Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Tag Archives: National Public Radio

How Many Sales Does It Take to Make a Book a “Success”?


The answer to this post’s title depends on who you ask.

Author Earnings and Book Sales

Image courtesy of Thiago Felipe Festa ~ http://www.freeimages.com/profile/thiagofest

The author, the publisher, and the readers would have different opinions.

My past post—What About All The Authors Whose Books Don’t Sell Very Many Copies?—says, “An extremely small percentage of writers sells more than 500 copies of a book…”

So, is a successful book one that sells 600 copies, a thousand, hundreds of thousands?

Again, it depends on who you ask

An article about book sales, from National Public Radio in the U.S.A., has Washington Post critic Ron Charles saying:

“When I saw that Anne Enright — [who] I think of as giant in literary fiction, beloved around the world — could only sell 9,000 copies [of The Green Road] in the U.K. I was shocked, that’s really low.”

The Authors Guild in the U.S.A. recently did a member survey that showed a decided drop in book sales per author; however, their members are either traditionally published or have book-earnings of around $3,300 a year

The National Public Radio article goes on to quote Barry Eisler (who’s mentioned in a number of my posts):

“I mean, there are lots of writers … thousands of writers who are making a good living from self-publishing.”

The article continues:

“Eisler is a self-publishing advocate who says the Authors Guild doesn’t represent all writers. Its membership skews older and it is mostly interested in maintaining the status quo of traditional publishing. Self-publishing may not be for everyone, he says. There is no question writers have to be more entrepreneurial. But he says it also offers them a choice when it comes to money and control — and the end result isn’t really all that different from traditional publishing.”

So, self-publishing might help sell more but doesn’t guarantee anything

Roxana Robinson, president of the Authors Guild, says:

“We can’t tell people not to write for free. It’s not to their advantage to do it. But if they want to do it, they will do it.”

If you’re a writer and are still reading this post, would you consider responding to Roxana’s statement in the Comments?
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“Best” Books of 2014


Doing a Best of Year post for books isn’t wise before the end of the year; but, “Best” books is very subjective; so, I’ll give you some today :-) 

Book Gifts

Image Courtesy of Nathalie Dulex ~ http://www.freeimages.com/profile/salsachica

My other reason is that many folks celebrate Christmas and might be frantically looking for a few gifts

I have two subjective offerings:

* A rather neat page from NPR (National Public Radio) that lets you filter (in the left side-bar) their list of picks for best books—NPR’s Book Concierge.

* A selection from one of the most popular reader sites—2014 Goodreads Choice Awards.

And, even though I have a Kindle Fire HDX for my reading, Amazon has brought out a dedicated e-reader—no movies, weather apps, or other such stuff—just Reading—Amazon’s Kindle Voyage Is the Lamborghini of E-Readers.

A couple quotes from that article:

“Readers don’t necessarily want to read on tablets or phones. I’m not saying that many don’t end up doing so, but if you’re reading a lot, staring at a backlit screen in the way that you tend to when you’re reading line after line of digital text…is going to drive you crazy or wreak havoc on your eyesight.”

“It’s still expensive by e-reader standards [$219 right now], but if you spend more than two hours a day with your nose in a book, and the price doesn’t immediately cause you to say, ‘Nope, can’t afford it’, you need to consider it. Because it’s state of the art e-reading; it finally delivers on the promise.”

The article covers all the major new features of the Voyage and makes enough comparisons for a rational decision

And, for gifts for readers, all year ’round, click on the link in the left side-bar of this blog that says Gone Reading

Do you have a favorite book from 2014?

How about your favorite reading device?

Tell us about them in the Comments :-)
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Check Out Our Latest Poll…
Read Some Strange Fantasies
Grab A Free Novel…
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
To Leave A Comment, Use The Link At The Top-Right of The Post :-)
For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com