…when it appears her book is sinking like a lead zeppelin?
Okay, I actually don’t have any hard and fast data on how Behind the Red Door is selling. I don’t have a subscription to Bookscan, so I can’t look it up there (and although my agent probably could, I’m not all that sure I really want to know). I did call the Ingram’s number a couple of times in the first few weeks after release (and those numbers were pretty discouraging), but now that phone number is no longer working (methinks Ingram’s has taken away that lovely free service and will replace it with something I’ll have to pay for). But the most telling statistic to me is that when I go into my local bookstores, all the copies that were shelved two weeks ago are still there. NOT a good sign!
Mind you, I don’t see this as evidence that the book itself isn’t good. I think the problems with selling it can be summed up as follows:
1. Debut author
2. Trade format (which many people don’t like/buy)
3. Relatively high cover price (related to format)
4. Not much buzz/few editorial reviews
The only one I can imagine having much impact on (as an author) is the last one, but I’ve already sent out review copies to those folks I knew about who weren’t on my publisher’s list. So far, that hasn’t produced any additional reviews. Whether that’s because the people I sent it to a) haven’t read it yet or b) didn’t feel moved to write a review after they read it, I can’t begin to guess. (Of course, it’s entirely possible that the people I sent it to read it and hated it, but I sincerely hope they wouldn’t let that stop them from reviewing it and saying so. Honestly, I can take negative reviews. I won’t go Alice Hoffman on you on Twitter or anywhere else, I promise.)
So, here’s the deal. I’ve got quite a few copies of this book lying around. I also have it in .pdf format. If you’re a reviewer or a reader/author who’d be willing to read it and register an opinion, I’ll send you a copy. Free. All I ask is that you give it a review of some kind somewhere online–good, bad, or indifferent doesn’t matter to me. Just email me (you can use the contact page if you like) and let me know what format you’d prefer. Depending on how many of you respond, I’ll select ten “winners” at random.
I’ll need to hear from you by next Monday, and (while I know there’s no way I can actually force you to do this), I’d like to see your review up by September 1. (If you know you can’t make that turnaround, just tell me in the email why not. I’m pretty flexible.)
I’m not convinced this will make the slightest bit of difference. But it can’t hurt, right? So I’m willing to give it a shot.