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The Elephant has nothing against oranges.

Barbara Kingsolver's Amazon Sales Shoot up 835 Percent OvernightBy Mark Byrne on Jun 10, 2010 02:27 PM

Over on the Guardian's website, Vanessa Thorpe points out, with surprising specificity, the impact that an Orange Prize has on a writer's sales. After it was announced yesterday that Barbara Kingsolver's book, The Lacuna, had won the prestigious literary award, readers flocked to Amazon to buy the book in question. And they wasted little time.

From the article: "The winning American author, who already has bestseller The Poisonwood Bible to her name, has reason to be very pleased about her new award for women's writing and by its demonstrable clout. Sales of The Lacuna are up massively overnight, says Amazon, with an increase of 835% after the announcement. This morning The Lacuna was at number 10 in the site's chart."

It's rare to see this degree of definition when discussing the effect an award has on a book's sales. Everyone knows that Prizes = Publicity = Sales, but it's more interesting when there are figures involved.


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interesting post Dale

I have had a hit like that -- when Stanley Fish blogged on my book BIG SID'S VINCATI in the New York Times my Amazon ranking went from 100,000+ to around 350 overnight. Later when I got my bookscan number from my editor for the weeks around that hit, I was able to get a sense of how many sales it took to get that move. I am just guessing of course but I think it went from 0-2 a day to app. 75 that day through Amazon. It is probably a steep rise to get to #10 on Amazon but if I had to guess I would pull the number 400 out of the air. Maintain it every day for a year like Harry Potter and that is serious sales, but for a day or two its nice but . . . well, you get the picture. Elsewhere I have read that Amazon enjoys about half of the internet sales and about 10 percent of the market overall. My agent tweeted recently that the book SHIT MY DAD SAYS (soon to be NYT 1 NONFICTION) is enjoying equivalent sales through KINDLE and IPAD which he found amazing. Bottom line: Amazon sells a lot but less than you probably imagine, and often not in sync with what is selling in stores because people go to amazon to buy books that are not in stores or that they don't want to buy in stores.