September 30th, 2011

srm, bookish


I've just posted the information below in a couple places -- (and now that I've posted it here I invite you to share it in appropriate venues, if you know of any) and after you look at that I'm going to talk, briefly, about numbers.

Lee & Miller's Calamity's Child ebook is an Amazon hit! #7,405 in Kindle, #32 Kindle>Fantasy>Historical, #51 in Books>SF&Fantasy>Fantasy> Historical besides the Liaden story there's a A Night At The Opera -- a story that could make Halloween reading lists!

As writers we live in words, but also in numbers. Across the years we've been told both good news and bad news couched in the phrase "the numbers tell us ....." and fill in that blank. Del Rey, at one point, told us that "the numbers aren't there" and let our (then) 3 book series lapse with 4 yet to go. Meisha Merlin told us "the numbers are looking good -- so what else do you have for us?" It was on the strength of our numbers that we got to do the Low Port anthology we'd pitched, and it was on the falling numbers of the mid-list as a whole that Ace reverted our original novels. The folks at Baen seem pretty well pleased with our numbers -- hence, the 3 book contract we're working on right now.

Back to the little blurb above -- you see that Amazon is busily keeping track of numbers, because they believe in trends and use the numbers in lots of ways -- if we get higher in the current ebook ranking lists they mention our ebooks on other ebook pages, and if we get high enough we get into a top 100 list ... and there's the amazement for us since the Calamity's Child ebook has somehow climbed into one of the top 100 BOOKs list, almost into the upper half of it, on the strength of a dozen dozen or so sudden sales, not to mention being well in the upper half of one of the Kindle lists. For a short time the ebook version of Timerags II, my small book of poems -- made it into apparently made the top 10 of one of the divisions amazon follows -- something like >literature>poetry>20th century> American.

The numbers of late have been relatively kind to us, often in the big-fish in a small river kind of way -- our books have made a couple bestseller lists in the US and Australia (no, not the NYT list, sigh, but hey, having the WSJ give us a nod is good!) we've been invited as Guests of Honor because enough people have asked con committees to do so, we've done signing in a store that sold thousands of our books in the last year ... go numbers!

Authors and other artist-types who make their living from having people be aware of them: actors, singers, musicians, potters, sculptors and etc ... we know the phrase "Ink is ink," and in these digital days often "ink" depends on numbers -- look at all the blogs and features on the internet featuring things like: Top 13 Reasons to Quit Sniffing Marmots, The Seven Movies where your Girlfriend will be admiring Male Buns and Not Hearing the Dialog, and the 45 Best Namibian Restaurants in Anchorage .... and of course, there are the best seller lists -- books, mp3s, movies, cars, cats .... done in Top3s, Top5, Top7, Top 10, Top 13, Top 20, Top 25, Top 30, Top 40, Top 50, Top 100 and some etceterania.

Anyway, ink is ink, and numbers are numbers. From time to time we'll point out numbers to you, not only because they may be particularly cool (who can deny the classic lines of 42? or the unshrinkable necessity of pi?) and when we do it is partially because of the cool factor, and partly because they may become viral. (( WOW! Did you see, Lee and Miller have 11 chapbooks in the top 100 anthology list? (we did once) ....))

So, thanks for your patience, and for understanding that when we throw numbers on the screen we're not bragging per se, we're hinting. We're giving you a hook you can share with friends so they'll all go out and read our books and you'll all be able to talk about them together and all come to our Friends of Liad breakfast at ChattaCon in January, because, you know, there's strength in numbers.

Oh, and about that list of bun movies -- I made that up. Srsly. Or, you can make that list here, in comments, if you like.
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