How much a book sells?


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Thread: How much a book sells?

  1. #1
    Flont Guest

    How much a book sells?


    Hi,
    I'm considering writing a programming book. Has anyone an idea about the
    number of copies that an average programming book can sell? I know there
    are books that sell half a million copies and other that sell 5,000 copies,
    but how much is a fair amount in your opinion? Anyone with experience in
    writing?
    TIA

  2. #2
    Flont Guest

    Re: How much a book sells?



    If you don't know an answer, can you suggest a website where I could ask
    or where I can find this information for current or past programming books?
    thank you

    "Flont" <poster@postoffice.com> wrote:
    >
    >Hi,
    >I'm considering writing a programming book. Has anyone an idea about the
    >number of copies that an average programming book can sell? I know there
    >are books that sell half a million copies and other that sell 5,000 copies,
    >but how much is a fair amount in your opinion? Anyone with experience in
    >writing?
    >TIA



  3. #3
    Flont Guest

    Re: How much a book sells?


    Thank you very much, I really appreciated your reply. Oh, just to clarify,
    I'm thinking about a .NET book :-)


    "Stefan Grünwedel" <sgrunwedel@devx.com> wrote:
    >"Flont" <poster@postoffice.com> wrote in message
    >news:3bec920e@147.208.176.211...
    >>
    >> Hi,
    >> I'm considering writing a programming book. Has anyone an idea about the
    >> number of copies that an average programming book can sell? I know there
    >> are books that sell half a million copies and other that sell 5,000

    >copies,
    >> but how much is a fair amount in your opinion? Anyone with experience

    in
    >> writing?
    >> TIA

    >
    >Hi Flont,
    >
    >I asked some friends of mine in the book publishing business and they gave
    >me a couple of answers.
    >
    >The first person, who is a freelance author, replied, "This is not a
    >question that can be answered in a blanket statement. It depends on so many
    >factors - from topic, to marketing, to who knows." For instance, last year
    >he wrote a StarOffice book for Que. His book got rave reviews on newsgroups
    >as well as on Amazon, and StarOffice has some 4 million users, yet it barely
    >sold 20K copies.
    >
    >The second person, who works for a publisher, replied, "I would imagine

    the
    >median range to be about 20k, with bottom around 5k, and the superstars
    >close to 75-90k."
    >
    >So it looks like you can expect 20,000 copies on average.
    >
    >Regards,
    >
    >Stefan Gruenwedel
    >DevX Senior Editor
    >
    >



  4. #4
    Stefan Grünwedel Guest

    Re: How much a book sells?

    "Flont" <poster@postoffice.com> wrote in message
    news:3bec920e@147.208.176.211...
    >
    > Hi,
    > I'm considering writing a programming book. Has anyone an idea about the
    > number of copies that an average programming book can sell? I know there
    > are books that sell half a million copies and other that sell 5,000

    copies,
    > but how much is a fair amount in your opinion? Anyone with experience in
    > writing?
    > TIA


    Hi Flont,

    I asked some friends of mine in the book publishing business and they gave
    me a couple of answers.

    The first person, who is a freelance author, replied, "This is not a
    question that can be answered in a blanket statement. It depends on so many
    factors - from topic, to marketing, to who knows." For instance, last year
    he wrote a StarOffice book for Que. His book got rave reviews on newsgroups
    as well as on Amazon, and StarOffice has some 4 million users, yet it barely
    sold 20K copies.

    The second person, who works for a publisher, replied, "I would imagine the
    median range to be about 20k, with bottom around 5k, and the superstars
    close to 75-90k."

    So it looks like you can expect 20,000 copies on average.

    Regards,

    Stefan Gruenwedel
    DevX Senior Editor



  5. #5
    Flont Guest

    Re: How much a book sells?


    I must say this is a good thought :-)

    "Phil Weber" <pweber @ fawcette.com> wrote:
    > > For instance, last year he wrote a StarOffice book for Que.
    > > His book got rave reviews on newsgroups as well as on Amazon,
    > > and StarOffice has some 4 million users, yet it barely sold 20K
    > > copies.

    >
    >Stefan: Perhaps people who use free software aren't inclined to buy a $40
    >book about it? ;-)
    >---
    >Phil Weber
    >
    >



  6. #6
    Phil Weber Guest

    Re: How much a book sells?

    > For instance, last year he wrote a StarOffice book for Que.
    > His book got rave reviews on newsgroups as well as on Amazon,
    > and StarOffice has some 4 million users, yet it barely sold 20K
    > copies.


    Stefan: Perhaps people who use free software aren't inclined to buy a $40
    book about it? ;-)
    ---
    Phil Weber



  7. #7
    Flont Guest

    Re: How much a book sells?


    Thanks a lot Russel for your comments. I've actually already written some
    articles, but I wanted to do a step further. If not for the money, wouldn't
    be great for a developer to have a book in the CV?

    About this, how do hiring managers see a book in the CV? Are they positively
    impressed or do they think "Uh..this guy thinks to be very experienced and
    superior, we may want too high salary, he will spend time writing..bla..bla...let's
    hire someone else!!"

