karen_w_newton (karen_w_newton) wrote,

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www 2 wwm (World Wide Marketplace)

I remember several years ago of friend of mine who was an early adopter of PCs and Internet service predicted that the Internet would change the way that people do business. I don't think anyone would argue that he was wrong, but I do wonder if he had any inkling of the totality of it all. Think of it. You have E-Bay and Craig's List, the world's biggest yard sales. You have Google, a multi-billion dollar company whose products are free. And when it comes to books (and lots of other stuff) you have Amazon.com.

Decades ago, when I was young, my folks had a book called The Crime of Giovanni Venturi by Howard Shaw. It was a very funny story set in post-WWII Italy about a man who digs a tunnel from the kitchen of his tiny restaurant to the big chain restaurant at the end of the block that's trying to Walmart him. He steals food from the competition to stay in business. I remembered the book, but I could never find it in used book stores. Viola! Amazon.com had it on one of their authorized used book sites. I ordered the book (for a lot more than my parents had paid), it came, and I read it. Still funny, and only a tiny bit dated.

For new books, one thing Amazon does is rank the books it sells, and post that info for all to see. The PPW list serve has had some chatter lately about how to interpret these rankings. Someone sent a link for this e-zine article that defines what the number ranges mean in terms of numbers of books sold. Their estimates are:

1,000,000-and up ............. total sales under 40

100,00-and up .................. total sales under 200

10,000-and up .................. 1 – 10 copies per week

1,000-and up.................... 10 – 100 copies per week

100-and up ....,.................100 – 200 copies per week

10- and up ...................... 200 – 1000 copies per week

Top 10 books .....................over 1,000 copies per week

So, you have to be ranked better than the 10,000th-selling book to sell more than 10 copies a week. I wonder how solid their numbers are? Of course, this is only for sales on Amazon, not for brick and mortar stores.

Brick and mortar? What's what?

Anyway, there's one thing that's not easily translated to the web, and that's a trip to a good old-fashioned sci-fi convention! Yes, I know on sitcoms only losers go to science fiction conventions, but think about it. On sitcoms, schlubby loser guys in dead end jobs always have really hot wives. That is so not reality! Cons are fun, and starting tomorrow I will be at Balticon so I won't have much time to blog. I'll post later, and I'll try to post a photo.
Tags: publishing, the web

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