Tuesday Tantrum: Stats that Suck

Time for a Tuesday Tantrum.  

Michelle White posted a blog today that is downright depressing: 

A typical agent gets 32,000 query letters a year, asks for 2500 partials, and then 98 fulls. She'll offer to rep 9. And only 5 will sell to a publisher.

Wow. I'm feeling pretty hyped about that full request I got. What kind of odds are these? Yeah, I know, they say it's not odds really, because not all manuscripts are equal. Granted. But let's say that you worked your tail off and applied to graduate school with those kinds of numbers. How optimistic would you feel about the likelihood you'd be accepted? 

Now, let's assume that your book -- or mine -- is soooo amazing that said agent takes it on and actually sells it to a publisher. Pop the cork!! Book that trip to Hawaii!! 

Oh, wait.

Now here's another set of crummy stats.

The book gets published. Oh, it takes a couple of years, but finally it's out there for the world to buy. How may copies will it sell? 

On average, 250 copies. 

Seriously. Hot damn.

Drill down a bit deeper and here's what it looks like:
"in 2004, 950,000 titles out of the 1.2 million tracked by Nielsen Bookscan sold fewer than 99 copies. Another 200,000 sold fewer than 1,000 copies. Only 25,000 sold more than 5,000 copies."

But wait, then there's Twilight.

Good luck, ya'll. I'm going to have a drink now. And then get back to my WIP. 
One can dream, after all.

1 comment:

  1. Those stats did suck - you weren't kidding. But like you say, we stick with it just the same. Good luck to you! Here's to beating the odds! :)