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How many books sold is considered successful?


For many authors, writing a book is a lifelong dream. However, getting published and achieving success is not an easy task. One of the metrics that is often used to measure a book's success is the number of copies sold. But how many books sold is considered successful? In this blog post, we will delve into this topic and try to provide some answers.

The Definition of Success

The definition of success can vary from author to author, and it can depend on various factors such as genre, target audience, and the author's previous publications. For a first-time author, selling a few thousand copies can be considered a success, while for a well-established author, selling hundreds of thousands of copies might be the benchmark. However, a general rule of thumb in the publishing industry is that a book that sells more than 5,000 copies is considered successful. These goalposts change with the market, but the more a publisher initially prints to cover pre-orders or reprints due to high demand, the greater the value of the author within their list.

Factors That Affect Book Sales

The number of books sold is not the only metric that defines a book's success. There are several other factors that can affect book sales, such as marketing and publicity, word of mouth, critical acclaim, and awards. A book that has received positive reviews and has won awards is more likely to sell well than a book that has not received any recognition. Similarly, a book that has been marketed and promoted well is more likely to reach a wider audience and sell more copies.


In conclusion, the number of books sold is just one of the metrics that can define a book's success. However, it is an essential metric that is used by publishers, agents, and authors to measure a book's performance. While the definition of success can vary from author to author and depend on various factors, a book that sells more than 5,000 copies is generally considered successful. However, it is important to remember that book sales are just one part of the story, and critical acclaim, awards, and word of mouth can also play a significant role in a book's success.

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