Pen and Prejudice has been out for a couple of weeks and not like I'm checking my amazon page like six times an hour or anything (of course not!), but I'm doing better than I'd hoped and, of course, not as well as I would have like (which, indulge me here, would have had it jumping within two days of uploading it to the best seller lists for both the paperback and the Kindle version). There have been a few surprises based on what I can glean from the sales info provided by amazon.
1. The mystery community is not interested at all in this book, even though it's about writing and the mystery community. I didn't think I'd get a ton of mystery readers, but I thought I'd get some. Doesn't seem that I am.
2. I'm getting a ton of buy-in from the Janites (those who love Jane Austen in all her lovely permutations). I thought that this would be my core audience and I was right. I knew that there were a bunch of novels out there that are just like mine (Jane Austen fanfiction), but I was actually surprised at how many there are. I will say briefly that I am a huge supporter of fanfiction, which is anathema to many authors, I know. I'd give my right eye to have one of my books becoming a fandom darling because that would mean sales for years. I could retire. J.K. Rowling is one of the few authors who recognizes the power of fanfiction and what it does in terms of market share. There will be an upcoming post on fanfiction and how it is a way of extending the fantasy and benefiting the original author, but that's for another day.
3. No surprises regarding Kindle versus paperback sales: Kindle sales far outstrip paperback sales by a wide margin. Some of it is that I priced the Kindle version to be less than a cup of coffee, and some of it is why pay more for a paperback version when the Kindle version is roughly $6.50 cheaper? I believe that the reading experience for this particular book works much better as a book than a Kindle offering, but Kindle readers, I thank you from the bottom of my heart!
4. I'm ashamed to say that I didn't time the release of this book to coincide with the release of the movie Austenland. I wish I could say that this was due to sheer brilliance on my part--helloooooo, Austenland, how lovely to see you in the theaters--but it was actually just luck. But I will take it. Note to those of you considering self-publishing: Time all book releases with some related movie release as there is bound to be a bump of some sort. I can't say for certainty that the release of Austenland has helped book sales, but my gut says it has. Plus, it certainly can't hurt!
I'm going to try to post here more often. I am shooting for weekly Sunday blasts of trivia and opinions (no surprise, I always have lots of opinions), and I owe everyone a review on Myer's The Borgias).
For those of you who have bought the book in either one of its incarnations: thank you. For those of you who were kind enough to leave reviews on amazon: thank you! For those of you who have been willing to host me on your blog(s), thank you. Speaking of which, this upcoming Friday, August 30, I'm going to be featured on the blog The Ladykillers, which is authored by a host of lovely people who also write mysteries. Stop on by.