Indicators of Repeat Printing Business
Which books sell best? Book printers want to know because it means repeat business to them. Unfortunately, there’s really no way to know for sure. Who would have thought “What Men Know About Women” (a blank book) or “Jonathan Livingston Seagull” would sell as well as they did?
Evaluating a book potential for repeat business is challenging. It is more of an art form than a science. While there are no hard-and-fast rules, here are some statistics to remember.
A breakdown of book sales by genre looks like this according to the Romance Writers of America:
12.9% General Fiction
11.8% Other Fiction
6.4% Science Fiction
Women buy 72% of all books (An even higher percentage if you examine book sales of novels. Men buy non-fiction, as a rule).
It’s clear what sells—romance or mystery thrillers. A novel with a woman as the leading character helps sell books since women are the primary buyers.
The big publishing houses, such as Random House or Simon & Schuester, will have the big name authors like Sue Grafton, Tony Hillerman or Michael Crichton. The big publishing houses print with the big printers. There may be little hope of landing an established author of this magnitude.
There is, however, a chance to catch a rising new author, such as Louise Gaylord (Anacacho and XS) or Steve Burt (A Christmas Dozen and Odd Lot). These authors print hundreds and thousands of their books (as opposed to the tens and hundreds of thousands sold by the established authors). This is good printing work, when you can get it.
Be on the lookout for authors who write in the popular categories above. Look especially for those authors who appeal to women—the book-buying public. When you find on, you’ll increase your chances for repeat business dramatically.
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