Monday, March 26, 2012

The Company You Keep

Back at the beginning of the year I did a blog post called The Digital Feast where I talked about my entry into the fantasy writer community along with some of the newer authors writing books with assassins and thieves such as:
  • Mark Lawrence
  • Jon Sprunk
  • Douglas Hulick
  • Mazarkis Williams
At the time I think I had sufficient sales to appear on about two dozen author's pages in the Customers Also Bought listings. It was a nice beginning and I was happy to see that I was starting to find readers of other authors also buying my books.

Well, it's been a few months since then and now all the books have been released.  As mentioned in my Road Signs post I'm always looking for indications of new milestones, so I thought it was time to peek back at the cross selling lists to see how I'm doing.

I'm pleased to report that the number of author's pages I now appear on has tripled to 75 including names such as: Brandon Sanderson, Brent Weeks, Carol Berg, Chris Evans, Daniel Abraham, Daniel Polansky, Dave Duncan, David Anthony Durham, David Chandler, Douglas Hulick, Guy Gavriel Kay, Ian C. Esselemont, J.V. Jones, James Barclay, James Enge, James S.A. Corey,  Joe Abercrombie, K. J. Parker, Kate Elliott, Ken Scholes, Kevin Hearne, L.E. Modest Jr., Mark Charan Newton, Mark Lawrence, Martha Wells, N.K. Jemisin, Patrick Rothfuss, Paul Hoffman, Paul Kearney, Peter V. Brett, Peter Vance Orullian, Richard K. Morgan, Richard Kadrey, Robert V.S. Redick, Robin Hobb, Rowena Cory Daniels, Sam Sykes, Scott Lynch, Stephen R. Lawhead, Steven Erickson, Stina Leicht, Tad Williams, Terry Goodkind, Tom Lloyd, and Trudi Canavan.

But the big surprise came when I found my name in the Top 5 of some of the most popular and highly respected authors in fantasy:

Author 1 2 3 4 5
Brandon Sanderson P. Rothfuss R. Hobb M.J. Sullivan G.R.R. Martin J. Abercrombie
Patrick Rothfuss B. Sanderson G.R.R. Martin M.J. SullivanJ. Abercrombie P.V. Brett
Joe Abercrombie B. Sanderson Steven Erickson Scott Lynch M.J. SullivanP.V. Brett
Brent Weeks P. Rothfuss B. Sanderson Peter V. Brett M.J. SullivanJ. Abercrombie
Scott Lynch B. Sanderson P. Rothfuss J. Abercrombie M.J. Sullivan R. Hobb
Daniel Abraham B. Sanderson Joe Abercrombie P. Rothfuss M.J. Sullivan D.A. Durham
Guy Gavriel Kay B. Sanderson P. Rothfuss J. Abercrombie M.J. Sullivan R. Hobb
Ken Scholes B. Sanderson M.J. SullivanJ. Abercrombie R.V.S. Redick P. Rothfuss

I'm never sure how to interpret these charts. They feel more like astrology than astronomy. Just because I am on another author's page doesn't mean I'm doing as well as they are, the number of variables are legion, and it doesn't account for non-Amazon sales. But back when I was self-published I remember being thrilled when I hit the 16th spot on Sanderson's and Rothfuss's  lists and I don't think I ever climbed higher than 14 so to be 3rd (and behind such industry heavy weights as Martin and Hobb) is pretty surreal.

But that's not the end of the good news. In the past, I've usually found myself on a few pages where I was the #1 or #2 cross sales but that number has grown considerably and I'm now featured on every book's page for these 25 authors:

Ken Scholes

Mark Lawrence

Jon Spurnk

Mazarkis Williams

David Chandler

Paul Hoffman

Peter Vance Orullian

Sam Sykes

Gail Martin

Alex Pehov

Amanda Downum

Blake Charlton

Chris Wooding

Colin Buchanan

Courtney Schafer

Daniel Polansky

Dave Duncan

James Barclay

James Enge

John R. Fultz

Lorna Freeman

M.D. Lachlan

Markus Heitz

Stephen Deas

Stina Leicht

Teresa Frohock

So if I was happy in January then I'm ecstatic as March comes to a close. The books continue to do well and appear on several Amazon lists including:
  • Best Selling (Historical Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Action & Adventure)
  • Top Rated (Science Fiction & Fantasy, Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Historical Fantasy, Action & Adventure)
  • Most Wished For (Historical Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Fantasy, Action & Adventure, Genre Fiction)
I'm pleased to see that the road signs seem to indicate another milestone has been reached, but as with all such milestones, I'm left wondering what they really mean. As I mentioned, this isn't a science, and all sorts of conclusions could be drawn that have no real basis in fact, but I've decided to believe that these "also bought" appearances are a sign that my books are becoming more popular, rather than less. I think that is a fair and safe theory as more and more people seem to be finding them. I'm hoping that the road ahead will be a long one, and in the meantime, thanks to all those on who's pages I'm piggybacking.

4 comments:

  1. Great news to hear! I'm sure it will continue to spread as you come out with other things too.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think you're right -- your books are getting more sales and have reached a critical mass that Amazon's suggestion engine knows how to interpret. Now you've officially been thrown into the mix with the Big Names. May it profit you!

    ReplyDelete
  3. If a person is judged by the company he keeps it appears you are in good company and headed towards tremendous and well deserved success!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great. I had told you before you reminded me of David Gemmell too. One of my favorite authors.

    ReplyDelete