. McRae.

first registered 01.02.10

last online 5 hours ago

I've read that only 2% of all books published today sell more than 5,000. On the other hand, I see a lot of authors, including self-published ones that claim that they make a decent amount of money from sales each month. I'd think that if you had a book published (either self or with a publishing house) and sold zero copies, you'd have to say that you were not a successful author. But how many copies do you think you'd need to feel satisfied?

Personally, I don't write for money, and I'm just as happy to see someone take a free copy of one of my ebooks off my website as pay for it, so my satisfaction comes from generating buzz and hearing other people 'like' my work (via reviews on amazon or goodreads or wherever). But I still feel very unsatisfied when I only get a few sales/downloads of my work.

Obviously the answer is going to be different for everyone. Stephen King would probably think a book that only sold 100k copies was a complete failure, but a self-published unknown author might be thrilled to sell 50 copies. How many copies of your book would you like to se sold?


<nolink>close quotes</nolink>

I've been wondering that myself - just how many before one can claim to be 'successful?' More than 50, I think, more than 200? and family and friends don't count - not that my family are at all interested in buying anything I wrote, though online friends have been very supportive. And still, a 5 star review from a stranger is an absolute thrill. No, I don't think I've anywhere near made it - not that it hasn't been fun.

Posted: 28/06/2012 05:05:56

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Perdu Shoshanna

first registered 20.07.10

last online 36 days ago

One million books sold, that's my first goal. We can adjust after that Smile <nolink>close quotes</nolink>

Wink Open-mouthed

Posted: 28/06/2012 05:07:38

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Racheal McGillivary

first registered 29.05.12

last online 134 days ago

I would be happy to sell one more than the ten I have sold so far.

Posted: 28/06/2012 05:14:34

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AnnabelleCrowne

first registered 08.05.12

last online 73 days ago

Probably you can only decide by looking at what the industry norm is. I sat next to an author last night who sold 4,000 copies of his last book. I'm in Austria at the moment, and 4,000 copies for this genre in this market is a stonking success. He rightfully feels very proud of himself. If he only sold 4,000 copies in the US, he would never get another contract.

Posted: 28/06/2012 08:50:49

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DDickson

first registered 28.06.09

last online 5 hours ago

I am not sure that I would measure "successful" in terms of sales. I think that success is different things to different people and putting the manuscripts together, turning them into Kindles and then seeing some genuine sales and, the biggest thrill of all, that email from Amazon telling me about the deposit in my account and that's success to me. I don't think that I am setting my sights low particularly its just that having been through the whole query letter - rejection slip thing in the days before the internet - yes children there was a time when there was no internet - then having my name in the same virtual bookshop as Mr Pratchett, Mr King and even for heaven's sake Mr Shakespeare makes me happy. Happy = Success.

Posted: 28/06/2012 09:06:28
Last Edit: 28/06/2012 11:06:18 by DDickson

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AnnabelleCrowne

first registered 08.05.12

last online 73 days ago

That's probably the very best way to measure success.

I'd bet, though, that many authors sneakily want to know if they're 'successful' by the measure of how they're doing in the market, or against their peers. Sales are, at least, one way to measure that.


Posted: 28/06/2012 10:28:15

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NMott

first registered 10.06.10

last online 5 hours ago

"How many copies do you need to sell to personally consider yourself 'successful'?"

To quote one author "One more." - authors are never satisfied. Even the ones who win Man Booker prizes are not satisfied.


Posted: 28/06/2012 18:22:39
Last Edit: 28/06/2012 18:25:24 by NMott

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