It’s been three months since my book, NewsLady, went on sale. From what I can tell sales have been brisk, but I don’t have any dollar figures from Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble or Author House. I never expected to write a best seller, but way in the back of my mind there was a tiny glimmer of hope.
I certainly had many media interviews to get the word out. CNN, C-Span, NPR, XM Radio, local television and The Daily Beast. I’m hoping there will be more opportunities.
One recent Sunday I was reading the New York Times Book Review and decided to peek at the best seller list. What happened to what long ago used to be just the hardcover fiction and nonfiction books? To see if my book showed up, I had to search through 12 lists. 12!
There were the expected lists of hardcover fiction and nonfiction. Then, the e-book best sellers, fiction and nonfiction. The paperbacks were broken down into trade fiction, mass-market fiction, and nonfiction. Hardcover and paperbacks in the all-inclusive category of Advice, How-To and Miscellaneous, followed these. I didn’t spend much time perusing the Children’s Best Sellers, which included picture books, chapter books, paperbacks and series. Surprisingly, the new super category, the first one you get to, is called Combined Print and E-Book Best Sellers.
That certainly gives you a good idea of where the book publishing industry is heading. Many people told me they were getting an e-book of my story. Their excuse? It’s cheaper: $9.99 versus $28.00. On a spring break cruise, I would guess half the passengers were reading iPads, Kindles, or other electronic readers. The rest had the odd paperback or hardcover book.
Oh, my. Will my grandchildren never know the joy of cracking open a brand new hard back book, of flattening the pages and settling in for a pleasant read? Will they never turn the pages to continue the engrossing story they are reading? Will they never dog-ear or use a highlighter to mark the best parts? I can’t imagine them having homes someday without colorful, bulging bookcases which seem to bespeak an educated household. Who is going to see their e-books? Oh, they will. Big deal.
Back to the best seller lists in my category. President Bush was there and Donald Rumsfeld. Yes, and the Tiger Mother and Keith Richards. Even Inside of a Dog, the world from a dog’s point of view. Did I see NewsLady on any of the relevant best seller lists? No. Not yet. I still have that tiny glimmer of hope.