Authors, new to the world of publishing, often ask me what sort of expectations they should have for their book.
That is a hard question to answer.
A small pile of books each year will sell a million copies.
The titles that will sell 100,000 copies would fit on a small table.
Almost all books will sell hundreds or thousands of copies.
The math goes something like this:
Anyone can sell 100 copies just through the friends they know. Guaranteed.
If someone is well connected or if their friends share the book with their friends, they can sell 1000 copies.
The third layer is the hard one. The book moves out past the author’s direct influence. Readers need to feel moved to share the book with others. At the same time, the author needs to use the book push out into new areas and extend their network.
I think the magic number is 10,000 copies. You need to get that many copies into the marketplace to really know if a book is going to be more successful.
If that seems like a big number, think about if your topic has a big enough audience and if your network is big enough to support getting that many copies into the world.
10,000 copies is a good goal to work toward on any book launch.