Second Place is First Loser?

The term “best-seller” used to mean something.

It meant some pencil-necked rube working for the New York Times liked your book. But these days everybody and his dog has a best-seller list. Some of these people try to actually base their lists on actual books sold. The nerve.

Locus Magazine, the venerable SFF  industry mag, compiles an SFF best-seller list from numbers reported to them by Borders/Walden, B&N/B.Dalton, Bakka-Phoenix, Borderlands, McNally Robinson, Mysterious Galaxy, Pages for All Ages, St. Mark’s, Toadstool, Uncle Hugo’s, and White Dwarf. The latest issue of Locus reports that The Way of Shadows is the #2 best-selling fantasy paperback. Woo hoo! Shadow’s Edge rolled in at a respectable #6. Beyond the Shadows was a conspicuous no-show (the data was from November, before BtS was published, so one hopes that had something to do with it). The online edition isn’t updated yet, but this link is to the previous month’s list.

Not sure how to reconcile the three–could the indies be moving a lot more copies of my books than the big bad Joe Foxes of the world?–but I don’t show up at all on the latest Barnes and Noble/B. Dalton SFF list. And Borders has Charlaine Harris absolutely dominating their list, still. She has SFF paperback spots 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, and 8. I did sneak into the middle of all that southern vampire lovin’ to take spot #5. I thought they said if I wanted my books to sell like mad, “you should show with BO,” so I swore off deodorant immediately.

Have a show with HBO. H B O.

14 thoughts on “Second Place is First Loser?

  1. Rev. Zen says:

    Buck up little camper! First loser is better the second loser and if you keep writing books with the caliber of the Night Angel Trilogy, then you will kick this first loser gig with ease.

    I recommend relishing in all of the other SFF writers that did not fare as well as you. And remember:

    “Quit, don’t quit? Noodles, don’t noodles? You are too concerned about what was and what will be. There is a saying: yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the “present.” -Master Oogway

    It probably has no relevance whatsoever to your situation, but it always puts a smil on my face!

  2. Judge says:

    Grats, I’m sure it will only go up from here as word spreads.

  3. Mike says:

    Just wanted to say, if they had been released any earlier in the year you would have gotten first place with no question about it. And I don’t even have to read the other book to say that – this series was that good.

    I couldn’t put it down – I finished the first book and immediately went and picked up books 2 and 3, and finished them over the course of the next 3-4 days. The only problem with that is that I’m out of books to read again.

    But I can’t wait for new stuff, this is in the same quality range for me as Jordan, Goodkind and R.R.Martin, seriously. Very good debut, and I LOVE that the series was published pretty much all together.

    Keep up the good work!

  4. Lizard says:

    Just got the trilogy last week. Nice start with the first, looking forward to starting the second.

    Here’s to your success


  5. Francis S. says:

    Just wanted to note that your posts are almost always entertaining. Even while talking, somewhat seriously, about your ranking in the SFF selling lists, you manage to make jokes. I laughed at the BO thing.

  6. Brantley says:

    Just to let you know, I’ve worked up at Borders for about two years now and have a good idea of what sells and what doesn’t sell. We cannot simply keep your book in stock…we only get 5-6 of each at a time but they continue to sell as soon as we get in. As a personal fan I recommend them to everyone and I have also used it as my running pick for the staff wall that goes in the front of the store. It stays on our new/bestseller mass market wall as well. Keep up the good work and have faith!

  7. Tora says:

    I run the book department in a smaller chain of “entertainment superstores,” and I simply can’t keep any of the volumes in the Night Angel trilogy in stock. I’ve recommended it to regular customers, and they’ve been recommending it to their friends, and so on… Overall, I’ve sold more copies of each of the three since they came out than just about every other book I carry.

  8. Ajahli says:

    HUH You consider second as losing?? No freakin way xD

    Also, vampires are just in right now.. of course..

    but get a show on HBO. Then assassins and magic will dominate the world next! 😀

    Er..wetboys… I mean wetboys… WETBOYS NEVER LOSE!

  9. Ken says:

    Congratulations. Just read the trilogy (in three days no less – awesome!) Speaking of lists, your series is now in my top 5 of all time. Please keep ’em coming!

  10. revelation says:

    I am the maser of all things…no not really just pokemon

  11. revelation says:

    but i really do have ninja like wetboy talents.

  12. Bec Thomas says:

    Congratz on being 2nd and 6th, they are very respectible places to finish considering the vast number of books published every year.

  13. Blaze says:

    I’m a soldier in Iraq right now and I’ve been seeing your book at all the military run stores around here, or rather, I’ve been seeing the second and third everywhere. The first book is never anywhere to be found, so I bought the trilogy off on faith and here I sit quite entertained. Once I finish a few other books on my shelf I plan to re-read them all.

    I must say, I really look forward to whatever you’re writing next, especially if it has anything to do with the future (or past) of Midcryu. (sorry if I misspelled the name, I’m going off memory and curse it all, but it’s a confusing spelling.)

  14. Colin Taber says:

    I’m a manager at a B****** superstore and can say that we’ve sold not just dozens or scores, but HUNDREDS of each of your three books (at just our store!). Volume wise, you’re beating the pants off everybody in the genre. I haven’t read them yet (but do plan on giving them a try). At the moment I’d say almost a quarter of our staff have read them. Take a bow.

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