Fun with Bookscan


Did you know that lets authors look at the Bookscan numbers for their books? Of course you did. Did you know that Bookscan, which shows a fair portion of an author’s sales, doesn’t show them all? Probably.

But it’s still fun to look, right? Especially if you’re on deadline and have a massive amount of writing to do, and even less time than usual to do it.

Anyway, for quite a while the sales of Game of Cages and Child of Fire were going along at a steady pace. The numbers weren’t fantastic; HBO isn’t going to dump that Martin guy’s show for something made from mine, but it was steady and–best of all–not declining.

Then I did that guest stint at Charles Stross’s blog and those Bookscan numbers really jumped… for the length of time I was blogging there. After, they sloped back down.

But lately they’ve risen again, fairly steadily. I mean, the numbers are much nicer than before.

And I have no idea why. Am I being hilarious on Twitter? (all the spambots following me think so) This blog isn’t getting significantly more hits, and Google Alerts isn’t pointing me at any new reviews.

Which just goes to demonstrate that it’s true that authors don’t have a lot of control over books sale. Guest blogging did pretty well for me. This second surge? No clue. As far as I can tell, it has nothing to do with me or anything I’m doing.

8 thoughts on “Fun with Bookscan

  1. Scott Slater

    Word of Mouth Boss :) I’m pushing you to all my friends, and I’m sure other fans are too.

    In short, your stuff is good and more folks are starting to notice

  2. I wouldn’t be too quick to dismiss your own influence in the second surge. I think that your efforts to get yourself in front of a community do help with that. People reading author blogs are generally the ones most engaged (to risk an overused term) and thus most likely to gush to their friends about whatever awesome thing they’re reading. (*cough*) There’s a network effect in play, I suspect. Really, it’s just Word of Mouth that you’ve made a bit more effort to encourage.

    Clearly it’s not a 1:1 thing, but no form of marketing or promotion ever is.

  3. I dunno. If I really thought being goofy on Twitter was truly worthwhile, I’d put some serious effort into it (such as stealing jokes from Henny Youngman).

    As for my poor little blog, it gets fewer than a 100 hits a day. This is mainly a place for me to blather, not to market myself. Very few readers see anything here, and only slightly more read it on my LJ mirror.

  4. LabRat001

    I bought your books cause Charlie told me to :)

    I read them that weekend, left them for a while and read them again (normal for me) and then started pointing people I think will like them at you. Three of them have bought your book(s) cause I’ve had feedback.

    I think you could be looking at second order Charlie effects.

    As my mother would have said “Would you jump off a bridge if Charlie said to?” Answer: Probably :)

  5. I bought your books cause Charlie told me to

    He’s a good man. :)

    I see what you’re saying about second-order effects. I always misjudge this sort of thing because I’m such a slow reader myself.

    I just hope it’s sustained.

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