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A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

AMOL sales records


NitroS
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Without having access to Bookscan or being employed by TOR, it is hard to know what the sales numbers for a book is until a press release is given out. Until then, we can only speculate. Seeing how it spent a full 2 weeks at #1 on the NYT list, it is likely the highest selling WoT book  ever. It also would rank highly on the top sellers ofthe year. Beyond that, it will be hard to tell. GRRM has a tendacy to get a boos from the HBO show.

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  • 2 weeks later...

My opinion is that. No press release about figures so that means there is something wrong (numbers are bad) with them. NYT#1 doesnt mean anything at all: it's like boxoffice

 

http://boxofficemojo.com/movies/?page=weekend&id=eyeofthebeholder.htm  #1

 

cant compete with

 

http://boxofficemojo.com/movies/?page=weekend&id=avengers11.htm #1

 

And to qoute a friend of mine:

 

cseresz.reborn Posted 10 January 2013 - 02:44 PM

 

PW:

Title/Author: Knife of Dreams by Robert Jordan (Oct.)
Format/Price: hardcover, $29.95
Subcategory: epic fantasy
First Printing: 1,000,000

courier-journal:

500,000: First printing for A Memory of Light.
 

 

cseresz.reborn Posted 11 January 2013 - 03:44 AM


-50% versus

1. "At the same time, the number of those who read printed books in the previous 12 months fell from 72% of the population ages 16 and older to 67%" http://libraries.pew...ading-declines/ (33% vs 50%)

2. ADWD (brutal numbers), Hunger, Athena, Fifty, The Casual etc.

3. Nielsen report says decline in print sales versus e-books slowed in 2012 (the base was high in 2011: Borders etc.)

+ a very important thing: http://3.bp.blogspot...00/CIMG5515.JPG

 

older statistics (only hardback, of course):

 

Robert Jordan's eighth book of his Wheel of Time epic fantasy series, The Path of Daggers, lands on PW's and the New York Times charts in the #1 slot after just one week on sale -- a new milestone for the author. First printing for the Tor/Doherty book was 360,000 and three more trips to press brings the in-print total to 455,000. Even more impressive is that the first seven books (Book One, The Eye of the World, was published in 1990) have sold more than seven million copies in North America

 

Winter's Heart (Nov., $29.95) by Robert Jordan. In this ninth book in the Wheel of Time series, Rand, with Min, is on the run. 750,000 first printing.

 

Crossroads of Twilight (Nov., $29.95) by Robert Jordan. The 10th book of the Wheel of Time series finds the power of the Shadow growing stronger. 900,000 first printing.

 

The Stakes Rise for Chart Toppers 3/22/2004
 THE FICTION RUNNERS-UP
20. Crossroads of Twilight by Robert Jordan (Tor, 553,270)

 

No Room at the Top 2004
27. New Spring. Robert Jordan. Tor (548,937)

 

Bestsellers of 2005, Nos. 51-100
January 04, 2006
98. Knife of Dreams, Jordan, Robert (Tor, 0312873077, 9/1/2005, $29.95)

 

The Fiction Runners-Up 3/27/2006
20. Knife of Dreams by Robert Jordan. Tor (514,833)

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  • 1 year later...
  • 2 years later...

The current figures are 44 million for Books 1-11 in North America alone (US and Canada) by 2007. That's a very old figure that needs updating.

 

Sales of Books 12-13 were 12 million in North America alone in 2009-January 2013 (by Memory of Light's release). So sales of Books 1-13 were at least 56 million in the US and Canada by 2013.

 

Sales of the series in the UK were over 5 million by the time A Memory of Light was released.

 

Worldwide sales are trickier. The French publishers told me that their worldwide sales figure was over 90 million by August 2014, but that figure was seriously out of date (and likewise did not include AMoL).

 

I would estimate that total worldwide sales of The Wheel of Time are now very close to 100 million. As soon as Tor feel confident about that figure, I think they'll publicise that.

 

In comparison, total worldwide sales of Harry Potter are almost 500 million; Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit combined are well over 300 million; The Chronicles of Narnia is about 120 million; A Song of Ice and Fire and Discworld are both between 85 and 90 million; The Sword of Shannara is about 50 million; The Sword of Truth, Riftwar and The Dragonlance Chronicles (the Weis & Hickman books) are about 30 million. Thus, Wheel of Time is (just about) the biggest-selling epic fantasy series since Tolkien (if you don't count Harry Potter as such), although (due to the larger number of books) it has fewer readers than ASoIaF.

