Gordon left to pick up kids from school to take them to the dentist appointment. I am eating microwaved Brussels sprouts. I love the damn things and this way I can eat them and wash the bowl before they come back, so nobody will tell me they are disgusting.
Vaguely, I think you mentioned this once, but I don’t know where. Do books that are pre-ordered get counted when they figure out the NYT (and other) best sellers list? Is it to your advantage if we pre-order books or wait until they are actually out? Do E-books count?
Short answer: depends on the publisher.
Some quick facts:
NYT now has two lists: print and e-books. NYT measures how fast the book sells compared to other books. For example, a mass market paperback that sells about 8,000 copies in the release week will likely make an appearance on NYT.
Print books count for print NYT, provided they are ordered from a store that reports to NYT. BN, Amazon, Powells, etc. E-books are counted toward e-NYT and I have no clue where they get their numbers. They just started doing this.
All books are shipped to stores a few days prior to release.
Some books have a hard release, meaning, they can’t be put on the shelf prior to the official street date. Usually the publisher pays the retailer or creates some sort of agreement to make sure that BNA (Big Name Author) books are hard-released.
Some books have a soft release, meaning the retailers throw them on whenever.
Some publishers, like Avon, have agreements in place with the retailers, which, in certain cases, specify that books sold pre-release are counted toward the release week. So if BNA author Poopsie sells 1,000 units in the weeks before the release, and then sells 5,000 copies in the release week, her total for release week is 6,000 copies.
To my knowledge, Ace usually doesn’t do that. Our editor always tries, but things are complicated on the retailer end, so it’s hit or miss.
Why is all this goblegook important to the authors? Two reasons:
a) NYT on your book makes you be noticed and hopefully sell better and even get better marketing (not always!) and
b) Bonuses. On this coming up contract, if we hit NYT and stay on it for a bit, we get extra money. But this money is drawn against our future earnings, so we’d get like $2,000 now vs $2,000 six months later. So we get the money either way.
How does all of this silliness affect the reader? It doesn’t. You shouldn’t have anxiety when you go to a book store or when you preorder. You shouldn’t worry about when to buy the book or how it will affect the author. If you like the book, get it. A sale is a sale and we thank you for it.
So, the plan is, if you find the book early and you want it, buy it. If you see it early – score! You get the book early. Email us if you liked it. We’ll be totally happy for you.
[callout]If you find the book early and you want it, buy it. You get the book early. Score! Email us if you liked it. We’ll be totally happy for you.[/callout]
As a further proof of the “okayness” of this, we’ve been soft released every year. In fact, last year MAGIC BLEEDS hit NYT one week before its release. Which caused no end of hilarity. Our editor called, terribly excited. Then our agent called and said, “How in the world did this even happen?” Our publisher still likes us. We’re still writing. No catastrophe occurred due to soft release.
To be completely honest, unless we hit Number 1 on NYT, it doesn’t affect us much and we aren’t hitting it this release, I can tell you that. I’ve seen the numbers #1 gets. :P Besides, if we do hit #1, that puts us on a fast track toward hard cover. I wouldn’t pay $25 for one of our books. That’s just crazy talk.
Bottom line: all we ask is that if you are interested in our books, you get them by legal means: buy it, borrow it from the library, borrow it from a friends, lend it electronically, if it’s enabled. Whatever works. Just don’t pirate our work, and if you do, well you suck. I think less of you.
PS. Please remember that while I may bellyache and worry and display anxiety about the release on this blog, it’s just evidence of me being a normal human being. I blog about whatever is bothering me in that particular moment and releases do tend to be stressful. You sit there and hope the book doesn’t tank and that you won’t get a bunch of really upset emails, but the reality is, it might end up that way. If it does, we’ll deal with it on our end, and we’ll just keep swimming and try to do better next time.