|Posted by Kristen House on January 7, 2020 at 11:15 AM|
Making the New York Times bestseller list is a lofty goal, but for some authors, it's achievable.
There are many factors that go into making this holy grail of bestselling lists, but basically, the book has to sell at least 5,000 to 10,000 copies of the book in one week. These books must be sold at big-box retailers (i.e., Barnes & Noble, Walmart), independent bookstores, and online (i.e., Amazon) across the nation. Most authors get those first 10,000 sales by way of pre-order.
Here’s another interesting fact: If a book is priced at $25 and sells 20,000 copies in one week, an author with the royalties offered in a standard traditional publishing contract would earn about $65,000 in one week on the New York Times bestseller list. This is a nice chunk of change, but authors who can keep their book on the bestsellers list for several weeks can expect to see big bucks rolling in.
It’s also important to note that the New York Times usually won’t recognize a book as a bestseller if it doesn’t come from a traditional publishing house. (Sorry, self-publishing authors.)
Authors who opt to self-publish their books can usually find much more success reaching for bestseller status on Amazon bestseller lists (of which I have had many, many clients reach this status!).
Want to learn more about how to build your author brand
and become a self-publishing pro?
Book editor Kristen Hamilton is the owner and sole employee of
Kristen Corrects, Inc., where she provides manuscript editing
services for traditionally and self-publishing authors. Several
authors whose books she has edited have won awards and
Reading is Kristen's passion, so when the workday is over, she
can usually be found curled up with a good book alongside her
four cats. She loves watching cat videos and scary movies,
eating pizza, teaching herself French, and traveling, and she is
likely planning her next vacation. She lives outside of Boise, ID.
Categories: author business