Comments Anyone?

Just for fun, here’s a little something to make you feel better about comments, or the lack thereof.

As an experiment, I went to Wikipedia Bestseller List, and I chose, at random, this bestseller:  The Shack by William P. Young.

The Shack sold 10 million to 20 million copies.  (Wow, big difference there.  I guess you have to go to the IRS to find out for sure.) Then I went to Amazon to look at customer reviews of same book:  4647.

Since Amazon did not sell all of the copies, we’ll estimate and say that Amazon cornered one-quarter of the market at 5 million copies.  And to make the math easier, we’ll bump the comments up to 5 thousand.

5,000,000  copies to 5,000 reviews


5, 000 copies to 5 review


1,000 copies to 1 review


.1 %

What does this mean?

Well, if you post something, twenty people read and two people comment, then you’re getting a 1% return.  That’s better than a bestseller.  Yeah!  You’re a success—on comments, but still no money, alas.

It also means when they call it the Silent Majority they aren’t kidding.

P.S.  I hope that I didn’t totally embarass myself with my math.  Talk about rusty.  Blush!


16 thoughts on “Comments Anyone?

  1. That would be a good return and actually even better than you think…I won’t mention anything about the math. (smile)

  2. I read this and asked myself if I care about comments. I guess that ultimately I don’t. I have to satify myself, first and foremost. It’s like the way that composer Charles Ives felt. He was a part-time composer who made all of his money in insurance.

    He felt that the most important thing was that for his compositions to exist, whether or not they received performances. He won the Pulitzer in the 30s for his 3rd symphony. Upon being notified, he responded, “Prizes are for boys. I’m grown up,.”

    The writer whether of words or music is hi own worst critic. If you can even touch ONE person with your work, you have succeeded in my opinion. If you can be accepted by a publisher, congratulations are in order. But in reality…you might have to die to gain the recognition of which you dream. 🙂


    • Mind blowing, isn’t it. Five thousand reviews sound good, but when you do the math–or attempt to do it….
      With your record, you already have the percentages. You just need to expand your reach.

  3. Ignoring math is something I’m good at, so I’ll just do that. But it’s true (saw an article somewhere, some time back) that only a tiny fraction of readers comment on blog posts. It makes sense that the stats won’t be that different for reviews.

    • It is no different when you go to a party. If ten or twelve friends are grouped together, only one or two do most of the talking, while the others use body language or facial expression.

      I’ve often wondered if people who comment are alpha personality types and the silent majority is mostly followers. Makes sense, since it wouldn’t do to have too many alphas in the general population.

      But then again, there are many reasons for not commenting, not the least of which is extending some effort–after the purchase and after one has finished reading.

      In the end, the silent majority speaks with money.

    • Well, I guess the whole point is that we may be waiting on something that will never come. We may chatter with each other, but the Silent Majority will always be silent.

      • Well, if meeze was youze, first placed I’d go would be to one of your own local newspapers, since what you write the locals would really liove. You could start by sending in an editorial directly to the editor–and make it a local issue. Be sure to spell the editor’s name right and add all the titles they may have. Add link to your blog.

        Also there are always little circulars in any community and they’re always begging for material–especially funny and maybe half-true stuff. Thrifty Nickel…. And add the address to your BLOG!!! Important. This way they’ll know that you can produce article after article. And I’d get me some buisness cards with by blog address and drop them round town: resturants, grocery stores, beauty parlors.

        Also try Or maybe do all of the above. 🙂

        Oh, and look around for places that have talent night. You could read your stuff. Humor sells. I’d buy a ticket.

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