Poll results are in!
Actually, poll results are still slowly trickling in, but I have to call a halt at some point.
I had 77 responders, including comments here, on Facebook and via Twitter.
Yes, this is not a good statistical sample. But it’s what we’ve got.
It’s clear that most people who read my books don’t read the blog, or follow me in social media. That’s fine! Reading books is much more important than reading about writers. And according to Amazon’s cool reporting features, I know that since December 24th when I first released it, I’ve sold 2,618 copies of The Steerswoman alone just on Amazon (setting aside for the moment the sales of the other books — because they are the same readers who bought The Steerswoman). So… no complaints.
Here’s the breakdown:
19.48% Recommended by a friend : 15
19.48% Found in a bookstore (either randomly, or because you worked there): 15
12.99% Because of Jo Walton’s review: 10
10.39% Because of James Nicoll’s review: 8
10.39% Found in the library: 8
10.39% Found via some other website: 8
10.39% Found by searching specifically for feminist or non-stereotypical treatment of female characters: 8
3.9% Recommended by Amazon’s algorithm: 3
2.6% Random or uncategorizable: 2
So, let’s play a math game. Let’s assume that this distribution holds across the board, and apply it to my Amazon numbers for The Steerswoman.
There’s no reason to assume the distribution would be the same! (For example, people who were influenced by James and Jo are self-selected as people who are tapped in to the SF/F fandom grapevine, and go online regularly for news and reviews — whereas most people who purchase on Amazon probably don’t do that.) But let’s try it and see what comes up, out of curiosity.
19.48% Recommended by a friend: 510
19.48% Found in a bookstore (and then, we assume, subsequently bought in ebook form from Amazon): 510
12.99% Because of Jo Walton’s review: 340
10.39% Because of James Nicoll’s review: 272
10.39% Found in the library (and then, we assume, subsequently bought in ebook form from Amazon): 272
10.39% Found via some other website: 272
10.39% Found by searching specifically for feminist or non-stereotypical treatment of female characters: 272
3.9% Recommended by Amazon’s algorithm: 102
2.6% Random or uncategorizable: 68
Yeah, that was a mostly useless exercise.
Because the Amazon info is purely for ebook sales, and the “bookstore” and “library” categories don’t directly translate to ebooks. And I’m only using sales numbers from Amazon, because Smashwords alone is a much smaller number, and the other retailer’s reports are delayed by months.
My actual gut feeling is that, for sales on Amazon, the recommendation algorithm is responsible for a lot. This is where people who read a lot of SF/F, but who don’t participate in fandom or follow the biz news, are likely to hear about me. As in: If you like X, you’ll like The Steerswoman plus it’s only $2.99, what have you got to lose? They click on the link, and see the many very positive reader reviews — and hey, worth a try, right?
After that, recommendations from friends, probably.
And for people who follow SF/F in general, I’m betting that James Nicoll and Jo Walton have a lot of clout. Walton’s review was back in 2008, but people are still talking about it; and when James’ new reviews came out recently, it did look like my daily sales increased in response.
Well that was interesting. To me, anyway!
In other news: Ow.
My radiation therapy ended on the 18th. I had some side-effects, a lot of redness and discomfort, and was deeply grateful that it was no worse. Considering how bad some other people had it, I got off comparatively easy, thought I!
However, as part of my final visit, the nurse reviewed a few things. And at one point:
Nurse: And you realize that your side-effects will continue for a while.
Perky Chipper Me: Oh, yes, I’ve been told about that. (Thinks: Been told that over and over. But, no problem, I can put up with it, piece of cake!)
Nurse: Good. So, for the next ten days or so, things will get worse…
Slightly Less Perky Chipper Me: Wait, what?
Nurse: Oh, yes. It’ll continue.
Dubious Me: Well, yes, continue … but, worse? Even though we’re done now? No more radiation?
Nurse: It’s cumulative. And delayed, like a sunburn. You know how in the morning you don’t think you got that much sun? But by the evening you’re going “Ouch, what did I do to myself?” It’s like that.
Assimilating New Information Me: … Okay…. (Thinks: Yes, everyone said it would continue, but I assumed that “continue” meant persist. Not continue to increase in severity.)… so, if my skin starts peeling and stuff –
Nurse: Oh, you’re already peeling, right there.
Adjusting to Situation Me: Oh, yeah, look at that!
Nurse: So, that’s going to get worse. And probably over here, too.
Fully Adjusted to the New Normal Me: Okay… so, what if [describes really gross situation, of which I will spare you the details and trust me, you'd thank me if you knew] happens?
Nurse: Well, yes, you’ll probably get some of that.
Plain Old Me: Good to know. So, what do we do?
At which point she provided me with more instructions, and some special gel-type wound dressings, and I thanked her, shook her hand, shook everyone’s hand, gave a few techs some hugs, and walked out the door, done with my radiation therapy.
Later: yep. Ow. WOW ow.
It got worse pretty fast, and I’ll tell you, those hydrogel dressings are From Heaven. Fortunately, I had no commitments, and did not even need to leave the house (a good thing because Ladies Foundational Garments were NOT an option). I plied all my ointments, unguents and dressings, took a lot of Tylenol, and did not do much at all for the better part of a week. I am now fully informed on all things having to do with Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Much improved now, thanks. As I say to medical personnel (whenever they jab me with something, and I automatically jump and make a noise): That wasn’t a complaint, that was just a report.
Because, you know: Still on the plus side of things, where the plus side is labeled: YOU GET TO LIVE.
So, basically… I’m fine!
Other other news: I want to talk about the Casting Call comments, but this post has become too long, so I’ll do it separately later…
Even more other news: Yes, I am working on Book 5.