LibraryThing Ownership Relative to Total Sales

Thu Oct 11, 2012

The Guardian recently posted some sales data of the Booker Prize winners. I thought it would be interesting to compare those figures with LibraryThing ownership to see how reliable that latter figure might be in determining a book’s total sales. The median was 2.77%, mean 3.88%.

The table is below, not very well-formatted I’m afraid.

1969 PH Newby Something To Answer For Faber & Faber 421 64 15.20% 1970 Bernice Rubens The Elected Member Eyre & Spottiswoode 3,901 133 3.41% 1971 VS Naipaul In a Free State Deutsch 13,533 532 3.93% 1972 John Berger G Weidenfeld & Nicolson 3,863 434 11.23% 1973 JG Farrell The Siege of Krishnapur Weidenfeld & Nicolson 50,246 1097 2.18% 1974 Stanley Middleton Holiday Hutchinson 1,463 55 3.76% 1974 Nadine Gordimer The Conservationist Jonathan Cape 11,282 387 3.43% 1975 Ruth Prawer Jhabvala Heat and Dust John Murray 12,729 684 5.37% 1976 David Storey Saville Jonathan Cape 4,224 112 2.65% 1977 Paul Scott Staying On William Heinemann 19,105 452 2.37% 1978 Iris Murdoch The Sea, The Sea Chatto & Windus 94,986 1918 2.02% 1979 Penelope Fitzgerald Offshore Collins 15,638 550 3.52% 1980 William Golding Rites of Passage Faber & Faber 10,888 600 5.51% 1981 Salman Rushdie Midnight's Children Jonathan Cape 201,629 8251 4.09% 1982 Thomas Keneally Schindler's Ark Hodder & Stoughton 43,498 3898 8.96% 1983 JM Coetzee Life & Times of Michael K Secker & Warburg 30,838 1662 5.39% 1984 Anita Brookner Hotel du Lac Jonathan Cape 21,766 1492 6.85% 1985 Keri Hulme The Bone People Hodder & Stoughton 27,311 2249 8.23% 1986 Kingsley Amis The Old Devils Hutchinson 13,875 711 5.12% 1987 Penelope Lively Moon Tiger Deutsch 25,287 1070 4.23% 1988 Peter Carey Oscar and Lucinda Faber & Faber 65,858 2596 3.94% 1989 Kazuo Ishiguro The Remains of the Day Faber & Faber 178,753 8078 4.52% 1990 AS Byatt Possession Chatto & Windus 92,766 8549 9.22% 1991 Ben Okri The Famished Road Jonathan Cape 47,996 1295 2.70% 1992 Barry Unsworth Sacred Hunger Hamish Hamilton 14,978 892 5.96% 1992 Michael Ondaatje The English Patient Bloomsbury 94,391 7085 7.51% 1993 Roddy Doyle Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha Secker & Warburg 95,090 2707 2.85% 1994 James Kelman How Late It Was, How Late Secker & Warburg 12,506 813 6.50% 1995 Pat Barker The Ghost Road Viking 92,080 1718 1.87% 1996 Graham Swift Last Orders Picador 66,643 1784 2.68% 1997 Arundhati Roy The God of Small Things Flamingo 596,847 11905 1.99% 1998 Ian McEwan Amsterdam Jonathan Cape 306,579 4866 1.59% 1999 JM Coetzee Disgrace Secker & Warburg 257,218 6724 2.61% 2000 Margaret Atwood The Blind Assassin Bloomsbury 508,945 10311 2.03% 2001 Peter Carey True History of the Kelly Gang Faber & Faber 260,971 2632 1.01% 2002 Yann Martel Life of Pi Canongate 1,318,508 27429 2.08% 2003 DBC Pierre Vernon God Little Faber & Faber 364,949 3562 0.98% 2004 Alan Hollinghurst The Line of Beauty Picador 242,146 2981 1.23% 2005 John Banville The Sea Picador 199,275 3320 1.67% 2006 Kiran Desai The Inheritance of Loss Hamish Hamilton 184,441 4680 2.54% 2007 Anne Enright The Gathering Jonathan Cape 225,425 2531 1.12% 2008 Aravind Adiga The White Tiger Atlantic 556,764 5534 0.99% 2009 Hilary Mantel Wolf Hall Fourth Estate 630,869 4810 0.76% 1970 "Lost Booker" JG Farrell Troubles Phoenix 43,430 610 1.40% 2010 Howard Jacobson The Finkler Question Bloomsbury 285,531 1329 0.47% 2011 Julian Barnes The Sense of an Ending Jonathan Cape 285,421 2341 0.82%