Publishing is a business and in any business what matters most are sales. When a contract is first offered, the advance and other aspects of the deal are based on the potential for sales numbers. Later in an author’s career, sales of previous books will play a role in whether or not a new contract is offered and how much that contract will be for.
While we can predict that decisions will be based on sales what we can’t really predict is what those sales will be.
A reader asks:
What do you consider a good amount of books sold from a previous first time author? I’ve read varying amounts. Some say 7-10 thousand while others say 5-8 thousand? I’ve even read a few people say 15-20 thousand!
Thanks for professional opinion and this forum for us to ask questions.
It depends. It depends on the genre you’re writing, the format of the book (hardcover or paperback), the expectations of the publisher, and what the market is supporting in any given week.
While I think every author should be shooting for sales of 20,000 or beyond (because we should always shoot high), what I would shoot for most is earning out the advance in the first year of sales.