|From left: Bree Despain, me, Lindsey Leavitt and Emily Wing Smith|
Lindsey read from a horror "novel" that she wrote when she was in fifth grade. It was hilarious... and not really horrifying. I love hearing Lindsey talk, because she is funny, self-deprecating, and inspiring all at the same time. And, she can walk and chew gum. If you have a chance to see her in person, take it!
The reason I bring this up is... Lindsey has an uncle in Salt Lake City who buys about thirty books every time he attends one of her events. This is huge. The authors there were amazed and a little jealous, and it got us talking about numbers.
When EVERNEATH first came out, one of my neighbors asked how many copies my publisher had printed. When I told her the round number, she looked shocked and said, "That won't even be enough for Utah!"
I could see her train of thought... The Wasatch Front is home to maybe a million plus people, and who out of that million wouldn't want Everneath? So that's a million books needed right off the bat.
But I'm here to tell you, that is SO not the way it works with books. In fact, I'll even go a step further: When it comes to sales of EVERNEATH, or any other book out there... Every. Book. Counts.
Now, let's dismiss the exceptions to the rule, the Stephenie Meyers and James Pattersons and Fifty Shades, where they are probably not as aware of the single sales out there.
But for everyone else, every sale is significant. To everyone else, writing a personal thank you card to every buyer would not be an astronomical task.
Each author has access to BookScan numbers, which track all the sales during a given week across the country. They divide those sales by region, and further divide them by smaller areas, to the point where if you buy a book in Wichita Kansas, I can almost see it.
But not in a creepy way. Not in a "I know where you live" kind of way. We don't get that detailed by any means. It's more in a way that I want to reach out and hug Wichita Kansas - all of you - and thank you for that single book sale, and the knowledge that some reader among your ranks has handed over money for something that I wrote.
There is no greater honor.
I guess my point is, if you're thinking that buying one book doesn't matter to the author, think again. I know most of you already know this. But please notice how an uncle who buys thirty books for all of his friends can draw the envy (in a good way!) and awe of every other author there. Know that the singles column of the sales numbers is compelling and meaningful. Know that our sales are not counted by the hundreds or the thousands, but by the digits on our own two hands.
And when you buy a book, some author, somewhere, wouldn't hesitate to give you a hug.
And if you've bought my book, well... (((hugs)))