One can only wonder what the fate of their first book will be. I have waxed back and forth regarding what a success would mean to me with my first novel, Devil in the Grass.
In the beginning, I was happy that a few of my friends were willing to read the manuscript. I have graduated past that point; several of my ghost readers have in fact loved the book, and I am going to be published by Koehler Books March 1st, 2016. I figure that if it’s worthy in the publisher’s eyes that it be published, we have what would seem a solid enough piece of literature.
My expectations from a very low and realistic standpoint are that the novel will give me a strong enough platform to continue doing what I love to do and write more books, hopefully building a fan following whether it be big or small. But… one can’t help but look at the high end as well; it’s human nature.
OK, you have the James Pattersons of the world, but there are only a few of them and obviously to attain those heights, how could your expectations be better attained? In my mind, I made a goal and that was to one day find myself somewhere on the New York Times List. I’m not saying number one, but just anywhere. I believe one should always have goals. Thus, I went onto Google and tried to figure out what the parameters were for getting on this list.
I came across an article by @Heather-Maclean. The article in a nutshell states that it is not clear cut how and where a particular book gets ranked on the list.
The NYBSL ranks a particular book as to how it ranks among other books that it is competing against over a small period of time, say a week. Thus, if you launch your book just before Christmas, when The James Patterson, Karin Slaughter, Bill Clinton and a whole host of other big shooters line up, though your book sold well, it will get hammered down by the big guys. Mostly by fate, my Book Devil in the Grass is coming out in the New Year, which traditionally gives it a better chance of competing for a spot in this prestigious list.
Not all book stores count towards the list. As Heather states:”These include Target, Costco, and Walmart. Considering there are more than 10,000 of just those three stores, that’s a lot of books that don’t count toward the list. Amazon does report to the NYTBSL, but most internet retailers don’t.”
No specific numbers are mentioned pertaining to sales. The music industry bases its figures strictly on the numbers. The NYTBSL is very ambiguous and is not necessarily a fair contest. But then again, life is not fair, though I wish I had a real target to shoot for. It would be damn cool to see my name there…