"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.
Causes Christopher Meeks Supports
Associated Writing Programs