Friday, October 31, 2008

The List!

In addition to the below awesomeness (not me, the list), I was just informed that the book has gone into its fourth printing. Holy smokes! I didn't even know it had gone into its third. Thanks again to everyone who has picked up a copy and kept booksellers both busy and excited about the title! Next week, this blog will be less about me and more about answering your questions. I promise.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Making of a Best Seller

So, hmmm, okay, in case you didn't hear: I am officially and forever will be a NY Times Best Selling Author!!! Yay! What does this mean? Well, it means that for the future on out, all of my books will say that I'm a NY Times Best Selling author. For the present, it means that I'm working it into as many conversations as possible. :)

Actually, what it means is something fairly intangible. I've learned some interesting stuff this past week about best seller lists, and I thought that you guys might find it interesting too. When whispers of the fact that I might have a chance of making one (or more) first found their way to me, the first thing I asked was, "Well, how are these lists quantified?" And the answers I got back -from just about everyone - editors, writers, my agent - is that no one really seems to know.


You'd think that it would be simple math: add up the top sellers and put them on the list. But evidently, this isn't exactly how it's done. And each list has its own method of going about it. From what I've learned, the news outlets not only look at numbers, but they also survey bookstores to see what is hot and what is selling like wildfire, and some lists, like the NY Times, ignore big box stores (which served to my advantage, as I'm not yet in Costco, but now hope to be), while others (like, I think, USA Today, but I'm not certain) do not. USA Today lists the top 150 books period. They don't differentiate between fiction and non, children's and adult, paperback and hardcover. It is strictly: these are the top 150 sellers (based on some secret calculation) in the country, which, of course means that it's tougher for a novel to land on the list, as non-fiction sells far, far more copies than fiction.

So, as the days and hours approached, I was nervous. I was more than nervous, I was full-on freaking out, albeit mostly internally and taking a good deal of it out on the elliptical! :) But the fact is that you CAN sell more copies than another book and not end up on the list. I knew this. I knew that there is no transparency with the decision-making process, and while I also knew that my sales should have been strong enough to land me somewhere, really, no one knew for sure. You also have to keep in mind that these lists are like a grading curve: if you sell well in a week where there are no big releases or other books fall short of expectations, you have a much greater chance of making it. If my book had come out in May? I probably wouldn't be in my designated slot.

So back to the original question: what does all of this mean? To be honest, I'm not sure yet. I know that book stores get the list today and tomorrow and will probably offer more support/sales. I know that, as mentioned, I get a shiny new title that excites the marketing folks. I know that I get a tiny thrill when I see my name on the actual pdf I have of the list. I know that this will likely give me more leverage when I sell my next book. But right now? In this moment? Well, maybe it will convince people to fork over $15 when they otherwise wouldn't have. Maybe it will convince a few more newspapers or magazines to run reviews.

But to be honest, life goes on. I got the news and had a wonderful, like, 20 minute bubble of pure elation/oh-my-f-ing-god-I-can't-believe-I-did-it moment, and then my kids needed dinner, and my son needed cough medicine, and we had our daily bedtime routine, and then I got dinner ready, and then I fell into bed and watched my DVRed episode of Samantha Who and the intro to Lipstick Jungle. (Sue me, it's a guilty pleasure.)

We'll see what happens from here. You know I'll keep you posted!

And thanks AGAIN to EVERY LAST ONE OF YOU who helped get me here. Truly. I'm sure that some authors don't recognize that it takes a village to make a best-seller, but I do. I feel grateful and humbled that I have found such wonderful neighbors in all of you.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

NY Times Best Seller List!!!!!!!!!!!!

I just found out!!!


I hit the list (albeit extended list) this week!!! I haven't seen the list, so I can't remember who I'm ahead of - the lovely folks at Random House called me, and I was working out to distract myself from knowing that the list was coming out, and thus when they called, and I was breathless and sweating and then crying and basically near hysterics - but I do remember that it was names that I never in a million years imagined I'd be in the same vicinity of.

More tomorrow. A lot more tomorrow. About how you get on the list. About what it means. About all of that.

Now? Coincidentally, I'd scheduled a massage for tonight. But life is good now. There will be no unblocking of chis for me.

And. Most importantly. THANK YOU to you guys. I've said it here before and often, but no matter how good a book is, is does NOT do well without the support of readers, friends of the author, the publisher and the author's team. I really, really, really am so grateful to all of you who helped get me there. THANK YOU!!!!!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

If and When Blogger Ever Unlocks This Blog...

Ugh. Apologies! For some reason, Blogger has locked this blog to review it for potential spamming, and I've been unable to post since Friday! SO ANNOYING. So I'm writing this in the hopes that I can get it online sometime soon.

I don't want to write anything too important in case by the time this goes up, it's outdated, but in the meantime, I'm actually on my GCC tour this week! So to keep you occupied until I get up to speed with blog posts, here are some links to various Q/As I've done.

Again, apologies on the inactive blog. Blame Blogger.

Brant Flakes -

Wendy Nelson Tokunaga -


Kelly Parra: