Sales of my first book

Oh Sugar! front cover

It has been nine months since my first book Oh Sugar! was published and ever since then I have been wondering how well its been selling (Amazon rankings give you a clue but they don’t necessarily reflect book sales in shops).

Last month I got my grubby mitts on the sales figures! Before I go into the numbers, here are four perturbing facts about book sales, which will help to put things into context:

1. Most books don’t out-sell their first print run.

2. The average book sells between 250-3000 copies in its lifetime.

3. If a book sells 10,000 copies in its lifetime it is considered a success.

4. Qualifying as a ‘bestseller’ depends on all sorts of factors, including the genre and format of the book. In the UK, a hardcover book could be considered a ‘bestseller’ if it had sales of 4,000+ copies a week. To hit the New York Times Bestseller list, you’ll need to sell around 9,000 copies in the first week.

These figures were quite a revelation to me. In the fantasy world of my head, I imagined bestsellers sold millions of copies. In reality, some do, but for the majority, the figures are slightly more underwhelming. Even more so for the average non-bestseller.

So, bearing this in mind, here are my sales figures:

1. Oh Sugar! is on its second print run.

2. The publishers – Summersdale – have sold over 7000 copies.

3. It has been as high as 3,561 on the Amazon bestseller rank (there are over 6 million books on Amazon) and number 3 in the Eating Disorders category (not quite what I was expecting!) 

What does this all mean? Well, Oh Sugar! is most definitely NOT a bestseller. But then I wasn’t expecting this for a first book by an unknown author, released with very little fanfare (that’s the book I’m talking about; I haven’t just come out of prison).

On the other hand, it’s not a complete flop either. It has sold a respectable amount. And that deserves a celebratory dance in my book.

Snoopy dancing

Next time: News of an exciting new venture…

4 thoughts on “Sales of my first book”

  1. Respectable doesn’t even come close. That’s a definite ‘top seller’ in my book (‘scuse the pun!). J.K. Rowling had better be looking over her shoulder! : ) x


  2. Hi Katherine. That sounds like a very successful book to me. It most definitely is a best seller and you are a very talented writer. I learned so much from Oh Sugar! Thank you x


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