Estimating Your Sales Volume

August 1999
by Beth E. Peterson, Cattails Publishing

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“How many books can I reasonably expect to sell?” That is a question which besieges publishers; we know it is essential to budgeting and planning, but we aren’t sure how to answer it. Trying to estimate our future sales volume can be like trying to catch a will-o’-the-wisp.

Estimating sales volume is a bugaboo due to the simple fact that sales volume can vary greatly. This is due to the four basic factors below, as well as the size of the market.How Well Have You
Targeted Your Market?Without accurately identifying who will be interested in your book, you will inevitably waste time, effort, and money reaching the wrong people. This will result in a decrease in your sales volume per marketing effort, with a corresponding increase in your cost per sale.How Well Have You
Targeted Your Advertising and Promotion?Even if you know who your market is, if you don’t find out which marketing channels these people actually can be reached through, you will again be wasting your time, effort, and money. To be successful, you must use a marketing channel (i.e., the specific magazine, review column, direct mailing, etc.) which reaches your specific target market/sub-market; it must also be a marketing channel which they respect.How Good Is Your Approach?Without a good approach to your market, your sales efforts will be seriously hurt. In general, advertising and promotional materials must meet certain criteria in order to be successful at generating sales. These are clarity, appeal, demon…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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