One of the salient features of Amazon.com is that it lists the sales rank of every item. So a hypothetical author could — hypothetically speaking — click on his or her book to get a sense of sales. While Amazon represents a small sample of total sales, I’ve always found it generally indicative of the big picture: a semi-unreliable barometer. My editors have warned me against looking, since it becomes a nervous tick, like picking at a scab: “Don’t do that, leave it alone, it’s disgusting.” But . . . we all do it. Because authors at their core are scared witless that nobody cares, and amazed (relieved, gratified, stunned) when anyone does.
I learned today that Along Came Spider — that hotly-awaited tome about the trials and tribulations of fifth grade — is now in stock. The current sales rank is #1,209,311. In English, folks: One million, two-hundred and nine thousand, three hundred and eleven. Ouch. Okay, it’s early yet, maybe the rest of the world hasn’t caught on. (Or, er, maybe it has?!) Isn’t that what every author fears the most? You write the book, somehow manage to get it published, and the world collectively yawns.
We shall see. In the meantime, I’ll do my part. Give me an oar and I’ll put my back into it. To that end, I’ll blog about the book every now and then, provide some inside story into the making of this legendary book. More to come, soon. Until then, come on, friends, let’s get that number under one million — I’ve got two cats and a goldfish to feed!