Some depressing stats for writers from Chris Anderson’s The Long Tail:
In 2004, 950,000 books out of 1.2 million tracked by Nielsen BookScan sold fewer than ninety-nine copies. Another 200,000 sold fewer than 1,000 copies. Only 25,000 sold more than 5,000 copies. The average book in America sells about 500 copies. In other words, about 98 percent of books are noncommercial, whether they were intended that way or not. (page 76)
Those are kind of sobering numbers for anyone who wants to write a book. On the bright side, if you can sell 100 copies or more of your book, you’re in the top 21% of the publishing industry. The bar for success if fairly low, if you look at it from that perspective.