Sunday, May 6, 2018

Strange Sales Patterns For Books Emerges

A few sales can make a difference.  Just look at the best-seller charts.

Publishers Weekly’s Hardcover Frontlist Fiction Adult Bestseller List for April 16-22 revealed some interesting anomalies.  The top book The Fallen by David Baldacci, ran away with the top spot, outselling his nearest competitor by 52,000 copies.  Spots three through 10 were only separated by 560 copies. A few here or there could have catapulted #10 Red Alert to No. 3.

On the Hardcover Frontlist Nonfiction Adult Bestseller list for that same period, one odd thing sticks out.  The top book, A Higher Loyalty, by ex-FBI boss James D. Comey, sold three times as many books as spots 2-20 combined.  Yes, you read that correctly.  His 357,459 sales cannibalized the list.

Another unusual statistic regarding sales is that the top-selling e-book from traditional publishers in 2017 was a book that was published decades ago, The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood.

Lastly, and most importantly, the number of e-books from traditional publishers is crashing.  After falling 14% in 2016 from 2015, they fell another 10% from last year.  162 million e-books were sold in 2017. However 44% of all adult fiction is sold as an e-book, while just 5% of children’s book sales came via an e-book.


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Brian Feinblum’s insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are his alone and not that of his employer or anyone else. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2018. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by as a "best resource.”

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