On Writing: Pondering My Sales Figures

Five months left now until my book is published. We have a cover and our first quote endorsing it

I wrote the book for lots of reasons, none of which were money. It’s not that I am some kind of otherworldly idealist who never gives material possessions a second thought. It’s just that when you write a book on communicating about Jesus, even if it is a really good one, you had better be honest with yourself that it probably won’t make you the next John Grisham.

Still, I can’t help but wonder how many copies will sell, mainly because I wrote the book so it can help people and for that to happen they will need to read it.

I also think about sales because I’m new to being an author and I’m not sure what “success” counts as when you’re me. Ideally the book would do well enough to mean, at the very least, that publishers might be open to letting me write another one sometime.

It was interesting, then, to come across an article from NPR (here) on book sales. Some acclaimed award-winning authors , it says, sell as few as three thousand copies. Should I heartened by that or worried?! Who knows.. but take a look at the NPR article because it’s a good read.

Tonight I will send in my third and (hopefully) final draft of the book. From now on its just picking around at the grammar and letting InterVarsity Press work on the internal layout and design. Plus working on ways to make the book known by the kinds of people who will benefit from it. All suggestions welcome! 


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