The Waiting Game


Well, the new book The Broken Bell is out. The Big Three sites (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Samhain) are all selling copies hand over fist. My Amazon sales rank is holding steady around 16K, which is pretty good for a new book's first day when you're not a household name like King or Koontz.

Now, a seasoned pro in this business would just glance at the various bookseller webpages to make sure everything was running smoothly and get on with the business of writing the next book.  Because really, at this point, the book is going to stand or fall on its own, and there's not much I can do to promote it without making a colossal nuisance of myself.  There are only so many ways and so many times I can wave the 'Buy my book!' sign in your face before you get understandably weary of seeing it.

Maybe one day I'll be that seasoned pro, but it sure wasn't today.

If there's a tech on duty at Amazon's Network Operations Center, he's probably looking at my IP address and shaking his head, because I've been refreshing my Amazon sales page for The Broken Bell all day long.

Take a look for yourself. Click here, then scroll down to the bit that says Amazon Best Sellers Rank under Product Details.

Right now I'm at #16,334 Paid in the Amazon Store.  Which isn't too bad, since it means that only 16,333 items in the entire vast Amazon inventory are selling faster than my book right now.  And since Amazon sells everything from ant farms to zithers, I'm happy with that.  I'll be happier when it drops even lower, but for now, I'm good.

But Frank, you ask, what does that Amazon rank number translate to in terms of actual sales?

Well, I'm glad you asked.  Amazon has steadfastly refused to divulge the specifics of their ranking mathematics, but after my 18th cup of strong black coffee I had a revelation (or perhaps a small cerebral event, same thing) and figured it all out.  Here's how Amazon determines ranks:

Rank = (All the money in the world) times (the number of Jeff Bezos' servers at breakfast) times (the number of self-published vampire romances with the words blood passion in the title) divided by (the combined numeric weight, in kilograms, of all the tears shed at Barnes & Noble when the Fire was released) plus (Planck's Constant, because Wikipedia said so).

Yes.  Yes, it's all perfectly clear now!

Running the numbers -- carry the two, find a common denominator, figure in a seven MPH wind drift, subtract the Battle of Hastings -- aha.

I have sold exactly blue copies of The Broken Bell, with an accuracy of plus or minus ducks.

Um.  Okay, maybe that needs work.

But I'll have to do it later.  Right now I must get back to my refresh button...


The Broken Bell on B & N

All the Paths of Shadow on Amazon