Thursday, September 27, 2007

Hunting Data from the Big Dog--veinglory

You know my friend the wiggly graph here. Well it is about to get some friends. I have enough data for several publishers to begin to track the sales levels of books specific to that press. But in order to really demonstrate the range I would be very interested in getting more data relating to publishers at the upper and lower end of the scale.

So far authors at Loose Id and Liquid Silver have been the first to step up, representing almost half of the total data set. These are the 'upper middle list' publishers and I think tend to produce an average that is maybe a little higher than is typical. In fact this is already some evidence for this in that the mean first month sales are 176, but the median (the sales of the book that falls in the middle when they are orders from most to least sales) is only 94 copies.

It is all a matter of statistics really. It may be that 80% or more of ebooks make less than the current average of 176--but some of the books that make more, make a whole lot more. I am thinking here primarily of Ellora's Cave. The average first month sales I have for them is based on a small and highly variable data set--coming in at 1440 copies. This Makes Elloras Cave apparently quite literally in a class of its own.

So in the interests of getting a clear picture I want to specifically encourage authors at Ellora's Cave to send me your sales figures so we can start to track just how ahead of the pack they are, and how the gap varies over time. I would also encourage those of authors publishing with smaller, newer presses to send me your information to help balance the picture. Just email veinglory at with as much as you can of the following: first month samles, first year sales, total sales to date, sales to end of contract.


Anonymous said...

You might want to check out Brenda Hiatt's site ( and click on "Show me the Money"). She's done a similar analysis. It hasn't been updated in a year, however. But it will give a piece of the picture to you.

As for me, I write with Ellora's Cave and can tell you my first month release numbers run around the 1400 mark as well as far as number of ebooks sold. Print varies as we get paid when EC gets paid and the booksellers are known for taking their time (they have 90 days from receipt of the book to actually PAY EC for it). So while those numbers are good...they really are difficult to break down in any sane fashion.

But ebooks? Yeah, I'd say 1400 ish is a realistic number for first-month sales.

Diana Hunter (who has a firewall that keeps her from posting as herself! Sorry for the 'anonymous tag)

veinglory said...

I see two typos in my post. I swear they weren't there when I posted it :(

It is good to know that I am in the right general area. Interestingly recent Loose Id sales are getting up in the 800-900 range. But then some of the recent EC sales are in the multi-thousands....

Anonymous said...

Emily, do you only want full length novel sales, or are novellas fine?

I have Phaze and Torquere numbers on a couple of novellas. I won't have EC numbers until Dec.

veinglory said...

Currently I am going for all works over 20,000 words in total. :)