Reporting Sales

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In this section:

How can I find out my sales?

We provide monthly sales figures on your Financials page, by units and value in £ sterling.

How many books have I sold?

We provide monthly sales figures on your Financials page, by units and value in £ sterling.

How many pre-orders have I sold?

Preorders will also show up in the monthly sales figures on your Financials page – in the books sold a month or two before your publication date.

We can't track individual pre-orders. We only get an idea of them when Amazon and bookstores, etc. places their initial orders a month or two prior to publication.

Checking your Amazon sales rank before publication is a ball-park indicator for how your pre-orders are going with Amazon.

Printed copies ≠ Sales

Printed copies of your book are not the same as sales of your book.

  • You can see the books we print on your Production page.
  • The record of your sales is on your Financials page.

In an ideal world, we would sell every copy we print, but in practice it is unlikely. We carefully manage our print runs, avoiding too many unsold copies by aiming to keep stock levels at the number of books that have sold in the previous three months.

When can I see sales figures from last month?

All figures for any given month should be uploaded by the end of the following month. E.g. February sales will be uploaded by the end of March.

I have negative sales? How can this be?

Sales numbers are sales to bookshops and not sales to individuals. Bookshops return unsold stock, which is how you can log negative sales in some months – more books are returned by bookshops than are bought.

The numbers you see are net of returned books rather than gross.

  • Gross sales are the total number sold in the period, before returns from shops have been deducted.
  • Net sales are the total number sold when the returns from the bookstores have been deducted.

Net sales can appear as negative, because orders from over-ambitious retailers are being returned and are often higher than more recent outgoing orders. It is now more cost-effective to pulp returned copies. So, the number you know have been sold in a particular month may not be the number shown.

Ebook sales are all direct-to-reader sales.

All ebook sales to all regions go through our North American distributor, and the reporting of those, typically, takes about one month. An ebook sold in November to a customer in London, England will appear in the North American column of your ebooks sales table page in December.

I know lots of people bought copies in X month, but my sales are far less. How can this be?

Your print sales are trade sales, not reader sales.

Trade sales are sales to bookshops and booksellers from our regional distributors combined with any you have bought through our distributors or the office,.

They are not the number of books bought by readers in that month.

I want to specifically see my sales on Amazon. Can I do this?

No, you can't see your specific no. of Amazon sales. If you have an Amazon Author Central account you can see your Amazon sales rank, which gives you an indication as to how well your book is performing.

Amazon also offers Nielson Bookscan data for its site. This gives an indication of books sold at point of sale to customers for the USA only (not the same as the numbers on your Financials page, which is books sold to the trade).

I got a notification that you sold my foreign rights somewhere. Where can I see a record of this?

For foreign rights sales go to read our Foreign Rights chapter here.


  • The exchange rate used changes monthly.
  • The figures include sales to authors, (within Office Sales, which may involve a time lag), but no free copies issued to reviewers.
  • The current monthly sales figures, going back to November 2008, are accurate, though there may be slippage from one month to the next. Prior to 2008, they are not, particularly if your book was published before January 2005. The royalty statements, however, will be accurate overall, but we have put in an approximation at times rather than checking every royalty statement for each book. Sales of ebooks prior to November 2011 are not given on the website, but will have appeared on your royalty statement.

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