WRITING MY FIRST HEALTH BOOK (Oh Sugar!)

Sales of my first book

Oh Sugar! front cover

It has been nine months since my first book Oh Sugar! was published and ever since then I have been wondering how well its been selling (Amazon rankings give you a clue but they don’t necessarily reflect book sales in shops).

Last month I got my grubby mitts on the sales figures! Before I go into the numbers, here are four perturbing facts about book sales, which will help to put things into context:

1. Most books don’t out-sell their first print run.

2. The average book sells between 250-3000 copies in its lifetime.

3. If a book sells 10,000 copies in its lifetime it is considered a success.

4. Qualifying as a ‘bestseller’ depends on all sorts of factors, including the genre and format of the book. In the UK, a hardcover book could be considered a ‘bestseller’ if it had sales of 4,000+ copies a week. To hit the New York Times Bestseller list, you’ll need to sell around 9,000 copies in the first week.

These figures were quite a revelation to me. In the fantasy world of my head, I imagined bestsellers sold millions of copies. In reality, some do, but for the majority, the figures are slightly more underwhelming. Even more so for the average non-bestseller.

So, bearing this in mind, here are my sales figures:

1. Oh Sugar! is on its second print run.

2. The publishers – Summersdale – have sold over 7000 copies.

3. It has been as high as 3,561 on the Amazon bestseller rank (there are over 6 million books on Amazon) and number 3 in the Eating Disorders category (not quite what I was expecting!) 

What does this all mean? Well, Oh Sugar! is most definitely NOT a bestseller. But then I wasn’t expecting this for a first book by an unknown author, released with very little fanfare (that’s the book I’m talking about; I haven’t just come out of prison).

On the other hand, it’s not a complete flop either. It has sold a respectable amount. And that deserves a celebratory dance in my book.

Snoopy dancing

Next time: News of an exciting new venture…

4 thoughts on “Sales of my first book

  1. Respectable doesn’t even come close. That’s a definite ‘top seller’ in my book (‘scuse the pun!). J.K. Rowling had better be looking over her shoulder! : ) x

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  2. Hi Katherine. That sounds like a very successful book to me. It most definitely is a best seller and you are a very talented writer. I learned so much from Oh Sugar! Thank you x

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