Publishers Writers Editors Newspapers Authors Proofers Magazines Illustrators Designers Online Agents Typographers Publishers Writers Editors Newspapers Authors Proofers Magazines Illustrators Designers Online Agents Typographers Publishers Writers Editors Newspapers Authors Proofers Magazines Illustrators Designers Online Agents Typographers Publishers Writers Editors Newspapers Authors Proofers Magazines Illustrators Designers Online Agents Typographers Publishers Writers Editors Newspapers Authors Proofers Magazines Illustrators Designers Online Agents Typographers Publishers Writers Editors Newspapers Authors Proofers Magazines Illustrators Designers Online Agents Typographers Publishers Writers Editors Newspapers Authors Proofers Magazines Illustrators Designers Online Agents Typographers Publishers Writers Editors Newspapers Authors Proofers Magazines Illustrators Designers Online Agents Typographers Publishers Writers Editors Newspapers Authors Proofers Magazines Illustrators Designers Online Agents Typographers Publishers Writers Editors Newspapers Authors Proofers Magazines Illustrators Designers Online Agents Typographers Publishers Writers Editors Newspapers Authors Proofers Magazines Illustrators Designers Online Agents Typographers Publishers Writers Editors Newspapers Authors Proofers Magazines Illustrators Designers Online Agents Typographers Publishers Writers Editors Newspapers Authors Proofers Magazines Illustrators Designers Online Agents Typographers Publishers Writers Editors Newspapers Authors Proofers Magazines Illustrators Designers Online Agents Typographers Publishers Writers Editors Newspapers Authors Proofers Magazines Illustrators Designers Online Agents Typographers Publishers Writers Editors Newspapers Authors Proofers Magazines Illustrators Designers Online Agents Typographers Publishers Writers Editors Newspapers Authors Proofers Magazines Illustrators Designers Online Agents Typographers Publishers Writers Editors Newspapers Authors Proofers Magazines Illustrators Designers Online Agents Typographers
LDS Writer's Market
Instant Access to LDS Publishers, Magazines, Editors, Writing Professionals and More
How to Use The LDS Market Writing Resources Defining History Publisher Imprints Bookstore Chains
Publishers Agents Reviewers Magazines, Newspapers & Journals Contests Grants Non-Print Media Distributors Foreign
Bookstores & Retailers Organizations & Associations Education Professionals Libraries Authors & Writers Illustrators Other
Login Free Listing Advertising About Us Home
of Springville, UT, is the author of 14 books.

Visit Author

The LDS Book Market

It may be helpful for authors to understand the practical size of the LDS market. It is difficult to estimate the actual size of a market because of the diversity of languages and cost of shipping to foreign countries. Therefore, when estimating the number of books that can be sold or might be sold, consider using as your reference the Church's North American and Canadian (NAC) membership. Similar statistics can be derived for our Spanish, German, and French speaking brothers and sisters.

As of July 2007, the Church's NAC membership was approximately 5,924,456 people. Generally, only one book will be sold to a family. According to the 2000 U.S. Census, the average family is 3.14 people. Therefore the Church's NAC membership is approximately 1,886,769 families. The Church's active membership is approximately 35%; therefore, the ceiling for any publication is 660,369 copies.

That is an enormous number that is rarely approached by authors other than General Authorities.

Tastes and preferences for non-celebrity authors vary from person to person. This is especially true when considering fiction (such as romance) versus nonfiction (such as doctrine). Each publisher's experience will vary, but based on WindRiver Publishing's experience in the LDS market, a common estimate for all books is that only one in twenty households might want to buy any particular book. This establishes the best-seller market size for any LDS book as approximately 33,000 copies. Most books have a lifetime sales potential of one-tenth the best seller market size, or 3,300 copies — which will be larger for some genres, and smaller for others.

New Author Expectation:750 – 2,000 copies.
Experienced Author Expectation:3,000 – 10,000 copies.
Popular Author Expectation:15,000 – 30,000 copies.

All authors should note that there is never a guarantee of sales. Regardless how much money is spent on promotion or the quality of a book, the public may simply decide to read another book. The expectations provided above are averages and are in no way a guarantee for any specific book.

A Labor of Love

Based on the above numbers, new authors obviously can't quit their day jobs. Assuming the best-possible result for a new author, an average royalty of 8% of the retail book price, and an average book price of $15, the lifetime return for a single title is $2,400. There are only three ways to increase this number.
  1. Negotiate a larger royalty. However, there is only so much money to go around. A 16% royalty is gigantic and would only increase the return to $4,800.
  2. Write more books. Every publisher hopes a successful author will write more books, but writing books takes time and effort. Many authors cannot write more than one book each year, so after ten years or so the author will have earned $24,000.
  3. Sell more books! The simplest way to increase your return is to help the publisher promote your books. Printing more books is easier than writing new books and much simpler than negotiating a larger royalty. Become a popular author and each title will return up to $36,000. You can do this by…

    • Involving yourself with online communities and telling people about your book.
    • Including the book title and appropriate link as your signature for emails or online communication.
    • Becoming involved with fan groups and reading circles. Get connected with social media and increase your fan base.
    • Inviting fans throughout the Church to tell other people about your book or to visit your website.

Market Growth 1989–2008

The LDS North-American market has enjoyed a twenty-year average annual growth rate of 1.9% for a total market increase of 43%.

YearCanadian MembersU.S. MembersTotalGrowth Rate
1989125,1774,173,9194,299,096n/a
1990128,3654,266,6534,395,0182.23%
1991130,3214,336,0444,466,3651.62%
1992133,3694,428,9344,562,3032.15%
1993137,5104,519,2734,656,7832.07%
1994140,7414,612,2234,752,9642.07%
1995143,4864,710,7954,854,2812.13%
1996148,8114,808,8754,957,6862.13%
1997151,4394,922,6705,074,1092.35%
1998154,3915,022,4195,176,8102.02%
1999156,5755,112,7735,269,3481.79%
2000158,5115,207,6785,366,1891.84%
2001160,7435,309,5015,470,2441,94%
2002163,6665,409,4215,573,0871.88%
2003166,4425,502,1075,668,5491.71%
2004170,2145,598,0795,768,2931.76%
2005172,4335,6690,6725,863,1051.64%
2006175,3835,779,3165,954,6991.56%
2007178,1025,873,4086,051,5101.63%
2008177,6005,974,0416,151,6411.65%
* Membership data provided by the LDS Church's Statistical Records Department.