December 15-31, 2004 Edition

PW Reports Poor

BookScan Sales

for NBA Awardees

NEW YORK, NY/12/02/04—A recent report in Publishers Weekly, based on Nielsen BookScan rankings, shows that the four winners of the National Book Award this year each have sold less than 2000 copies in the ten days following announcement of the award. Also, poetry and children’s awardees each sold fewer than 1000 copies.

Total sales for all four NBA winners combined are fewer than 8000 copies, about the same level of sales expected for a single title published by a mid-sized press, according to PW.

BookScan tallies sales from only about 70 percent of bookstores, and does not include libraries, religious stores or Wal-Mart. However, the figures indicate how tough it is for even quality books to attract consumers. The figures also point to the fact that the media coverage given to award winners doesn’t always translate to sales, and booksellers sometimes don’t necessarily promote the honored books as heavily as expected.