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Estimating Nonfiction Book Sales – One Example

I’ve been in touch with a book publisher about an idea I have for a Nevada travel book. He asked me to work up some figures. How many copies would it sell? Not knowing any way to estimate, I spent a few hours on the net and came up with a conservative figure. Have you done any estimating? I’d like to hear about it. E-mail:

The text of the file starts below and then you’ll have to download a Word doc to see all of the discussion.

July 12, 2017 (End of the Road Nevada – Working Title)

I estimate the book would sell 500 to 750 copies in its first printing. Possibly a thousand if we are lucky. I say first printing because I think an atlas type book, let’s just call it an atlas, would be a good candidate for printing new editions in the future as information changes. People might be encouraged to buy new copies as new editions come out. Before I get into my analysis, can I further explain what this book might encompass? From my standpoint, of course, knowing your comments and additions would make the book better.

The travel guide would be a book for the road, an atlas perhaps, showing what lies between cities and towns.  A book showing where dirt roads go from the main highway, describing geothermal plants, prisons, working gold mines, military properties, Indian reservations, abandoned power plants and so on. Old rail beds and radio communication sites on the tops of different mountains. Places you see from the highway or interesting places lost behind the hills. Something that would explain “What is it?” as you drive through all the “empty” spaces between Nevada’s settlements.

The Book Market: Related Titles

Using an Amazon book sales calculator, we can make a stab at some potential book numbers. I list four related titles. I’m using Amazon’s Best Sellers Rank for base figures. These numbers have changed considerably in just a few hours while I was working on this report. Must be dynamic numbers that are constantly updated in relation to other books.

Download the Word file for the rest of the discussion (internal link to Word file)

Understanding an Amazon report is key to understanding my discussion. These reports are at the bottom of every book listing.

By thomasfarley01

Business writer and graphic arts gadfly.

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