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Christian

Book Sales

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Here's a catch-all category to discuss sales of books -- yours, those of popular authors, industry trends. Anything related to book-sales.

I'll start with a movie tie-in tidbit, based on USA Today's sales data (bold emphasis mine):

Books made into movies are riding high on the list this winter and account for seven of this week's top 50 titles (more if you add in the Twilight titles that have been made into movies). Among them: The Lovely Bones at No. 6 and Shutter Island (in theaters Friday) at No. 13. So far this year about 12% of sales are from books made into movies, about the same percentage as the past few years.

Twelve percent strikes me as large, but the items notes that it's no different than in previous years.

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I've read the #1 book, and so far, nothing else. Sarah is reading The Help for her next book club selection.

USA Today's Top Sellers for the 2nd Quarter of 2010:

1. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

2. The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner by Stephenie Meyer

3. The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson

4. The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks

5. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson

6. Dead in the Family by Charlaine Harris

7.Burned by P.C. Cast, Kristin Cast

8. Savor the Moment by Nora Roberts

9. Women Food and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything by Geneen Roth

10. Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer

11. The Kane Chronicles, Book 1: The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan

12. The Wimpy Kid Movie Diary by Jeff Kinney

13. The Help by Kathryn Stockett

14. Spoken From the Heart by Laura Bush

15. The 9th Judgment by James Patterson, Maxine Paetro

16. Dear John by Nicholas Sparks

17. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

18. Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 5: The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan

19. Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer

20. Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 2: The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan

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I'm planning on reading Steig Larson's books, eventually.

I've read "The Help"

I've read "Dear John" and, while it was a good book, it's about all of Nicholas Sparks' writing I can handle. :blink:.

I'm passing on Stephanie Myers' books. :)

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Who buys books?

More than 40 percent of Americans over the age of 13 purchased a book; the average age of the American book buyer is 42.

Women make 64 percent of all book purchases, even among detective stories and thrillers, where they buy more than 60 percent of that genre.

Thirty two percent of the books purchased in 2009 were from households earning less than $32,000 annually. A fifth of those sales were for children's books.

The biggest nonfiction genre is biography and autobiography.

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USA Today's best-selling books of 2010 is topped by three Stieg Larsson titles and the George W. Bush autobiography.

No. 100? Goodnight Moon, by Margaret Wise Brown. :)

Edited by Christian

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The New York Times revamps its best-seller lists to incorporate e-books.

On the Web, there are three entirely new lists. One consists of rankings for fiction and nonfiction that combine print and e-book sales; one is limited exclusively to e-book sales for fiction and nonfiction; and the third, Web-only list tracks combined print sales — of both hardcover and paperback editions — for fiction and nonfiction.

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More sales data coming in, and things appear to be -- are you ready for this? -- looking up for the publishing industry.

BookStats, a comprehensive survey conducted by two major trade groups that was released early Tuesday, revealed that in 2010 publishers generated net revenue of $27.9 billion, a 5.6 percent increase over 2008. Publishers sold 2.57 billion books in all formats in 2010, a 4.1 percent increase since 2008. ...

Higher education was especially strong, selling $4.55 billion in 2010, up 18.7 percent in three years, a trend that Ms. Jordan suggested could be traced to the expansion of two-year and community colleges and the inclination to return to school during a rough economy.

Sales of trade books grew 5.8 percent to $13.9 billion, fueled partly by e-books, the report said. Juvenile books, which include the current young-adult craze for paranormal and dystopian fiction, grew 6.6 percent over three years.

One of the strongest growth areas was adult fiction, which had a revenue increase of 8.8 percent over three years.

E-books were another bright spot, thanks to the proliferation and declining cost of e-reading devices like the Nook by Barnes & Noble and Amazon’s Kindle, and the rush by publishers to digitize older books.

In 2008 e-books were 0.6 percent of the total trade market; in 2010, they were 6.4 percent.

But then this major caveat:

The survey does not include sales data from 2011, a year of substantial e-book growth. In its monthly snapshots of the industry so far this year, the Association of American Publishers has also tracked some decline in print sales.

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When was the last time you bought a mass market paperback? I can't recall the last time I did so, unless we count the latest Atkins book, The New Atkins for a New You. But it's an oversized paperback. I'm thinking "mass market paperback" refers to the compact fiction titles I grew up reading -- Stephen King, et al.

A comprehensive survey released last month by the Association of American Publishers and the Book Industry Study Group revealed that while the publishing industry had expanded over all, publishers’ mass-market paperback sales had fallen 14 percent since 2008. ...

Cost-conscious readers who used to wait for the heavily discounted paperback have now realized that the e-book edition, available on the first day the book is published, can be about the same price. For devoted readers of novels, people who sometimes voraciously consume several books in a single week, e-books are a natural fit.

