What a fun phone call that was on Wednesday afternoon. I was on a writing retreat, hard at work putting the finishing touches on the first draft of The Unwanteds book 6, when my editor Liesa Abrams called me. Now, she and I don’t talk on the phone much. I prefer to communicate by email so I can refer back to things we’ve discussed. So to get a call was surprising.
The NYT bestseller list comes out weekly on Wednesday afternoons around 5pm EST (it’s in the actual newspaper and online the following Sunday). When I have a brand new book out, I am generally at least slightly aware of Wednesday at 5pm, because a variety of my books have spent some time on the list. So once I’ve spent that first full week touring and working super hard, and the following Wed comes around, I think about it.
But I’ve learned not to think too hard about it. It’s a bit of a mysterious list, and an author’s book sales for the week only matter in comparison to what other books in the same category are selling. So the Unwanteds series could have its best sales week ever, but generally if ten other series’ have sold more in that same week, the Unwanteds won’t make the list. It’s all good.
A book usually sells the most copies in the first few weeks. All pre-orders are counted in that first week’s sales, so that week gives authors the best shot at hitting sales lists. But then the weekly numbers settle down and I don’t expect to think about lists again until the next book in the series comes out. So there are a couple of weeks each year when I’m conscious of Wednesday at 5pm. But the rest of the year I hardly know what month it is, let alone what day of the week. When Liesa called me, it took me a while to process what she was saying. The Unwanteds series was back on the NYT bestsellers series list! I don’t think I’ve ever been more shocked…except maybe the first time I hit the list with WAKE in 2008.
And you know what? The Unwanteds is on that list this week because of you. You’re reading the books. You’re telling your friends. Your friends are reading and telling their friends. Word is spreading, and it’s all thanks to you. THANK YOU!