It’s true I’ve been spending a lot of time in the blog and elsewhere online talking about my novel The Lost Book of the Grail, which will be published by Viking this coming Tuesday. People often ask me “What is your favorite book that you’ve written?” My response is always—if it’s not the one I’m spending time with right now (writing or promoting) then something is wrong. And it’s true. I’m excited about this book, I’m excited to share it with you, and I honestly think it’s a good read. Otherwise I really wouldn’t say so. But I’d also like the book to be commercially successful—and here is where you come in.
Sad though it may seem, much of the success of a book is determined in the first week. Sales in the first week are generally the strongest in the life of the book and those sales are what drive decisions about promotion, advertising, and reprints. They are what can land the book on bestseller lists or in a store’s front window, guarantee a future life in paperback, help sell foreign language editions, and so on. The first week’s sales for my novel The Bookman’s Tale were just strong enough to put me on the New York Times bestseller list. That has made a huge difference in my career. Those words appear on every book I publish. But a difference of a couple of hundred books, and I would not have been on that list.
All this means that it is important that people buy books in the first week of publication. There is a very easy way to do this, and it’s called pre-ordering. If you order and pay for your book before publication (preferably from your local independent bookseller, but even from Barnes and Noble or Amazon) that sale will count towards the first week’s total (I should note that the hardcover bestseller lists are the easiest to crack and the most respected in the industry, so it helps if you buy a hardcover rather than an e-book. However, I’m happy if you just read my book!)
To the right of this blog is a sidebar with ordering links for The Lost Book of the Grail. If you’d like a signed copy, you can click on the top link and order from Bookmarks (a local literary non-profit in my hometown of Winston-Salem, NC). So if you are planning to buy this book (and why wouldn’t you?), please consider a pre-order so we can guarantee that your purchase is part of that first week’s tally. It really does make a difference.