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Hi Roberto,

Thanks for the info, this is very useful and encouraging info. The number of copies sold exceed rather comfortably the number of users subscribed to "Lua list" so perhaps it might be possible to extrapolate this for my own community, and to help encourage the contributing authors ;-)

Self publishing is one option we're considering.   This does mean self advertising too, but since the project like Lua revolves around the internet, website advertising and word of mouth/forum is both cheap and pretty effective.

Nows the hard part, the writing of the book...

BTW, thanks for you efforts on "Programming in Lua", its a great example of how a computer book can be both insightful and inspring.


On 9/19/06, Roberto Ierusalimschy <> wrote:
>   How many copies of "Programming in Lua" have been sold, and over
> what period.  Was there a burst of purchases when it was first
> released?  Or have you seen a steady or climbing rate since the first
> edition?

Roughly, the first edition sold 2600 copies from Dec 2003, when it was
released, until Mar 2006, when the 2nd edition was released.  There was
a small burst when it was released (in the fist six months), then it had
a noticeable decrease (probably because we put it online), and since
then it has been raising slowly. Just before we released the 2nd edition,
it was selling some 100 copies per month.

When reading these numbers, keep in mind the following:

- The book is self-published; we do not have a strong (not even a
weak ;) publisher pushing the book to bookstores, promoting reviews, etc.
I have no idea what difference it makes on sales, but I assume it makes
some difference.

- The Brazilian ISBN does not help. (Some bookstores simply do not work
with "foreign" books, no matter how it is printed and distributed.)

- Being no strong publisher, we have access to few figures: actually,
only the total sales to the distributor per month. It is difficult for
us to see trends; sometimes there are huge differences between months
without apparent reason. We have no idea how stocks behave, etc. Also,
we have no figures about who is selling the book (e.g., how many are
sold by Amazon).

-- Roberto