Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid
There is a fortune at the bottom of the publishing pyramid. Most book printers work with publishers in the hope of printing a book that sells 5,000 copies, or more. Those titles are a small fraction of the titles published each year. There is greater opportunity for book printers with books that sell fewer copies because there are more of them.
Fewer sales of more titles has been the trend for many years. Statistics from BookScan for 2004 validate that trend. Over one million titles sold 5,000 copies or less.
Who prints those books? And how many copies were printed on the first print run? Clearly there is an opportunity for a book printer willing to identify and market to the publishers producing books that sell fewer than 5,000 copies.
BOOKSCAN REPORTS BOOKSTORE SALES IN THE US FOR 2004
SALES PER TITLE: Of the 1.24 Million ISBN titles in print
10 titles sold. . . . . 1 million or more copies
22 titles sold . . . . 500,000 - 999,999 copies
324 titles sold . . . . 100,000 - 499,999 copies
767 titles sold . . . . .50,000 - 99,999 copies
23,000 titles sold . . .5,000 - 49,999 copies
67,000 titles sold . . .1,000 - 4,999 copies
202,300 titles sold . . 100 - 999 copies
948,000 titles sold . . 1 - 99 copies
Average sale per ISBN through bookstores: 15 copies
(Based on BookScan-Sales from 4,000 retailers, excluding supermarkets)
Bookscan does not get numbers from all bookstores and does not count sales made by the 82,000+ publishers in the U.S. to individuals and stores outside the book trade.
So, bookstores move the higher-selling books and far more books are sold outside the booktrade.
Statistics for this post are courtesy of Dan Poynter from his newsletter, "Publishing Poynters."
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