Sales report, and a bit of philosophical reflection
Daughter of the Sword is #17 on Barnes & Noble's bestseller list for sci fi/fantasy trade paperbacks, and also a Pick of the Month for October by B&N’s sci fi and fantasy connoisseur, Jim Killen. (Check out his list here.) It’s also #19 on BookScan’s fantasy trade bestseller list. (BookScan is to book audiences what the Nielsen ratings are to TV audiences.)
Not too shabby for a book that’s less than two weeks old!
I’ve been tracking Daughter’s standing on Amazon too, where its ranking fluctuates wildly. The day before it pub day, it stood at about 327,000th in overall book sales on Amazon. (There was a time when that wasn’t possible, but thanks to pre-orders, you can get on the charts even before your pub day.) Since then I’ve seen it go as high as 36,000th and as low as 239,000th.
Now maybe those numbers don’t seem so hot to you, but Daughter isn’t my only book. My first book, Purifying Zen, is a translation of a classic Japanese study of the Zen master Dōgen. Not quite as gripping as Daughter of the Sword, but prior to Daughter’s pub day, I thought at least Purifying Zen had the sales advantage of actually existing.
It turns out that isn’t true. Remember when I said Daughter was 327,000th on the list the day before it was released? On that day Purifying Zen was around 1.5 millionth on the list. That means a nonexistent fiction book outsells an existing philosophy book. Another way to put it is that my nothing was outselling my something, which is all kinds of ironic, since Dōgen himself had a lot to say about the relative values of somethingness and nothingness.