December 12, 2010

FUN WITH SILLY STATISTICS


Since Amazon now allows you to take a look at the Nielsen BookScan numbers (didn't know that, was somewhat surprised when I logged on the AuthorCentral site last night), authors can now have fun with being depressed as they look at how many of their books sold where in the past month in the United States.

As you can see from this chart/graph, It Takes A Wizard sells pretty much only in big cities. Considering that it is highly likely to have been stocked only in the bigger bookstores, and even more likely with its spine out, so that it does resemble a bloody battle between this book and everything else, without any PR or marketing backing behind it, that is quite logical.

It reminds me of the beginnings with The Official Dreamcast Magazine, where Future Publishing pretty much fucked up the entire distribution (and believe you me, I checked), so that newsstands and bookstores outside the big cities in Germany didn't even carry the damn thing, and most of its sales had to come from the train station and airport bookstores that stock pretty much everything. Add that that a miniscule print run of 40,000 and the fact that at the time roughly 50,000 Dreamcasts had been sold in all of Germany, our sell-through rate of 37,000 copies per months...

... wasn't all that bad. But can you imagine how difficult it must have been for a Sega fan to even obtain a copy? 37,000 out of 40,000. I am not stating here that they bought it because we were so super-awesome. They bought it - let us be honest - because we had the only magazine with playable demos attached to it. One must always be honest.

But still... 37,000 out of a 40,000 print run.

And I said it before, if you have no distribution, you have nothing.