(Nielson) BookScan

tool that provides point of sale data for book sales

Who uses BookScan?

Publishers subscribe to BookScan in order to see how well a book is selling. Before a publisher acquires a new manuscript, they can use BookScan to check sales of the author’s previous books to inform their decision.

How accurate is BookScan?

BookScan does NOT report every sale of your book. It reports only retail sales, and even then, does not include sales from EVERY retailer. Something like 75% of retail sales are included in BookScan reports. Keep in mind that BookScan does not report sales to libraries, which are a big part of a YA/MG novel’s sales. It also does not report ebook sales, and sales to book clubs.

Should I check my BookScan numbers?

Only if you want to drive yourself crazy. By the way, Penguin’s Author Portal uses Bookscan (according to Author Portal’s FAQ), as does Amazon’s Author Central.