Here are some interesting statistics I’ve come across.
- Books news and publishing-industry statistics have posted this interesting tidbit: “The New York Times reports that ‘According to a recent survey, 81 percent of people feel that they have a book in them … and should write it.’ ”
- However, lots of Americans DO NOT read for pleasure. I don’t know if they’re the same people who want to write a book or not, but 33% of those who graduate from high school and 42% of college graduates confess that they haven’t read a book since leaving school.
- Eighty percent of American families didn’t purchase a book last year.
- According to bookwire.com, about 120, 000 books are published yearly in the U.S.
- Of those published, a fiction book is considered successful if it sells 5,000 copies.
- A non-fiction book finishes in the black if it sells at least 7,500 copies.
- Jane Smith, blogging on how publishing really works, reported that the average self- published book sells only a paltry number -- between 40 and 200 copies.
- But not all self-published books generate a tiny number of sales. USA Today possesses a searchable database with 10 years of best-seller data and it’s interesting to note the all- time best-selling writing/reference guide in the United States is The Elements of Style by Strunk and White, originally a self-published book. Other authors who have self-published a novel or novels and sold lots of books are: Beatrix Potter, Amanda Hocking, Richard Paul Evans, L Ron Hubbard, Mark Twain, Christopher Paolini and Brandon Massey.
- Because of the small sales numbers, 70% of new books coming out don’t make a profit or even earn back their advance.
- Of the books that are purchased apparently only 57 percent are read cover-to-cover.
- A survey of 4,000 adults in the United Kingdom conducted by Teletext reported that 55% said they bought books for decoration, such as coffee-table books, with no intention of actually reading them.
- This is probably why “Seventy-five percent of 300 booksellers surveyed (half from independent bookstores and half from chains) identified the look and design of the book cover as the most important component.”
- A point of hope in getting more Americans involved in reading might be the increase in e-book sales. The International Digital Publishing Forum and the Association of American Publishers state that January 2010 e-book sales were 370 percent greater than those in January 2009.
These statistics can be discouraging. They reveal how intrepid the wanna-be published author must be. They make me admire those who put their books out there whether by self-publishing or through the traditional publishing houses.
I agree with Carl Sautter, an Emmy-nominated writer who worked on such television series as "Beverly Hills 90210" and "Moonlighting." He once said, “When you start writing stories that only you can write, you raise yourself as a writer to a whole new level.”
I’d like to read the stories of those 80% of Americans who feel they have a story inside them. In an effort to encourage one such person, my friend Erin Danzer, I’d like to introduce you to her and her tales. Erin has felt the compulsion and has done something about it. Multiple times.
She lives in Wisconsin with her husband and two sons. Erin has 20 years of writing experience. Her goal is to make her lifelong hobby a dream-come-true by self-publishing her stories and sharing them with the public. Over the past few years she’s gone indie and published three books, a series entitled The Mason Ridge Trilogy.
If you’re a paranormal romance reader, this series maybe right up your alley—it’s a stirring love story set in Wisconsin that involves werewolves, vampires and an ancient curse.
The third book in her trilogy Losing It All is coming out this month.
All three books are available through Createspace.com or through Erin’s Website: http://erindanzer.webs.com/. You can contact Erin at: email@example.com She and I would love to hear from you. Feel free to share your take on the publishing statistics or leave a comment about Erin’s novels. Thanks.
http://www.humorwriters.org/startlingstats.html (This is an excellent article by Robyn Jackson definitely worth a look.)
http://selfpublishingresources.com/resources/books-news-and-publishing-industry-statistics/ (This has many more great and encouraging facts I couldn’t fit into this Thursday Thirteen.)