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January 28, 2007

Tempting, Tempting

Quick note: The Amazon ranking for Coffee Shop right now is at 1,057, which (aside from the fact it was in the low 300,000s yesterday, so we've had a healthy uptick) I've been informed may be the highest Amazon ranking yet for a Subterranean Press book. Now, this is primarily because Subterranean Press sells the vast majority of its books through its own site or through fine specialty booksellers, but it's still a nice little landmark, so thank you.

Also, I have it on good authority that if it cracks the 1,000 mark, Subterranean Press publisher Bill Schafer may actually wet himself with excitement. I'm more than half-tempted to buy a copy myself to see this happen.

Update, 2:08pm: #992. Bill Schafer says "Holy f-cking Depends!" Indeed, Bill. Indeed.

Update, 6:23pm: #623. Really, what are the odds I'd see that number at that time?

Thanks, folks. You guys rock.

Posted by john at January 28, 2007 01:33 PM

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Chang, father of pangolins | January 28, 2007 02:00 PM

Wow! That's cool!

I guess that's what I was alluding to in the previous entry comments. I wondered if it sold more books if they were listed from SP's site or from Amazon.

Mary | January 28, 2007 02:05 PM

But will you post the video of Bill?

John Scalzi | January 28, 2007 02:07 PM


It's hard to say. Amazon's rankings are based on factors that don't actually have much to do with raw units sold.

G. Jules | January 28, 2007 02:12 PM


So what happens if more than 500 copies sell as pre-orders?

John Scalzi | January 28, 2007 02:16 PM

G. Jules:

We'll honor all pre-orders. I don't think that's even a question.


I think that's a video we can all skip.

That Neil Guy | January 28, 2007 02:24 PM

Xenu damn you to the volcano! I was firmly against ordering this compilation of blog entries, since I figured I could just read 'em all for free on the interweb. But now I've gone and ordered the danged thing. Curse you, Scalzi!

Nate Trost | January 28, 2007 02:27 PM

Mmm. Principle of scarcity in action. I doubt I would have pulled the trigger on an amazon pre-order yesterday without the disclosure of the limited print run.

John Scalzi | January 28, 2007 02:27 PM

That Neil Guy:

Yes, well. In point of fact at least some of the entries in the book are no longer on the site (I took down a lot of stuff when I last switched host services), so the book is in fact the easiest way to read those.

Nate Trost:

Good point. I thought I had mentioned it being a limited edition before, but it's been a while.

hugh57 | January 28, 2007 02:43 PM

Just pre-ordered, though I assume it was no help to the Amazon ranking. I ordered it directly from the SP site.

John Scalzi | January 28, 2007 02:44 PM

Thanks, Hugh.

Diatryma | January 28, 2007 02:56 PM

Drat it, I'm a lemming.

Alex Avriette | January 28, 2007 03:19 PM

Not that you especially have to, of course, but have you considered adding a charity incentive similar to the previous efforts from you and SP? The previous "de-lurk" day seems to have been fairly successful in bringing lurkers out, myself included. I'm not sure whether it directly affects sales, but both seem to have generated a lot of interest.

John Scalzi | January 28, 2007 03:24 PM

Alex Avriette:

We actually did something like that when Agent to the Stars came out. When people bought that book from the Subterranean site, 10% of the cover price was donated to Child's Play, a kid's charity. We ended up sending along a couple thousand dollars, if I recall.

Steve Brady | January 28, 2007 03:55 PM

I doubt I would have pulled the trigger on an amazon pre-order yesterday without the disclosure of the limited print run.

Ditto. I bought it for my writer friend.

Bill Schafer | January 28, 2007 06:23 PM

One important note: Those who order direct from SubPress get their orders filled first, then we move on to book dealers, wholesalers, and Amazon. So it's entirely possible you may order the book from some outlet other than us and we won't have a copy to fill your order. It's not likely but it is possible.


John Scalzi | January 28, 2007 06:33 PM

Bill Schafer:

"It's not likely but it is possible."

I'd also emphasize the "not likely" aspect of that.

Steven | January 28, 2007 07:33 PM

I'd help out the Amazon ranking, but I'd pre-ordered the book from Subterranean months ago. So the need for Depends relies not on this reader, I'm glad to say.


Metal Fatigue | January 28, 2007 09:59 PM

I wish I could afford it, dammit. I'm out of work and can't afford to buy books.

John Scalzi | January 28, 2007 10:03 PM

Hint to your local library that they should get it.

Metal Fatigue | January 28, 2007 10:12 PM

I wonder why Lost Girls by Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie is cited as one of the biggest overlaps with Coffee Shop? What is the common factor?

Tania | January 29, 2007 12:50 AM

Metal Fatigue - The author's hairstyles are certainly not the common factor.

On a serious note, I own/pre-ordered both (though not through Amazon), and I can't be so singular that I would be the only person on the planet to do that. I think the common factor would be "geek".

grhm | January 29, 2007 03:43 AM

What's best (financially) for you (John/Bill) - a purchase from subterraneanpress or Amazon?

In the long term would higher sales from Amazon bring your name forward to more consumers, resulting in greater overall sales?

Bret | January 29, 2007 05:13 PM

Glad to do my part, I ordered it last night.

John Scalzi | January 29, 2007 05:19 PM


"What's best (financially) for you (John/Bill) - a purchase from subterraneanpress or Amazon?"

Well, Subterranean makes more off its own site, of course. Personally I have no preference as to where people purchase the book. Buy it wherever you want.

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