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.

24 Comments on “Tempting, Tempting”

  1. changterhune – Before you hear lies from Chang Terhune himself, we thought we’d tell you the truth: without us, his old action figures, he’d be nowhere. He loved science fiction from way back and began reading it at an early age, but it was through us that he acted it all out. That’s what led to the writing. He watched a lot of science fiction shows like Star Trek, U.F.O, and movies, too. But we were always there to do his bidding. And it’s like they say: you always forget about the little people on your way up. Oh, the 70’s and early 80’s with him were good times! He’d use these blocks and make all the crazy buildings for us to be in his stories. I gotta say the kid’s imagination was pretty damn fertile. Oh, he had friends, but they just weren’t into it like him. He was like the Lance Armstrong of action figures. And of science fiction. At first, when he began writing in the eighth grade, we didn’t mind. He still made time for us. And we knew that when he was holding us in his sweaty little hands and he got that far off look in his eye, he’d come back to burying us in the back yard or - god forbid! – blowing us up with firecrackers. But it was worth it for a part in one of those stories. We loved him for it. He kept us around even when we were minus a leg or two - or even a head. In that mind of his, he found a use for all of us. Then he discovered girls. October, 1986. It was like the end of the world. One day we’re standing in the middle of this building block creation he’d pretended was some marble city on a planet near Alpha Centauri and the next we were stuck in a box in the closet. Not even a “See ya later!” Nope, it was into the closet, then we heard some high-pitched girly-giggles then silence. We didn’t see him for years. We got word about him once in a while. Heard he took up writing, but it was crap like “The Breakfast Club” only with better music. We couldn’t believe it. Not Charlie. What happened to those aliens with heads he’d sculpted out of wax? Spaceships? Those complex plots? All gone. For what? You guessed it: Girls. Emotions. “Serious fiction.” I tell you, it was like hearing Elvis had left the building. During our two decade exile in the closet, we heard other things about him. He went to college. He wrote a lot, but not much he really liked. We knew it even then. It was like he didn’t dare write science fiction. Some of us had lost hope and just lay there. Others kept vigil, hoping for a day we didn’t dare speak about. Then we heard he’d stopped writing in 1996. Did he come to reclaim us? No. He took up music for ten years or so. He took up yoga. Once in a while, he’d visit us in the closet. But it was half-hearted. His mind was elsewhere. Then one day, he really did come back for us. One second we’re in the dark and the next thing we know we’re in a car headed for Massachusetts. Suddenly we got a whole shelf to ourselves out in broad daylight! Then he bought a bunch of others form some planet called Ebay. He’d just sit and stare at us with that old look. But why were we suddenly back in the picture? He had a wife now, who didn’t mind that he played with us. So what had happened? Turns out he’d never forgotten about those stories. He’d been thinking about all of us and the stories he’d made up and then remembered he’d been a writer once. From the shelf we could see him typing away. Before long he’s got a whole novel together! Then he’s working on another one. Word is there are two more in the planning stages! Some short stories, too! It’s good to see him using his imagination again. Its good to know he never abandoned us. He returned to his true love of science fiction. We hear the stories are pretty good. Someday we’ll get one of the cats to score us a copy of the manuscript. Man, it’s good to be out of the damn closet! --- I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me
    Chang, father of pangolins

    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.

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.


  9. 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.


  10. 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?

  11. 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”.

  12. 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?

  13. grhm:

    “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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