A lot of people, friends and strangers, via email, Facebook, Twitter, and in person, have been asking me how the book is doing in the bookstores. Unsure myself, I asked my editor, who explained it to me that it can take a while to find out how a book is doing. “Right now we’re very happy with the number in-print and out to stores, but it’s sort of in the consumer’s hands at this point.”
As the book sells, she explained, bookstores will place reorders, and if the book does not sell, the bookstores will return the books to the publisher. Through this process, we will eventually get a sense of how the book is selling.
She also told me that it can take a while for a book like SOMETHING MISSING to reach its audience (I’m no James Patterson), but that the work of the marketing department and my publicist will go a long way in spreading the word and building enthusiasm. So tell your friends, your neighbors and complete strangers about the book whenever you can, and remind them that it makes a great gift and that I’m happy to sign any copy placed before me!
My wife does this especially well.
So in answer to all of you who have been kind enough to ask about the sales thus far, the short and honest answer is that we have no idea how the book is doing and won’t know for a while.
On an anecdotal basis, I can tell you that most of the bookstores in my area are sold out and many of the reorders have already been claimed by people who were placed on a waiting list, but I have lots of friends in the area, so this isn’t too much of a surprise.
Friends and relatives have also reported that the book is sold-out in stores in New Jersey, Florida and Massachusetts, but again, there’s no telling if the stores in question ordered one book or twenty books, so these reports are difficult to rely upon.
Amazon gives every book a sales rank based upon sales conducted through their site, and I have a friend who has been watching my sales rank closely and reporting it to me, but even this data is difficult to understand. On Tuesday, the release day, SOMETHING MISSING jumped from #68,000 to #25,000, and by Wednesday afternoon it was at #8,000 and had cracked the top 100 in the humorous category.
But a day later it had shot back up to #42,000, and today the book ranks #6,152 as I write this post.
So who knows? I assume that my book is so new that the numbers will remain volatile for some time, but I have no idea how Amazon’s sales rank works or what the data even represents.
But when I hear some news, good or otherwise, I’ll be sure to share it here with all of you!