Can I Estimate Book Sales Based On A Website’s “Wish List?”

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Lots of people have clicked to add my book to a wish list on a website. I haven’t received any sales reports for my book yet. How can I estimate sales using the wish list information from that site?

Many people click to add books (and other products) to their “wish lists” on a variety of websites, but don’t actually buy them later. This is common for all products sold online. Some people do this because the book hasn’t yet been published. Others may not have the funds available for a purchase right now, but might later. Still others may just want to remember the book later to tell a friend, or for a variety of other reasons, including just wanting to read an excerpt when it becomes available. Many people use “wish lists” like browser bookmarks. Lots of things get added but they often never resurface on that person’s computer screen because they’ve moved on to so many other things later.

Being a crafty person (I work in fiber arts when I find a spare moment once or twice a year), I am a pretty big fan of Pinterest. I “pin” stuff all the time that I might want to order later. Pinning on Pinterest is similar to bookmarking something except other people can see your pins as well. While I always have good intentions when I click to “pin” something, I almost NEVER go back and look at my own pins, nor order the item I was interested in. I forget about the item or I decide I don’t want it after all. And, I’m not the only one! Lots of people “pin” items to remember later, but never look at the item again.

Likewise, there are several items I have added to “wish lists” at different online stores because I didn’t know if I really wanted to buy a particular item or not.
Unfortunately, once I “wish list” something, 9 times out of 10, it’s forgotten soon thereafter. There are hundreds of articles I have bookmarked on my phone to review later and I almost never find the time to get back to them. I wish I could but I’m too busy. And, so are most other folks.

If you are able to access “wish list” numbers at a particular website, you should never use those as an estimate for past or future book sales. If you do, you will be woefully disappointed.

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