Jean Marie Ward

fiction, nonfiction and all points in between
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It Takes So Little to Make Me Happy

All right, who’s having the attack of hysterics in the nosebleed seats?  Do you have any idea how hard it’s going to be to get the medics up there?  They’ll have to carry their own oxygen.
Oh well.  Ahem.  As I was saying…
Like any good Virgo, I track my Amazon and B&N sales on Publishers Marketplace.  It’s not an absolute indicator of how well With Nine You Get Vanyr is doing, but it helps me gauge the effectiveness of individual online ads, the impact of con appearances, etc.
At the end of July, I noticed a bump in Amazon sales rankings extending from the 25th through August 2.  I was pleased but stumped.  I hadn’t taken out any new ads.  My name had fretted its hour on the DragonCon front page and been replaced by newer additions to the schedule.  Could word of mouth have finally started a buzz?
Sort of.
Today while trolling for reviews for the first time since May, I came across a very entertaining notice in Raph Koster’s Book Review-o-Rama.  Raph was kind enough to review Vanyr, even though he hated it.  He called it a Mary Sue “trainwreck” (sic).  Bless his heart.
Seriously.  This is a classic example of the old marketing axiom: There’s not such thing as bad publicity as long as they spell your name right.  It also demonstrates the only thing nearly as powerful as a great review is a terrible one.  People will drive ten miles out of their way to look at a train wreck.
The numbers line up.  Raph posted the review on July 21.  Allow a couple of days for people to get past the weekend and finish whatever they had been reading, and suddenly my Amazon rankings are almost as good as they were the month Vanyr was reviewed in Romantic Times BOOKreviews.  The only bad part is Koster probably won’t believe my thank you note is sincere.
Much better for the ego, if not for the pocketbook was the notice I found on the website of the New England Science Fiction Association.  NESFA maintains a catalogue of “recursive science fiction”.  Don’t know what that is?  Neither did I until I read the helpful explanation.  The short version is a work of fiction which refers to science fiction or fantasy fandom, or pointedly to another work of science fiction or fantasy literature, cinema, television or related media.
WooHoo!  Vanyr belongs to a recognized sub-genre and is included in its catalogue–without any effort on my part.  The book’s in good company, too, amid works by people like Mercedes Lackey, Fritz Leiber, Sharyn McCrumb, Fred Saberhagen, James Tiptree and Roger Zelazny in a catalogue of over 950 works.  I didn’t notice

‘s DragonCon story, though.  Will have have to bring it to NESFA’s attention by way of a thank you.  
Speaking of DragonCon, I’m going (as if there was any doubt) and I’m going to be a very busy girl.  So far, I know about six panels in two tracks (SF/Fantasy Literature and Matters of the Force/Star Wars), but apparently there will be more.  (Big hugs and smoochies to

, Cathy and Nancy.) Will post the schedule as soon as I know what it looks like.  Hope to see some of the usual suspects there.
Hugs and smiles,
Jean Marie

 

 

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