Did you know there's a handy site that not only tells you what a book --any book -- is rated on Amazon, not only at the moment, but also over its lifetime of sales, and also over recent periods of time, such as the previous week? It's called titlez.com.
It feels terrific when your book gets under, say, 25,000 on Amazon -- when you consider there are millions of books in total. But how meaningful are those Amazon numbers?
Not very meaningful, says agent Janet Grant of Books & Such Literary Agency. For a book to be considered a bestseller in the Christian marketplace, she says, it would appear on some more reliable lists, such as the CBA list and the ECPA list.
Of course there are other indicators of a book's success, even if it is not a best-seller. For many authors, "earning out" is a goal. That means that an author has enough book sales to have broken even with his or her advance on royalties from the publisher. (Someone told me that 70 percent of books don't earn out. Anybody got a reliable source for that figure?)
Other milestones of a successful book is for it to sell through its first printing.
What other ways do you assess a Christian book as being successful in a material sense?