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Best-Selling Sports Books of 2011


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#1 Dehere

  • 2,450 posts

Posted 18 August 2011 - 05:04 PM

Sports Business Daily ran a list of the top-selling sports books of the year today. I don't really have any commentary to add to it, just thought the list itself was interesting enough to post. Lists of best-sellers appear everywhere but they rarely include the actual sales figures so this was interesting to me. Source is Nielsen Bookscan, and I honestly don't know how accurate they are considered to be (I know that my friends at record labels say you can typically add 15% to Nielsen Soundscan data to roughly account for independent stores). I'll include the release month and year, as many of these books were not actually published in 2011:


1. Those Guys Have All The Fun (ESPN) - May 2011 - 96,600 sold in 2011

2. Through My Eyes (Tebow autobio) - May 2011 - 75,500

3. I Beat The Odds (Michael Oher autobio) - Feb 2011 - 48,800

4. In The Blink Of An Eye (Michael Waltrip) - Feb 2011 - 36,900

5. Strength Training Anatomy - May 2010 - 36,300

6. The Last Boy (Mantle bio) - October 2010 - 30,900

7. SAS Survival handbook - March 2009 - 27,500

8. 56 (Dimaggio bio) - March 2009 - 25,200

9. Open (Agassi autobio) - August 2010 - 24,100

10. Moneyball - March 2004 - 23,000

Some others: Simmons' Book of Basketball reported at 20,700. Ian O' Connor's Jeter bio at 20,500. Scorecasting also 20,500. Rex Ryan autobio 19,500. Drew Brees autobio 9,700. Lance Armstrong autobio 8,200 to rank as the #10 biography ten years after its publication!

I hope SBJ will run a list like this again after the holidays. Is there a rule of thumb about what percentage of books get sold during the Christmas season? For some of these, like the Simmons book for example, I have to believe they sold as much or more in December of 2010 as they have this entire year to date.

#2 8slim


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Posted 18 August 2011 - 05:33 PM

I've never seen data on book sales before, so do those counts stack up to non-Sports titles?

For the #1 sports seller to be under 100K seems incredibly low to me. I would figure the top-seller for general fiction, for example, would be in the millions.

#3 Lose Remerswaal


  • Leaves after the 8th inning


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Posted 18 August 2011 - 06:48 PM

I have to imagine this book:

Posted Image

is in some other category, like Most Awesomest Book of the Decade

#4 Infield Infidel


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Posted 19 August 2011 - 06:21 AM

I think "Swing Your Sword" the Mike Leach autobiography that came out earlier this month, might make the list come year end. I'm reading it right now and it's a fantastic read

Edited by Infield Infidel, 19 August 2011 - 06:22 AM.


#5 Toe Nash

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 07:06 AM

I've never seen data on book sales before, so do those counts stack up to non-Sports titles?

For the #1 sports seller to be under 100K seems incredibly low to me. I would figure the top-seller for general fiction, for example, would be in the millions.

According to the Wikipedia, BookScan doesn't include sales from WalMart (or Sam's club, which they own), and a few other stores, so they estimate it's only covering 75% of books sales.

More importantly, it doesn't include e-book sales. Amazon recently reported that it sells more books for Kindle than hard copies, though it's tough to find accurate info especially when you include other e-book formats. But it's safe to say that you can at least double these numbers.

Also, the rankings may not even be accurate, if there are factors that would lead a book to get purchased more in one format than the other (huge size, pretty pictures, special packaging, etc).