Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Done! (Again. For now.)

I finished the revisions on The Book That Will Not Die last night. Now I'm just waiting to see if Mom spots any wacky typos or missing words before I ship it off to my agent so I can wait a month or so and then rewrite it again. I swear, I'll be rewriting this book for eternity. It's my fate. I even had a nightmare last night in which I was one of the characters in the book (although, strangely, this character was in the other main character's plot).

Now I plan to take a couple of days to switch mental gears and get caught up on my life, and then I'll get my head into the next project. My plan for today is to finally see the new Indiana Jones movie, since it's temporarily cool enough to walk to the theater. Then I've got my first dance class tonight. I've got some research reading I need to do for the new project tomorrow, and then Thursday I think I'll go downtown for a local research trip.

Speaking of which, have any of you other musical theater fans seen The Drowsy Chaperone? When it debuted on Broadway, it didn't really sound all that great (I know it won the Tony, but it didn't sound like something I'd enjoy), but the review of the touring production that's currently in Dallas was glowing (and they hated the New York production), and they've got some pretty big names in the cast, so I'm intrigued, and if I'm going to be downtown anyway, I could easily catch a bus over to the music hall and see the Thursday matinee (I dropped my season tickets this season because this is the only real show of the season, with the rest being mostly revue-type shows). I will admit that the thing that made me start considering this was finding out that one of the main roles is being played by Jonathan Crombie, who was Gilbert in the Anne of Green Gables miniseries. Big-time swoon. He and that relationship were pretty much my idea of romance (that scene on the bridge in the second series. Sigh). On the other hand, I have learned that it can be somewhat startling to see a former TV crush on stage if it's more than ten years after the crush was formed (though not always -- seeing John Schneider on stage around 20 years after the Dukes of Hazzard gave me a retroactive crush on whichever Duke cousin he played. The man is aging well and has a lovely voice). But still, Gilbert! In person! And he was just a teenager in the first miniseries, and I think he's about my age, so it would be appropriate aging instead of startling aging (I wouldn't want him to still look like a teenager). So, any thoughts on whether the show itself is worthwhile? It's reasonably expensive and would make this an all-day excursion, but I don't want to miss something that might be good.

And then I have a ton of plotting/brainstorming work to do before I plunge into the first draft next week.

Meanwhile, I've been getting the Bookscan figures on my books from my agent, and I've noticed some interesting patterns. My agent says these represent about half of all sales, which seems about right based on my royalty statements, but I imagine the ratios track. Enchanted, Inc. remains the best seller of the whole series, with the third book selling about half as many copies to-date as that first book, which is likely the reason they didn't want to do more books. If by the third book the sales are halved, then you can extrapolate that the fifth book would sell even fewer, so better to cut your losses. However, that third book sold more copies in its first year in print than the first book did (though fewer copies in the first year than the second book sold). But it's not quite on track to sell as many copies in its second year as the first book did, and there's little chance of it catching up. That first book seems to be The Book That Just Won't Quit, as it's still selling almost as many copies per week as the next two books. It's a little too early to know for sure how the new book is doing, as I only have numbers for the first month of release, but it's already sold more than half the total number of copies as the third book in just that month. It's already passed its peak sale time, but it does stand a chance of hitting that mark this year. I suspect that the people at the publisher just look at that total sales figure and notice that the third book sold half as many copies as the first book when they make decisions, without noticing that the first book is still selling so many copies per week that the newer books don't stand a chance of overcoming the head start. The issue seems to be, though, that all those people buying the first book don't seem to be getting the rest of the series, and that's why they don't think it's worthwhile to continue the series. So, if you're trying to find ways to make that fifth book happen, you need to not just get people hooked on the first book, but also make sure they pick up the rest.

And now it's Indy time.


Anonymous said...

"The Drowsy Chaperone" is a great show! I promise you will love it and love Jonathan. He's aged very gracefully and is still a handsome dog. Enjoy!

Angie said...

Gilbert in person?! I'm so jealous! I'm checking the touring schedule right now...