Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Just How Many Books Do You Have To Sell To Get Some Respect Around Here?

For the next week or more we're going to be subjected to yearly round-ups and best of/worst of the year lists on absolutely everything. On Sunday The Hartford Courant got things started here in the Land of Steady Habits and Regular Income with an AP story called Publishing Hits, Misses of 2007. Among the misses, it claimed, was The Higher Power of Lucky because it "only" sold 49,000 copies.

I found that statement incredibly thought provoking. How many copies does a children's book have to sell in order to be considered successful? What does a publisher want to see for sales figures? Does Lucky's publisher consider it a "miss?" How many copies do Newbery winners usually sell?

The children's book the article considered a hit was The Dangerous Book for Boys. It didn't include a specific sales figure for that title but did offer the information that it has sold more than If I Did It, which is supposed to have sold more than 100,000 copies.

In this particular article, "hits" were books that had sold more than If I Did It , while "misses" were books that had sold less. There's a lovely standard for success for you.

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