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Sometimes the Magic Works
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Christopher Meeks's "Months and Seasons" is doing well, too: #21 for collections on the Kindle.
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"Sometimes the magic works," said the theatre impresario in Shakespeare in Love. As much as I muse on the subject of marketing in this blog, I can't always explain things. I can't explain my ranking today.

Probably the worst habit many writers have is checking sales rankings on Amazon. It's as if our self-worth is on parade. My last two books have done particularly well during the week after publication, but there's a steep drop in sales after that, with spikes every now and then that match the hope a stalker has for Drew Barrymore. The spikes last for about four months., dribbling down in energy like a missed basketball. 

Now six months later for my novel The Brightest Moon of the Century, the sales have almost halted. I can't tell you why other than after more than two dozen reviews, the reviews have stopped, too. The book remains my darling. I don't have a publicist helping me anymore, nor a big publisher behind me. Barnes and Noble tells me that my book isn't "modeled," meaning it hasn't been guaranteed to stay on the shelves in its bookstores--although it remains in some. I'm not angry. The goal is to figure out how to be "modeled."

All writers hope for the steady sales of Salinger's Catcher in the Rye. We want our books to be in stores the way Charles Dickens remains on shelves. What we get is akin to the life of an ice cream cone in a toddler's sticky hands.

It's only when I was looking for a particular review today on Amazon that I noticed the ranking for my short story collection, The Middle-Aged Man and the Sea, was just over a thousand overall and #5 in short story collections. I had to pinch myself to see if this was true.

Then this hour the book bumped up to #652 in overall sales and #3 in short story collections. I had to take a photo of it so that I can prove it. I showed the photo on Facebook, wondering why it's happening. Terran Boylan wrote, "Have you ever thought it may be because it's a really good book? I certainly enjoyed it."

Still, what marketing magic brought this about? I don't know. Now that I'm feeling like Christmas, the trick is to get back to editing my next novel, whose draft I finished on Monday. The work awaits.

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The Magic is You!

Because you aim with your heart, adjust with your head, and always, always, always, do all that you can. ~ by Mike Dooley. (I would have liked to have taken credit for this one :)

 Best wishes and success. And keep the magic going! It truly works wonders.

Truly,

Catherine Nagle

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Fabulous quote

Thank you, Catherine. The quote is a great one. I aimed the first draft of my latest novel with my heart, and now I'm using my head to edit it.

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Congratulations, it is so

Congratulations, it is so lovely when that happens! Who knows why, exactly? But definitely because someone, somewhere, is loving your stories. Long may it continue. Must get myself a copy!

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The Beauty of England

Thank you, Tania. Congratulations to yourself, too, for your new life in England. I'm also enjoying being a fan of the Short Review on Facebook. You do the cause of the short story well.

I just received, yesterday, by the way, Lorrie Moore's new novel, "A Gate at the Stairs." I'm such a fan of her short story collection "Birds of America" that I'm eager to read the new book.

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I Learned The Source of the Run

A friend just sent me a link, which leads to the likely source of my books' sudden popularity. It awes me. A Kindle user named Neil Shapiro happened to catch me Friday night on a blog-video show called Book Chatter. Neil was inspired to a) buy "The Middle-Aged Man and the Sea" right away for his Kindle, and b) because the book arrived on his Kindle instantly, he started reading it, and c) because he liked it so much, he wrote about it online. Other people bought the book and wrote about it, too.

This shows me a few things for all writers to remember. First, put yourself out there. Book Chatter happens to be new, so it wasn't going to be a big media event. One hundred and fifty viewers ended up tuning in to the free form show.

Second, sales can come from the grassroots. If one person likes your work, he or she will tell another, who tells another. It grows from there. Of course, as writers, we can't create word-of-mouth. We can give readings, blog, go on internet shows, and more, and sometimes (and far from everytime) something happens.

To see what Neil wrote that started this run, go to http://www.amazon.com/tag/kindle/forum/ref=cm_cd_ef_tft_tp?_encoding=UTF... To see the Stacey Cochran's Book Chatter episode I was on, which is now archived on YouTube, go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xR2Gu-vwxVw&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Ekindleboards%2Ecom%2Findex%2Ephp%2Ftopic%2C10117%2E125%2Ehtml&feature=player_embedded#t=46

Thank you, Neil. Thank you, Stacey. And thanks to the people buying my books and talking about them.