Failing Writer #30 (O.C.D. and real book-sales numbers).

I just got notification that Amazon has started shipping orders of The End of Boys one month early.  So though it won’t be in stores until June 1st, the book can be ordered and received via Amazon now.

And everyone around me is asking me how it’s going to do.  How many copies will sell?

But I have no idea.

I would quote Sherman Alexie and say, “I’ll sell twenty copies, seventeen of those to my mother,” except this book is going to be difficult for my mother to read since it deals with the worst time in our lives.  In fact, I’ll be really proud of her if she reads the one copy I gave her yesterday.

So how many copies will I sell?

Thirteen?  Three hundred?  Forty Billion?

I tried to look up real sales numbers of successful and failed memoirs, and couldn’t find much except for the most controversial “memoir” of all time, A Million Little Pieces.  That book has sold a documented 5 Million copies world-wide, in 29 countries.

Other (better) memoirs, Fuller’s Don’t Let’s Go To the Dogs Tonight, Karr’s The Liars Club, and Wolff’s This Boy’s Life must have sold in the millions, but I can’t find those numbers.

Also, to be honest, my book is never going to sell like one of those.  It won’t be an international best-seller.  No national or international book-tour forthcoming.

I’m not being modest either.  I’m reading in West Coast cities only.

So the book might do well in Oregon, maybe the northwest.  And I would be very happy with that.

Thinking about it further, I’m just going to say this:

I hope I sell a prime number of books.

257?  877?  1319?  7253?

I would be so happy.  I’d click my teeth and tap my fingers together in obsessive compulsive glory.


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