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I know about your list, it's a noble effort.

 

 

The current figures are 44 million for Books 1-11 in North America alone (US and Canada) by 2007. That's a very old figure that needs updating.

 

Agree.

 

 

Sales of Books 12-13 were 12 million in North America alone in 2009-January 2013 (by Memory of Light's release). So sales of Books 1-13 were at least 56 million in the US and Canada by 2013.

 

Disagree. I know about that number but never seen any trustworthy source. I could only say that: what's caused the so low numbers for AMOL, if the former two books were so successful? Something does not add up.

 

Look, I distrust anyone. And after Sony Leaks, we know for sure that the public cannot believe anything presented by the publishers. The gap is so huge between the so called public data and the real data, it's staggering really.

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One more thing.

 

IF WOT is really that successful, then why they cannot give us more options? I mean my thread about Irene. The new paperbacks were a disaster, so they should have release a new/improved edition? Of course we talk about a company which cannot give proper margins (and other things) to the mmpb editions (mostly Book 1). The printing cost would go up, what, 1-2 cents?

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Disagree. I know about that number but never seen any trustworthy source. I could only say that: what's caused the so low numbers for AMOL, if the former two books were so successful? Something does not add up.

 

 

The sales figures for The Gathering Storm and Towers of Midnight is straight from Brandon Sanderson's agent.

 

I've never heard that AMoL had low numbers. I know from Orbit that it was the most successful WoT hardcover release in the UK (it hit the highest spot on the bestseller lists as well). I understand there was a substantial drop in physical sales in the USA because A Memory of Light was (IIRC) the first book in the series to get a simultaneous ebook release, and that impacted the physical sales.

 

Look, I distrust anyone. And after Sony Leaks, we know for sure that the public cannot believe anything presented by the publishers. The gap is so huge between the so called public data and the real data, it's staggering really.

 

There's a great deal of lag in publishing numbers which makes tracking sales hard. The best data the publishers have is number of copies printed and shipped to the booksellers. They get figures back from the booksellers, but depending on where in the financial year that falls that may be pretty recent or it may be 3 or 6 months out of date. That's why publishers love selling out of their print runs and keep getting orders in, because they know every book in that print run has been sold out so they have a hard figure.

 

You also have the problem of overseas sales. The overseas publishers may not report sales figures at all (since often the US publisher has nothing to do with it, the foreign rights were sold by the author, unless there was a specific resale deal), or they may do so but only once a year or even once every two years. That's why you end up with guesstimates.

 

I'm pretty certain that the Wheel of Time Companion hasn't done very well at all either, but then you wouldn't expect a companion book with a scarcity of new information to do so.

 

The new paperbacks were a disaster, so they should have release a new/improved edition

 

The new US editions had issues but to be honest cover art isn't nearly as important as it used to be. And frankly a lot of Darrel Sweet's covers sucked monkey balls and still shifted copies, so I don't think that was the main issue. The big one is that the series is over and Tor have not really put a huge amount of effort into getting newcomers on board. There's boatloads of new fantasy fans entering the genre thanks to GoT and the YA boom and WoT should be well-positioned to hoover up newcomers. The UK editions seem to be doing that quite well - the new UK cover art has been surprisingly succesful, given how incredibly dull it is - but Tor aren't capitalising in the US as well.

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The sales figures for The Gathering Storm and Towers of Midnight is straight from Brandon Sanderson's agent.

 

Yes, he must be very thrustworthy. He was caught in lies over Westeros, iirc. Don't ask me about the specific details, while i do not like sanderson, I don't care about him at all. I will ask again: why did TOR lower the innitial print, if the previous books was so successful?

 

The best data the publishers have is number of copies printed and shipped to the booksellers.

 

We would really like to see that going back even the very first printing numbers of tEotW.

 

But what I would like to see very much, is the ratio. How many copies of book 1, 2, 3 etc. sold, even if we did not get the hard number the percentage would be really interesting. (In the case of HP, the first first sold twice as many copies as the following books.) Of course, in the end it does not matter at all, if their readers do/did not (re-)read them.

