Low Down on The Numbers

by Clare Langley-Hawthorne

Janet Reid, a literary agent, posted an item on her blog last week on the issue of self-published authors querying agents in the hopes of getting a larger publisher to notice them. She emphasizes  that basically you need to have sold more that 20,000 copies of your book to have even a remote chance of having this happen. She went on to stress just how daunting this can be (no kidding!) and though she states that it isn’t her intention to dissuade someone from self-publishing, her main point is that self-pubbed authors need to be realistic about what they can accomplish.  Needless to say this blog post got me thinking…

  • So for all of you our there considering the indie route – what numbers are you aiming for? Are you considering this a first step towards getting an agent and a traditional publisher, a parallel option, or are you solely going for the indie route? What sales figures would you be content with?

  • And for those who have already gone the indie route – what kind of sales figures are we talking about? (if you don’t mind me asking – I confess to being clueless on this front). Do you agree with Janet’s statement that you probably need to sell in excess of 20,000 copies to get the attention of traditional publishers?

Janet also states that self-publication cannot launch a mystery series and I must confess, I don’t see why not – but perhaps some of you TKZers would like to weigh in on this as well!