Authors & Speakers Network Blog with Larry James

Monday, February 28, 2011

What is the Percentage of Sale for YOUR Book?

Filed under: Author Tips,Book Sales,Guest Author Articles — Larry James @ 7:00 am

SimmonsBookJerry D. Simmons, Guest Author

Many authors think that having a large print order for their published book is important, this in effect hopefully means a lot of copies are getting placed into retail bookstores. When it fact the number of copies being shipped in total is not as important as the sell-through or percent of sale for that book. Every book has a guaranteed sale to the bookseller. When a company orders copies from a publisher directly or through a distributor those copies are guaranteed to sell. Otherwise the unsold copies can be returned to the publisher for full price.

For example, if a bookseller receives an order for 1000 copies from the publisher or distributor and is only able to sell 600 copies to consumers, the 400 remaining copies are called “returns.” In this case the author’s sell-through would be 60 percent. If 300 copies were returned the sell-through would be 70 percent. Sell-through, also referred to as percent of sale, is the key to a successful career as a writer. The higher the sell-through, the more likely any writer will have a bright future as an author.

For published authors it should never be about the total copies out in the market rather the placement of those copies and their potential to sell is the key. Higher sell through or percent of sale is preferred over the number of net copies sold. The higher for both the better, be smart about the business and you have a better chance of continuing as a publisher author.

jerrysimmonsCopyright © 2011 – Jerry D. Simmons. Jerry D. Simmons is a 33-year veteran of publishing, 25 with Random House and the former Time Warner Book Group. He directed a sales division that generated hundreds of millions of dollars in book sales across the United States and Canada. Over the years he has worked on thousands of New York Times bestselling titles and hundreds of New York Times bestselling authors including: James Patterson, David Baldacci, Sandra Brown, Nicholas Sparks, Nelson DeMille, Michael Connelly. His own book, “WHAT WRITERS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT PUBLISHING” is described by the #1 New York Times Bestselling author Sandra Brown as “The good, the bad, and the ugly aspects of book publishing, told in a straight-from-the hip manner. New writers take note.” Today Jerry speaks around the country and his articles have appeared in Writers Digest and numerous publications. He spends his time writing and speaking with writers about the importance of understanding the marketplace and educating them about the business of publishing while sharing the secrets of the largest booksellers and publishers in the world. Visit Jerry’s Website: and BLOG:


Authors & Speakers Network Blog

Larry James is a professional speaker and the author of three relationship books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” His newest book is “Ten Commitments of Networking.” Larry James also offers “Author & Speaker” coaching. Contact:, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – More than 110 articles especially for Authors & Speakers at:

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    Comment by Johnf896 — Friday, May 2, 2014 @ 5:21 pm | Reply

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