When it comes to book sales in the UK, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. The number of copies that an average book sells depends on a variety of factors, including the genre, the author’s profile, and the marketing budget.
One figure that often crops up is that the average traditionally published title can expect to sell 3,000 copies in its lifetime. This figure is based on a survey of publishers, booksellers, and authors, and takes into account the fact that most books will have a relatively short shelf life.
Another famous figure is that the average annual sales figures for literary fiction are lower than 250 copies in the UK. This figure is based on a survey of publishers and booksellers, and reflects the fact that literary fiction is a niche market.
The figures for non-fiction books are much higher. A survey of publishers and booksellers found that the average non-fiction book sold around 5,000 copies in its first year, and around 2,000 copies in subsequent years.
Children’s books tend to sell better than adult books, with the average children’s book selling around 10,000 copies in its first year. This figure is based on a survey of publishers and booksellers, and takes into account the fact that children’s books often have a longer shelf life than adult books.
Overall, it is difficult to give an exact figure for how many copies the average book sells in the UK. However, the figures mentioned above provide a useful indication of the range of sales that can be expected.