Wednesday, July 24, 2013

How is the Book Doing?

Within a couple of days of the launch of BLOOD TANGO, people not connected with the publishing industry started asking me, "How is the book doing?"  Depending on how much I cared about the person asking the question and, more importantly, how much I wanted that person's approval, I answered with evasions or the truth.

Typical evasions:
"The launch party went well, was well-attended."
"I have bunch of events scheduled and have high hopes."
"It's kind of early to tell, but with the author appearances I have scheduled, it should get a boost."
"I am happy with it so far."

The truth:
"I have no idea.  My publisher will send me a royalty statement in January, and I will find the thousand or so numbers on the page incomprehensible."

More truth:  If the royalty statement comes with even a small check, I will be ecstatic, but I never say that to anyone.  (But I have said it to you.)

For the past ten days, in response to that question, I have brought up the instructive story of J.K. Rowling's experience as an unknown, first-time author and what happened after her lawyer betrayed her, and it became known who actually wrote that now runaway best seller.

In the meanwhile, a mystery writer friend told me how to use Amazon Author Central.  Now I can get news every Friday morning.  Not complete news, but news.  In week one the report was not fabulous, but okay and interesting, especially given the fact that Blood Tango is selling the backlist--a surprise since my books so far have been stand-alones.  In week two it was dismal.
I persist with my promotional activities.  I'll keep you posted.

Annamaria Alfieri


  1. It's a corker. Has everything, fierce politics, hot sex, bloody murder. If you don't have it, folks, you can get it here:

  2. I'm doing a blog on summer cocktails for tomorrow. Maybe we could rename the red one the Blood Tango! Or maybe we should invent one, with plenty of hot spice and garnished with a big twist! I have had a few people ask that question, "How's the book doing?" They don't understand that it's kind of like walking up to a near-stranger and saying "Hey, how much money do you make?" I'm fond of using the line credited to Lee Child, though I've also heard it credited to others. "I'm vertical and in print."

  3. Sheila, that's a charming idea! I'll order a Blood Tango my next visit to Bemelman's Bar, my favorite watering hole! TStraw

  4. The Blood Tango definitely needs to be spicy. And maybe it shouldn't be a chilled drink. Hmm. I need to work on this.

  5. Harold suggests the following for the Blood Tango:
    1 1/2 oz Dubonnet
    3/4 oz gin
    dash of orange bitters
    dash of Frank's hot sauce

    Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Add typical Argentine garnish (?).

  6. Sounds delish! Actually, with the pub world being what it is now, there might be more $$$ in a bottled drink with this name! tjs

  7. Most writers would sympathize with Annamaria - only a few really stand out. I think the Blood tango drink could become THE drink of writers everywhere.

  8. Kate, re Frank's hot sauce - is this sold in grocery stores - or is it someone's private mix... ????? tjs

    1. It's a red chili pepper sauce made in New Jersey. We get it at the grocery store, but Tabasco would do a well.

  9. Such a wonderful post. Thank you for your honesty and for words that encourage and reassure the rest of us just starting out on this exciting and terrifying journey.