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it came out of the wordwork

A Month of Numbers
This has been a month full of numbers for us here at the Cat Farm and Confusion Factory.

Between personal taxes, SRM Publisher taxes, dropping a quick $4grand and change down payment on dental stuff, waiting for scheduled and behind schedule infusions from various publishers (not to mention royalty statements, which anyone in the business can tell you is nothing but numbers on top of confusing numbers), and watching the prices on the gas pump go zoom... we've been watching numbers. I even had to find my current ranking (in the lowly 1400s!) at the US Chess Federation when I went to re-up my membership. I did recall my membership number -- that from the days when I was an active USCF tournament director and had to file that damn number on every piece of paper that went to Route 9W.... Numbers, numbers...

We've also been watching numbers at amazon.com (just a couple days ago we were seeing Crystal Soldier ranked in the 700's at amazon.com, and this morning it was 1345).... so imagine our amazement when the ranking numbers at BN.com began to rise/plummet, according to one of our informants.

Lo and behold, after running at a pedestrian ranking in the 7000s for a few weeks, the BN.com numbers were getting better. That is they were running in the 3000s... Cool. We figured the books were starting to hit the stores. Then they were in the 900s! Whoa, that's great. Yesterday they hit the 500s, and then the 400s.

Last night Rolanni saw a 273 rank at bn.com. Way cool! That's starting to mean we're really moving some Crystal Soldiers off the shelf and out the door. A lot of this is due to you folks who wouldn't take "in the warehouse" for an answer..... So this morning, after Rolanni took off for the mail run, I see Crytsal Soldier ranked at 214 at bn.com. That's real close to the best ranking any of our books has had -- ever -- at BN.com. Even when Plan B was pulling it's *42* at amazon.com a few years ago bn.com was always in the upper 600s. This 214 was so pretty I printed off a copy of the page as a momento!

Numbers and rankings change, of course. I mean, I expect the bn.com number to drop. My USCF ranking managed to make it to the edge of 1700 in the halcyon days. I got money *back* from the IRS, once upon a time. Plan B stayed in the 30,000s for the first few months it was out and then zoomed into the hundreds when Partners in Necessity was released... so I won't be surprised if Crystal Soldier drops to the 1000s sometime today at BN.com. But this sure makes it easier to drop the net connections and get to work on Crystal Dragon, this knowing that someone, somewhere, really wants to read what we write.

And if you're buying Crystal Soldier today, and can't get to one of the regular genre shops like Uncle Hugos or Pandemonium or Mysterious Galaxy, or Dream Haven or Bakka... consider bn.com or even the brick and mortar Barnes and Noble. Who knows -- considering numbers -- Crystal Soldier hit #4 on the Mysterious Galaxy Bestseller list last month -- the book might get a number on the Locus bestseller list. We can always hope.

More numbers for today: I need to get about 3000 words done. Starting now.

(this is posting 1.01, edited to spell brick properly, sigh)