Are My Book Sales Good? Data for Novelists

Every debut novelist asks "what are good sales figures?" and every seasoned novelist/agent/publisher replies with "it depends". While this is undoubtedly true, it's not very useful to the novelist trying to work out where they fit in the world of books. We know who's at the top - bestsellers are determined by The Sunday Times, The New York Times, USA Today and more recently Amazon. These folks are selling 2000+ copies per day, depending on the season. Newsflash: most novelists do not sell thousands of books per day. Reports on author earnings can be useful, but they are difficult to apply on an individual level. Also, earnings =/= sales. Traditional publishers pay in two main ways - advances, where you get money before you sell anything, and royalties. Some publishers, like my publisher Carina Press, don't give advances but give higher royalty rates. However, royalties are only paid once you've "earned out" your advance (i.e. accumulated royalties are more than what was paid...
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