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 Post subject: Number of CS Books Sold
PostPosted: 22 May 2020, 02:45 
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Discovering you have to be trilingual
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Does anybody know the number of CS books sold or the number of EBD books sold? I was just reading about The Babysitters Club and they gave the number of books sold as 176 million. I think Chambers, Lutterworth Press, Armada/Collins, Bettany Press and GGBP are the publishers that sold or are selling CS and EBD books. I wonder would it be possible to get numbers from them. I know the numbers would be nothing like the amount of Babysitters Club books sold. The Babysitters Club were sold to the US market which is huge and were also primarily sold in the 1980s and 1990s when people had much more disposable income to buy books.


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 Post subject: Re: Number of CS Books Sold
PostPosted: 22 May 2020, 12:42 
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I think you may be looking for information that is impossible to find. There doesn't even seem to be certain information as to how many print runs there were of each of the Armada "covers" never mind how many were actually sold!

I don't know what was retained of Chambers files when the Edinburgh premises shut. It's quite common in those circumstances for much of the historical material to be ditched and I suspect sales figures for something in which the parent company was not going to be interested again weren't likely to be retained. The same may well be true of Armada. Publishers used to retain just about every piece of paper but in recent years have got rid of their archives, keeping information for much shorter periods of time.

It's possible that GGBP have some knowledge of the previous sales figures and you could ask them directly. Presumably both GGBP and Bettany Press know what numbers they have printed however I can see you coming up against the question of commercial confidentiality (as well as the problems with getting any kind of response from BP about anything!)


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 Post subject: Re: Number of CS Books Sold
PostPosted: 22 May 2020, 14:00 
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Think you are right about info being probably unobtainable, Victoria. University of Reading holds a lot of deposited publisher archives, but unfortunately not Chambers or Collins (who published Armada).


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 Post subject: Re: Number of CS Books Sold
PostPosted: 22 May 2020, 14:33 
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I believe Chambers London premises were bombed and largely destroyed in the Second World War, so there are no records of any of their pre-war stuff. We (as in the EJO Society) tried in the early days of the Society to get similar information abut the Oxenham titles they published and this is what the person who approached them was told.

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 Post subject: Re: Number of CS Books Sold
PostPosted: 22 May 2020, 19:18 
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Thanks. I was just wondering. I find information like that interesting.


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 Post subject: Re: Number of CS Books Sold
PostPosted: 23 May 2020, 17:37 
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I find information about sales and print runs interesting too.


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 Post subject: Re: Number of CS Books Sold
PostPosted: 23 May 2020, 18:41 
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Me too. It is a great shame if the data has been lost forever.


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 Post subject: Re: Number of CS Books Sold
PostPosted: 23 May 2020, 21:14 
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I know that there were quite a few trade publications, many of them founded during the Victorian and Edwardian eras, but I don't know whether there were any relating to book publishing as such, although you would think that there must have been at least one. Unfortunately the trend seems to have been to downsize around the time of WW1. Might be worth looking for, though it's unhelpful that the British Newspaper Library has been unavailable to the public for some years now, and I think has only some of its stock digitised...


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 Post subject: Re: Number of CS Books Sold
PostPosted: 24 May 2020, 08:13 
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From the GGPB point of view, us fill in authors do get information about our print runs and sales.

The first edition of Robin, which was quite early in GGBP’s history, had a print run of 650, and sold out relatively quickly.

By the time Juliet was published, the size of the print runs had increased to - I think - 2500 copies. I think Deira was the same. These sold steadily, and eventually sold out, but GGBP did decide that this was too large a print run, and left them with too much stock to look after (when obviously scaled for numerous titles) for too long a period.

So, nowadays, my understanding is they scale their print runs based on the pre-sales with a certain % on top, so books are in print for a reasonable time, but they don’t have to care for huge quantities of unsold books for very long periods....

The whole process has also become much for straightforward, so a second print run for a popular title is much easier to acheive and is more cost effective than it would have been twenty years ago when I was writing Robin.


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 Post subject: Re: Number of CS Books Sold
PostPosted: 24 May 2020, 09:30 
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Stumped by Lower Four's quiz
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I have been investigating and the archives from W&R Chambers, Edinburgh went to the National Library of Scotland.

https://digital.nls.uk/catalogues/guide ... dep341.pdf


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