 

 

The new US editions had issues but to be honest cover art isn't nearly as important as it used to be. And frankly a lot of Darrel Sweet's covers sucked monkey balls and still shifted copies, so I don't think that was the main issue. The big one is that the series is over and Tor have not really put a huge amount of effort into getting newcomers on board.

 

Every member of our book club would re-buy the books in a heartbeat, if they would published them with the ebook covers. Tor is totally neglecting the series, and we're not talking just cover art, it's the bad typography, the quality of the paper, the size etc. When we suggested earlier Library of America, it was not just about getting a worthy appearance: their PKD volumes won over many people, and now PKD is one of their most successful writers, if not the most successful one. Ok, their volume is just 250 000 a year (overall), but the prestige is not negligible, not to mention other things.  

 

 WoT should be well-positioned to hoover up newcomers

 

That's way they should spend a little money, and hire a good designer, a typographer, agents for TVs etc. Or just use their minds...

 

 

The UK editions seem to be doing that quite well - the new UK cover art has been surprisingly succesful, given how incredibly dull it is

 

They are dull, but we like them. I don't like their terrible typography, but that's my problem. :wink:

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The sales figures for The Gathering Storm and Towers of Midnight is straight from Brandon Sanderson's agent.

 

Yeah and agents speaking on behalf of their clients have never embellished the truth for their clients benefit.

 

The following are sales figures from publishers weekly(figures supplied by publisher and are for the calendar year) and from a 2010 post of mine.

 

 

 

Representing Epic Fantasy, Towers of Midnight: Book 13 of the Wheel of Time. Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson, Tor (406,346) comes in at #26.  As a comparison The Gathering Storm sold 437,474 in 2009, Knife of Dreams (514,833) for 2005 and Crossroads of Twilight (553,270) in 2003. ToM was Nov release, tGS and KoD Oct, and CoT a January release. Read what you will into the sales decline.

 

Hard to see ToM and tGS reaching 12 million sales based on the Hardcover sales unless the ratio of paperback sales to Hardcover is 11-1. Maybe it is but it seems a bit high. I also don't believe the print run figures mentioned early in this thread.

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Yes, he must be very thrustworthy. He was caught in lies over Westeros, iirc. Don't ask me about the specific details, while i do not like sanderson, I don't care about him at all. I will ask again: why did TOR lower the innitial print, if the previous books was so successful?

 

Sanderson's agent was caught in lies? About what?

 

As for the initial print run lowering, like I said, it was almost certainly down to the ebooks. Harriet refused to allow simultaneous ebook releases for Gathering or Midnight. I suspected that dented early sales for both books as people held out for the ebooks and for AMoL they simply lowered the initial hardcover rate to pre-compensate.

 

I am suspecting that 12 million might be the combined worldwide total for both TGS and AMoL rather than US alone. If Books 1-11 sold 44 million by 2007, so round up to 50 million for 2013, I can't see the last two books alone selling 12 million in two-and-a-half years. Worldwide, more doable.

 

We would really like to see that going back even the very first printing numbers of tEotW.

 

 

Eye of the World's first hardcover printing was 40,000, which was extremely high at the time for a relatively unknown author starting a brand new series. Tom Doherty bet the farm on it, and it paid off.

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I'm also wondering if something is up with Tor not getting the books on shelves. They had the massive falling-out with Amazon in 2010-13 that saw Amazon refuse to sell their books for a couple of months (although the embargo was over before AMoL was released) and the more recent Goodkind books have had a quite spectacular catastrophic collapse in sales, although that might be down to other reasons.

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Yes, he must be very thrustworthy. He was caught in lies over Westeros, iirc. Don't ask me about the specific details, while i do not like sanderson, I don't care about him at all. I will ask again: why did TOR lower the innitial print, if the previous books was so successful?

 

Sanderson's agent was caught in lies? About what?

 

I don't know the exact details, but he was "corrected" more than once. I've asked around but nobody knows/remembers of it. Maybe he was a little officious...

 

I also don't believe the print run figures mentioned early in this thread.

 

But you used them anyway :wink:

 

About the ratio: there was two months long window last year, when one could buy GRRM's first five books for $10! Not to mention there were many times when you could buy a new copy of tEotW for $5-6 vs the high price of the hardcovers. One could buy the first six books for $30. No wonder that "casuals" will pick up the cheaper options.

