Borders and Amazon, and Books That Die (Failing Writer #37)

True failing, not false modesty:

As my book slides down the sales lists – now all the way down to 500,000 on Amazon’s list -I wonder about promotion of new titles.

Already, before the Borders Chapter 11 fiasco, fewer and fewer titles were being sold in book stores, and fewer bookstores existed.  So we had both fewer venues and the proliferation of movies, CDs, magazine, and food-vendor stores.

The End of Boys is an indie book, but it is also a dropped book.  My editor was laid off during the editing process (then immediately got a job at a bigger house because she’s intelligent, precise, hard-working, etc.), and the book is left without a leader, without someone to champion the title.

The manager at Borders told me two days ago that although people are asking for my book every day – and it’s sold out at the store – they can’t order more copies.  The liquidation company won’t allow it.  So those are lost sales.

And who do I know in the South?  In Middle America?  In Delaware?

All combined, a failing title.  My nearest bookstore – Borders – is going out of business.  My national presence is zero (especially without an editor to solicit reviews and spread the word in the industry).

Not that I am completely without help.

Ben LeRoy – with Tyrus – is ironically trying to help me, putting it in the hands of reviewers, spreading the word.  This is ironic because he offered on the book and we (my agent and I) chose to go with a different house.  So LeRoy is promoting a title that his publishing company did not acquire.

Also, I have my local small bookstores, Tsunami, Smith Family, J. Michaels.

And my agent, my former editor, a few industry people I know.

Plus, I have my network of friends, family, and first readers.  But will it be enough to save the book?  Probably not.  The average book in the U.S. sells fewer than 2000 copies.  I’ve sold fewer than 2000 copies, therefore, The End of Boys is average.

Will Amazon take a bigger market share?  Bigger than the 12.5% of indie titles last year?

I don’t know.  Is The End of Boys a good enough book to take off just because people have spread the word?  I don’t know that either.


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