Google Answers Logo
View Question
Q: Average sale of a new book release ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   3 Comments )
Subject: Average sale of a new book release
Category: Reference, Education and News > Consumer Information
Asked by: ma0213-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 08 Dec 2005 13:36 PST
Expires: 07 Jan 2006 13:36 PST
Question ID: 603348
I found a report on the internet once that said the average number of
copies sold of a new book published by major publishers is 6,000. I
would like to verify this statistic.

Clarification of Question by ma0213-ga on 08 Dec 2005 13:37 PST
A book editor once told me that 20,000 in sales for a new release
would be a "magnificent sum," so I know the figure of 6,000 that I
found is in the ballpark.

Request for Question Clarification by googlenut-ga on 08 Dec 2005 21:26 PST
Hello ma0213-ga,

I found several webpages that quote a number for the average number of
copies sold of a newly published book.  However, the one site that I
have found, which provides the most recent number and appears to me to
be the most reputable, gives a number close to 12,000.  Would you like
me to post this information and a link to the website as the answer to
your question?


Clarification of Question by ma0213-ga on 09 Dec 2005 02:46 PST
Hello Googlenut,

Yes, I would like the info & the link. I want a credible source to
quote in an interview. My husband and I are both authors. He's getting
ready to do some interviews that are critical of publishing. He needs
to be correct in what he says. Thank you very  much!
Subject: Re: Average sale of a new book release
Answered By: googlenut-ga on 09 Dec 2005 10:09 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello ma0213-ga,

A November 2005 article in Fast Company Magazine states that the
average number of copies sold of a book is 11,800.

Fast Company Magazine
Getting on the Same Page
November 2005
A book by the average author--that is, the average author who manages
to find an agent and land a deal--sells just 11,800 copies, according
to the Book Industry Study Group, a nonprofit research organization,
and RR Bowker, a provider of bibliographic information.

Here are a few of the other references that I found:

Vermonters for Better Education
November 18, 2002
Thus, whatever the difficulties of getting published, the greater
challenge is to have a book win even a modest degree of attention.
With 70,000 books a year it is statistically impossible for more than
a few to succeed. It has been said that, despite the occasional
million-seller, the average book sells about 5,000 copies -- which
means that many, perhaps most, sell far fewer than that.
Book Industry Statistics
?A successful fiction book sells 5,000 copies. 
  --Authors Guild. 

A successful nonfiction book sells 7,500 copies. 
  --Authors Guild.
How To Sell Your Photos for Books, Postcards and Stock Photography
?Finding a book publisher is very difficult. A typical book sells only
1,000 to 3,000 copies. A large publisher would only consider a book if
they think it will sell more than 20,000 copies. So why will your book
sell seven times more than the average book? There needs to be a very
good answer!?
Goleta DeskTop Publishing UG December 2001 Meeting Report
?Bill stated that the average book sells ~7500 copies, including
million-sellers and flops.?

I hope this helps.  If you have any questions, please let me know by
using the request for clarification feature, prior to rating the


Google Search Terms:

average copies sold "new book"

"books sold" average published

copies sold book publishing average number

"average book" copies sold OR sells ?amazon

"average book" copies sold OR sells us
ma0213-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $2.00
Very satisfactory! Thank you very much!

Subject: Re: Average sale of a new book release
From: atk-ga on 08 Dec 2005 18:50 PST
I've heard that figures around that amount too, and while I can't
point to a source (maybe it's from a Book Industry Study Group market
research study or something...) I have no reason to doubt its

For what it's worth, I'll just chime in that this would very much be
one of those situations where when speaking of "average" it would be
the "median" that would be more meaningful rather than the
perhaps-more-tempting definition of "average" as "arithmetic mean."
Subject: Re: Average sale of a new book release
From: ma0213-ga on 09 Dec 2005 07:46 PST
Thanks, atk. That's good advice.
Subject: Re: Average sale of a new book release
From: googlenut-ga on 09 Dec 2005 12:22 PST

Thank you for the tip!

I'm glad you are happy with the answer.


Important Disclaimer: Answers and comments provided on Google Answers are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Google does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. Please read carefully the Google Answers Terms of Service.

If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by emailing us at with the question ID listed above. Thank you.
Search Google Answers for
Google Answers  

Google Home - Answers FAQ - Terms of Service - Privacy Policy