I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God
so that you may know that you have eternal life. [1 John 5:13]

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Where Books Are Sold

I read this information at


RR Bowker reported at the most recent Book Expo where books were sold in 2008. The nonwriter assumes major bookstores carry the elephant's share of book sales, but not so.

(Data collected at www.anvilpub.com)

23% purchased through online purchase/e-commerce
22% sold through large chains (Barnes & Noble, Borders, Books-a-Million)
22% through a variety of "Other outlets" which includes author
hand-to-hand sales, churches and other organizations, craft
fairs, speakers selling from the back of the auditorium, etc.
10% sold through book clubs
7% through independents
6% through mass merchandisers (Wal-Mart, Target, Kmart)
4% through warehouse clubs (Sam's, Costco, BJs)
2% through supermarket/grocery stores
1% each through discount stores, drug stores, religious bookstores
and book fairs

The first two didn't surprise me. But "other outlets" blew me away. That's sweaty, back-breaking self-promotion. Sales in a hodge-podge of venues can equal the sales in big boy bookstores. I'm blown away.

I've reached some conclusions.

1. Don't tell me a platform can't be lucrative. Don't tell me a
platform isn't absolutely necessary, either.

2. Face-time self-promotion is serious to a successful author.

3. Book fairs don't amount to many sales. Tells me to put more
time investment into online business or speaking.

4. Book clubs merit attention. All this talk about people reading
less doesn't apply here. These clubbers are serious buyers.

5. An online presence is mandatory. You better learn whatever you
don't understand about websites, blogs, social networking and
affiliate programs.

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Blessings on your journey.

1 comment:

Chatty Kelly said...

Wow, great Mary! Thanks for the information.