Hotter Than the Fourth of July — Book Business — Really!


Today is hotter than the Fourth of July. Yep.

No wait. It’s as hot as the Fourth of July, which sounds not-nearly so fun. Fireworks, hotdogs, watermelon, beer, burgers, BBQ, pool, lake, family parties (two, because my family is oddly distended) and of course, deadlines. What? It’s a holiday and you thought writers got to take them? No. I got my next deadline (page proofs for the compilation I talked about last post) in the email Yesterday. So this leads me to chat about Business of Writing.

You asked for it, so I think the next few (as they occur to me) will be business oriented, in the nature of what happens when (once you are published) and how you deal with it. Though I promise no order to them at all, I’ll try to cover stuff that might interest you. And I’ll take requests. LOL. Like a “professor” in a Storyville Pleasure House. (If you don’t know, Google or Yahoo or Storyville, New Orleans. The professors played the piano in the infamous houses.)

But first, back to that Fourth of July thing.

So – if not for a brave bunch of hunters, farmers, trappers, shop-keepers, doctors, lawyers, and Indian Chiefs, (let’s not forget the importance of the tribal Americans to the war!) we would be British today. Or far more British than we are, assuming that we ever tried to find independence again had we been soundly beaten. While we are talking the War of Independence – D.B. Jackson’s book THIEFTAKER came out yesterday to lovely numbers!

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,261 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

 #53 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Fiction > Fantasy > Historical

#66 in Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Magic & Wizards

#77 in Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Historical

If you haven’t bought yours, haul hiney to yon Booke Shoppe and purchase thee one. It is the perfect holiday read. J

Just one bit more of news then I’ll share how all this relates to business. Kalayna Price’s book GRAVE MEMORY came out on July 3rd also, and it too had respectable numbers yesterday. Respectable numbers. (koff koff koff) Like holy crap respectable numbers.

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #661 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

#3 in Books > 4-for-3 Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > General

#194 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

#11 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Fiction > Fantasy

#15 in Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy

Both sets of numbers are amazing.  David’s because this is:

  1. A hardback
  2. A new author name
  3. A new genre, literally (I know – koff koff again)
  4. A first book in a series, with nothing to back it up but being a good book

Kalayna’s numbers are amazing because this is only the third book in the series. I have no idea what Kalayna’s numbers were for GRAVE WITCH (the first in the series) but I am guessing that they were nowhere near this. These are fantastic.

Amazon numbers count, business-wise, as a clue what is selling in the entire market. Anything below 1,000 in paid books is huge. Anything below 100 paid, in your genre, is huge. These two writers are poised for success in totally different ways for their genres. Both write fantasy, yeah, I know, but the way a publisher calculates success is different for a hardback and a massmarket. Both of these are looking very, very good. Why do I say that and what do we look for here?

For David, early success will be if he goes into a second printing in the first few weeks. And if he does, I’ll holler it from the rooftops. THIEFTAKER already is a critical success. Kirkus (who gives freaking evil reviews sometimes) loved the book. LOVED IT! His other reviews are great too, but Kirkus was the one to win, and he did. Also, he’s managed great placement on some very important blogs including a link on Cory Doctorow’s BoingBoing to Mary Robinette Kowal’s site, My Favorite Bit, where David had a blog post yesterday. (Mary blurbed the book, too. Lot’s a great blurbage on this one.) And all this took a MOUNTAIN of work on David’s part. Months and months of work. Which I’ll talk about on future posts.

For Kalayna, her editor will be looking at lists – where GRAVE MEMORY lands on all of them. And if Kalayna is like me, she will be on pins and needles next week when the NYT is announced. I remember when five o’clock rolled around the Wednesday the week after my last Jane Yellowrock came out, and no one called to tell me I had hit a list. It totally sucked. And then I did get the calls, and my world rocked. Up and down, roller coaster-book-hell-and-heaven. That is the business, y’all. That is it in a nutshell – an emotional ride that rips out your heart one day and feeds your soul the next. If you can do anything else but write – do it. Because it’s freaking hard.

In fact, the first week a book is out, is a HORRIBLE time in a writer’s life. The first week a book is out is … like waiting to see the newborn baby’s face the first time. Waiting to count fingers and toes and try to decide whose nose he has or whose ears. We say a book is a commercial entity, that it’s all a business, but it’s also a labor of love. And it hurts to be born. That is the business end of it, really. I’ll say it again. It’s freaking hard.

So – celebrate with David and Kalayna here today, and on your FB pages and Twitter and whatever social media you use. They deserve pats on the back and candy cigars.

And don’t forget this year’s Book Signing Extravaganza. HEY! POST YOUR BOOK SIGNING SCHEDULES HERE, Y’ALL!

Just sayin’.



8 comments to Hotter Than the Fourth of July — Book Business — Really!