I got a little more info on the big no from my publisher, and it seems like it boils down to a decision made by one particular chain of bookstores. All the other booksellers and chains actually ordered more copies of the new book than they had of the old book, and the latest book has sold almost as many copies in four weeks as the previous two did in their first eight weeks. But one particular chain whose name starts with B and has an ampersand and another word in it slashed their order dramatically, so the overall statistics make it look like orders as a whole dropped dramatically. I'm not sure what the most effective or appropriate response would be -- do we encourage people to buy books there and ask for the ones the stores aren't carrying to be special ordered as a way of showing them the error of their ways, or do we throw our support to the chains that are being supportive? I do know that my membership card at that chain is up for renewal, and I'm having serious doubts about renewing, in spite of the 10 percent discount and the fact that it is the closest bookstore to me.
Meanwhile, it seems that my Amazon sales are surprisingly high (they just about doubled their order from last year). Hmm.
The moment I said yesterday that I was going to take the rest of the day off, my agent called to ask me to help her with a project. I had to go and compile quotes from all my great reviews on all three books. In the early days, I was obsessive about that sort of thing, but since have eased back and worried less about reviews, so that required a lot of Googling. I was really surprised to see how often my books show up on the web, not just in official reviews, but in random places like lists of books people are reading or in blog comments on other authors' blogs. I didn't even recognize all the names, so either y'all are really good with this infiltrating the Internet thing, or else there are more people out there talking about my books than I realized. There were a few snarky remarks, but most were fairly favorable.
On another part of this project, are there any other authors you can think of you'd compare my books to, in the "if you like this, you'll like this" sense? I'm putting together a list.
In other news, Everything I Needed to Know About Being a Girl, I Learned from Judy Blume is now available. I think next week will be Judy Blume week here, where I'll share some of the more embarrassing stories from my youth, the "Judy Blume moments," so to speak.