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The book industry has been trying to phase the mass market out for years. When I worked at Borders, I remember getting boxes full of — I still have no clue what their official name is — paperbacks that were the height of trade paperbacks, but the width of mass markets. Customers hated them. They'd either buy the mass market (if it was available) or get the trade copy. These mutant hybrids just collected dust before we sent them back. Still, they finally held on for good recently. I've been buying Jim Butcher's Dresden Files series, and it's getting increasing harder to find mass markets. As much as I want to keep all of my editions / formats consistent, I've reverted to digging up the first-edition mass market versions from used bookstores.

The article is right, though — mass markets were mostly for genre fiction, and ebooks are killing in that area.

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I'd been telling friends that the lack of a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction this year was the best thing that could've happened to the three finalists -- David Foster Wallace's The Pale King, Denis Johnson's Train Dreams and Karen Russell's Swamplandia -- because the publicity surrounding the nondecision mentioned those titles over and over again. Great publicity!

Publishers Weekly has the post-nondecision sales figures for each book, and they support my thesis, although the sales increases aren't exactly through the roof:

The three finalists, however, all saw spikes following the awards, even if they didn’t actually win. The Pale King by David Foster Wallace, released in paperback just before the April 16 Pulitzer announcement, saw its weekly sales double from 613 copies to 1,261 copies, according to BookScan. Weekly sales for Denis Johnson’s Train Dreams jumped from 711 to 1,334 following the announcement. The real fiction winner, though, is third finalist Swamplandia! by Karen Russell, which jumped from 933 copies sold to 2,382 copies, and then to 2,413 copies the next week, according to BookScan. All three fiction finalists are still holding steady sales five weeks after the announcement, all posting higher weekly numbers, respectively, than before they were revealed as finalists. The main difference is that the weekly sales for past fiction winners were much higher (5,000 copies and higher per week) than for any 2012 fiction finalist (between 1,000 and 2,000 copies). The takeaway: while none of the three fiction finalists saw as dramatic of a sales spike as any of the Pulitzer fiction winners we profiled in last month’s article, the three spikes, taken together, amount to a respectable increase.

http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/book-news/awards-and-prizes/article/52086-the-pulitzer-effect-how-much-did-2012--s-winners-jump-.html

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I don't know if anyone else here habitually looks at best-seller lists. The lists can be dispiriting -- the same authors dominating the lists, often with multiple titles "co-authored" with others (or, I suspect, flat out ghost-written). But I do enjoy seeing the latest literary fiction titles that make the list.

Here's my question: The NY Times lists now include, in addition to Hardcover (and Paperback) Fiction and Nonfiction, categories under "Print & EBooks" for both fiction and nonfiction.

My tendency is to still go to the non-ebook lists, knowing that they won't include 50 Shades of Gray. But do others access, or prefer, the combined lists, which are more accurate reflections of total sales (I suppose)? I'm not sure why this matters to me, but I'm curious.

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I read ebooks that I buy and hardcover books that I check out from the library.

i prefer reading short stories on paper because knowing when the ending will come seems important. Also, magazine articles supersized into books are very obvious on ereaders and feel like a waste of time. What's The Matter With Kindle?

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I don't know if anyone else here habitually looks at best-seller lists. The lists can be dispiriting -- the same authors dominating the lists, often with multiple titles "co-authored" with others (or, I suspect, flat out ghost-written). But I do enjoy seeing the latest literary fiction titles that make the list.

Here's my question: The NY Times lists now include, in addition to Hardcover (and Paperback) Fiction and Nonfiction, categories under "Print & EBooks" for both fiction and nonfiction.

My tendency is to still go to the non-ebook lists, knowing that they won't include 50 Shades of Gray. But do others access, or prefer, the combined lists, which are more accurate reflections of total sales (I suppose)? I'm not sure why this matters to me, but I'm curious.

I listen to the New York Times Book Review podcast on a weekly basis, and they always devote the last section to weekly best-seller list. The host, Sam Tanenhaus, drives me nuts but I really haven't found any other podcast devoted to best-seller lists.

To answer your question, though, the combined list doesn't bother me too much. As much as I would like separate lists, I can understand why they put them together.

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I can't find it online, but today's print edition of USA Today introduces its Best Sellers list by noting that only 9 of the 150 top titles are selling more in their electronic format than in their print format. They note that ebook sales always spike after Christmas, but even so, I find that pre-Christmas sales statistic/breakdown is eye-popping.

Edited by Christian

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I figured the BJ Novak book would appeal to a select fan base, but I didn't anticiapte it debuting at #2 on the Washington Post Hardcover Fiction Best Sellers list.

Edited by Christian

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