 

 

Representing Epic Fantasy, Towers of Midnight: Book 13 of the Wheel of Time. Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson, Tor (406,346) comes in at #26.  As a comparison The Gathering Storm sold 437,474 in 2009, Knife of Dreams (514,833) for 2005 and Crossroads of Twilight (553,270) in 2003. ToM was Nov release, tGS and KoD Oct, and CoT a January release. Read what you will into the sales decline.

 

 

COT: 553

KOD: 514

tgs: 437

tom: 406

amol: 386,957*

 

I see a tendency here, but I'd really like to see the paperback numbers.

 

*http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/bookselling/article/61444-in-hardcover-it-looks-the-same-but-it-s-not-facts-figures-2013.html

 

 

I can't seem to find his net worth either which really ties into sales, I think.

 

Ryrin, it speaks for itself:

 

Dave Drake:

 

I further said and will repeat: there were quite a lot of people who sneered at ‘Robert Jordan’ but whose own books wouldn’t have been published without the Wheel of Time to subsidize them. Since the onset of Jim’s (Jim Rigney’s) illness, he hadn’t been able to write–and a lot of those people are not being published any more.

 

 

Andrew Wheeler:

 

What I heard at the time was that Tor knew nothing about the content of the last few main-sequence “Wheel of Time” books until they arrived in the office (already edited by his wife and editor, Harriet McDougal). Also, if you look at the solicitation catalog copy for those books, you’ll find that it is exceptionally vague and often bears little relation to the final book — usually a sign that the folks in the office have no idea what will be in that book.

 

Only the bestselling authors can do things like this.

 

I'm also wondering if something is up with Tor not getting the books on shelves. They had the massive falling-out with Amazon in 2010-13 that saw Amazon refuse to sell their books for a couple of months (although the embargo was over before AMoL was released) and the more recent Goodkind books have had a quite spectacular catastrophic collapse in sales, although that might be down to other reasons.

 

 What do you mean?

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What do you mean?

 

Tor had a weird few years when it came to getting books out, on shelves and publishing books when they were supposed to. They're back on track now, but I do wonder if it's possible their sales suffered there from some of the issues. But then everything I've seen is that the final WoT books still sold gangbusters. Any issues with print runs being down was due to the rise of ebook sales rather than any catastrophic collapse in the overall series sales, which would be very strange for a major series reaching its concluding volumes.

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But you used them anyway  :wink:

Ah no. What I used are the sales figures provided by the publisher to publishers weekly. They are different to the Print run figures. The reason why i find the print run figures to not be truthful is because you can see that actual sales are only half of the print run figures being stated. That's a lot of books being returned, remainded, recycled. It just doesn't make sense for KoD to have a 1 million first printing when the previous book only sold half that many copies in the year of it's release and that same goes for CoT.

Edited by ChrisW
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You are right, but if we use the numbers from the same source, then you can see that they are gradually increasing. And while these numbers are front-loaded, readers will buy them in the coming years. If you order a hardcover edition today, you will get a first edition (newer books). (They will not print second, third hardcover editions.) A friend of mine just bought POD and WH, brand new copies via a bookstore (wholesaler), and she got first editions.

 

And incomings must have been massive, otherwise TOR was not able to subsidize other authors.

 

According to PW again, WH sold 650,000 mmpb copies after two printings and before publishing COT.

 

Before sanderson's trilogy, all the books were in the top 50-60 of Amazon's epic fantasy section.

Edited by szilard
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 If the upcoming series based on WoT is not a complete pile of junk, you will see a GoT resurgance of the first book.

 

I am so, so hopeful that is the case. I want everyone to experience what WoT readers have gotten to experience.

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 If the upcoming series based on WoT is not a complete pile of junk, you will see a GoT resurgance of the first book.

 

When the news broke out there was a huge jump in sales. And there are spikes all the time (I know that Amazon ranking is not a good souce, (sometimes) very misleading according to writers), when someone recommends the series in a popular forum, blog etc.

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  • 2 months later...

In Oct-Nov-Dec the sales were really great (esp. boxset I, in the UK the sales are tripled), unfortunately the price went up too by more than 2 dollars (econ, I hear you say, that's econ). But now the sales are plunging but the price went down only 2-4 cents. (econ, I don't hear you say, that's econ :wink: )

 

More important that we saw lots of praising posts on social media (were these honest posts or just marketing? who knows) last year, so maybe WOT is coming back. 

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