    Thank you again guys


    "Russell Jones" <arj1@northstate.net> wrote:
    >The average programming book barely breaks even. They can't all be winners.
    >
    >If you're interested in the money rather that the experience, my advice

    is
    >to write articles instead. The payoff is faster, the form is much smaller,
    >you get more editing help (usually) and by watching how well your articles
    >do, you can gain a great deal of knowlege that will help you write a book
    >later on--after you've mastered the smaller form. Unless a book is very
    >successful, the per/word--and per/hour--remuneration for writing articles

    is
    >*much* higher than it is for books.
    >
    >HTH,
    >Russell Jones
    >Sr. Web Development Editor,
    >DevX.com
    >
    >"Flont" <poster@postoffice.com> wrote in message
    >news:3bec920e@147.208.176.211...
    >>
    >> Hi,
    >> I'm considering writing a programming book. Has anyone an idea about the
    >> number of copies that an average programming book can sell? I know there
    >> are books that sell half a million copies and other that sell 5,000

    >copies,
    >> but how much is a fair amount in your opinion? Anyone with experience

    in
    >> writing?
    >> TIA

    >
    >



  8. #8
    Russell Jones Guest

    Re: How much a book sells?

    The average programming book barely breaks even. They can't all be winners.

    If you're interested in the money rather that the experience, my advice is
    to write articles instead. The payoff is faster, the form is much smaller,
    you get more editing help (usually) and by watching how well your articles
    do, you can gain a great deal of knowlege that will help you write a book
    later on--after you've mastered the smaller form. Unless a book is very
    successful, the per/word--and per/hour--remuneration for writing articles is
    *much* higher than it is for books.

    HTH,
    Russell Jones
    Sr. Web Development Editor,
    DevX.com

    "Flont" <poster@postoffice.com> wrote in message
    news:3bec920e@147.208.176.211...
    >
    > Hi,
    > I'm considering writing a programming book. Has anyone an idea about the
    > number of copies that an average programming book can sell? I know there
    > are books that sell half a million copies and other that sell 5,000

    copies,
    > but how much is a fair amount in your opinion? Anyone with experience in
    > writing?
    > TIA




  9. #9
    Russell Jones Guest

    Re: How much a book sells?

    I suspect you're right on all counts. I'm sure that some managers see book
    writing as an indication that the author is deeply interested in the
    technology, and feel they're buying expertise and dedication. Others see
    book writing in the light of "those who can, do; those who can't, write
    books" to paraphrase Nicholas Martin. Still others view book writing with
    suspicion, thinking that it will distract the employee from the real job.
    But I wouldn't worry too much about that if I were you--if you *want* to
    write a book, do it. As for your CV--just ask yourself: Would *you* be more
    willing or less willing to hire a programmer who is also an author?


    "Flont" <poster@postoffice.com> wrote in message
    news:3bf327ae$1@147.208.176.211...
    >
    > Thanks a lot Russel for your comments. I've actually already written some
    > articles, but I wanted to do a step further. If not for the money,

    wouldn't
    > be great for a developer to have a book in the CV?
    >
    > About this, how do hiring managers see a book in the CV? Are they

    positively
    > impressed or do they think "Uh..this guy thinks to be very experienced and
    > superior, we may want too high salary, he will spend time

    writing..bla..bla...let's
    > hire someone else!!"
    >
    > Thank you again guys
    >
    >
    > "Russell Jones" <arj1@northstate.net> wrote:
    > >The average programming book barely breaks even. They can't all be

    winners.
    > >
    > >If you're interested in the money rather that the experience, my advice

    > is
    > >to write articles instead. The payoff is faster, the form is much

    smaller,
    > >you get more editing help (usually) and by watching how well your

    articles
    > >do, you can gain a great deal of knowlege that will help you write a book
    > >later on--after you've mastered the smaller form. Unless a book is very
    > >successful, the per/word--and per/hour--remuneration for writing articles

    > is
    > >*much* higher than it is for books.
    > >
    > >HTH,
    > >Russell Jones
    > >Sr. Web Development Editor,
    > >DevX.com
    > >
    > >"Flont" <poster@postoffice.com> wrote in message
    > >news:3bec920e@147.208.176.211...
    > >>
    > >> Hi,
    > >> I'm considering writing a programming book. Has anyone an idea about

    the
    > >> number of copies that an average programming book can sell? I know

    there
    > >> are books that sell half a million copies and other that sell 5,000

    > >copies,
    > >> but how much is a fair amount in your opinion? Anyone with experience

    > in
    > >> writing?
    > >> TIA

    > >
    > >

    >




  10. #10
    markn Guest

    Re: How much a book sells?


    Or maybe those who use StarOffice are mostly those who can figure things out
    on their own. I've never purchased an MS Office Book.


  11. #11
    markN Guest

    Re: How much a book sells?


    The problem with writing tech books is that if you are not writing while the
    product is in beta your book will probably be on the verge of being outdated
    by the time it gets to the bookstore.

  12. #12
    Stefan Grünwedel Guest

    Re: How much a book sells?

    Maybe. Then again, the author told me that his book contained info that even
    StarOffice's developers didn't all know about because Sun didn't make all
    the documentaiton available or the official versions were in flux. Whatever
    the reason, he had good reason to believe ppl would want to buy the book. If
    it didn't see well it's probably more b/c StarOffice didn't make the inroads
    into the market that they hoped it would.

    Stefan

    "Phil Weber" <pweber @ fawcette.com> wrote in message
    news:3bf2e625$1@147.208.176.211...
    > > For instance, last year he wrote a StarOffice book for Que.
    > > His book got rave reviews on newsgroups as well as on Amazon,
    > > and StarOffice has some 4 million users, yet it barely sold 20K
    > > copies.

    >
    > Stefan: Perhaps people who use free software aren't inclined to buy a $40
    > book about it? ;-)
    > ---
    > Phil Weber
    >
    >




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