Checking In On TLE Sales (Kind Of)

I’m a big proponent of reminding people to take Amazon ranking numbers with a grain of salt, for all sorts of reasons. With that said, they can be a fun if distorted mirror to get an idea where one’s sales might be. And at the moment, The Last Emperox is: #1, #3 and #40 New Release in Science Fiction (Amazon breaks up sales of audio, eBook and hardcover), #4 and #10 for Science Fiction (all releases), #85 in overall book releases, and #10 for Audible’s general releases. Which… seems positive! Everything’s up from yesterday, too, which is also nice; the book outlasted the presale bump.

It’s also a bit of a relief because, you know. Global pandemic. I figured the book would do all right out of the gate, but you never do know, and I was prepared to have it fall on its face, saleswise. It’s gratifying to see it not stumble at the starting block. Yes, I know, I’m mixing metaphors. Work with me here, folks.

The real question for the book will be how it does in hardcover these first couple of weeks, with bookstores closed to foot traffic when they are open at all. I think we’ll be fine? But “fine” will be a relative term, and the one remaining place where I think we risk being seriously affected by the current situation. Again, we’ll see. I’m cautiously optimistic.

What I can say here is: Thank you, folks. I was a bit nervous about this release. I’m a lot less nervous now. I appreciate you. A lot.

33 Comments on “Checking In On TLE Sales (Kind Of)”

  1. Sure. But do you appreciate us enough to send out signed bookplates to your faithful readers here? :-) (hey, I thought it would be worth a shot…)

  2. I would expect hardcover sales to be hit by the closure of brick and mortar stores, and even by Amazon’s focus on shipping food and medicines during the emergency. But once the worst is over, a book tour and all the other trappings of a top-of-the-list release ought to be doable.

  3. Congrats on your new book. If you want to look at the sales ranking, and see the ranking of all the Zon categories (you can have up to 10), try out my BKLNK site. This link will allow you get the info by using the ASIN or ISBN-10 numbers.

    I built the BKLNK site for UBLs that can have Affiliate links for the proper Zon store automatically, then added the CATFIND (category finder) to see all the categories assigned to my books. Although the Zon allows you to have up to 10 categories (by special requires), you can’t see all 10 categories on the book’s product page. The CATFIND tool lets you see all categories (and sales rank) assigned to a book.

    I’m in the middle of adding a new feature (called ‘Catalize’) that will grab the categories used by the top 25 books in a genre. I see that as a great marketing tool for indie publishers, as the authors can see the best categories they might use for their books. (You can look at any book with each tool.) The new ‘Catalize’ tool will be available by the end of the week.

    Anyway, the entire site is free to use, and might be helpful to other authors. I built it for my own needs, but it has become useful for others.

    I wish that I had your marketing prowess for my books. Congrats again.

  4. I’m glad it’s doing well, but I don’t think it was really in doubt. Reading is a great activity for quarantine. I do feel sorry for those who have put their souls into creating films that were to be released in theaters, only to have them delayed indefinitely, or put directly on streaming services. Most of the talent has probably already cashed their paycheck, and the studios and distributors are the ones feeling the pain, but this will have long-term effects on the creation of new movies and TV.

    Also those who were involved in production or pre-production of films and TV, are in limbo, with no idea if their projects will resume.

    For media consumers like me, the current flood of new material could soon slow to a trickle for a while.

    That could be a boon to people like you, since what you do can most easily be done in solitude. I hope you’re in the mood to write!

  5. Glad to see the book is doing well! I just finished it last night and thought it was a good conclusion to the series, and had some very satisfying character resolutions. Can’t wait for spoiler threads to open!


    I wish it were longer (both it, and the whole trilogy, honestly). I can’t say what plot points I would like to see expanded upon without getting spoilery, but I really wanted to follow the characters longer, even the ones who aren’t particularly nice. The epilogue did help a bit in that regard, though. I will say that you were right when you mentioned it was a little more plot-twisty than usually, including one event I absolutely did not see coming.

    Congrats on the sales figures, it was really a fun read.

  7. Didn’t get to the new book yet (reading the first two again)- but I have a question -is there anywhere a diagram of the flow ‘s stucture, with all the planet’s and shoals??

  8. I’m totally chuffed about your sales. I rather suspect that – at this moment – smaller press and less-known writers are the ones with the dips in sales.It’s not a lesser market yet, so much as a different one.

  9. Reading it now (when I’m not reading blogs or Twitter) though we haven’t quite wound up tax season yet since all the returns are extended until July 15th. After I finish TLE I think I’m going to go back and read the whole trilogy again.

  10. Um, dude. From where I sit every book you’ve written is better than the last book you’ve written. The first 2 of this trilogy were somewhere north of awesome, why would I think the conclusion would suck?

    That said, Old Man’s War is the worst book you’ve ever written (note to self: Agent to the stars?). So why are all your cover notes “by the author of Old Man’s War”?

    Keep in mind OMW was a pretty awesome book, I’m not denigrating it. I’m saying everything you’ve written since is better.

  11. Bought my ebook yesterday. After I finish The Dispatcher I’m going to start reading it.

  12. You’re one of my favorite authors. Unfortunately, I can’t read this book. Don’t worry. It’s just because I haven’t read the first two. But it’s definitely on the list. I’m working my way through your works. Android’s Dream is my favorite. Let’s see if that holds when I finish the Old Man’s War and Interdependency series.

  13. I am diligently practicing patience awaiting the shipping confirmation of the copy I ordered from Sub Press. I know they’re short-handed and working hard, and I’m not complaining, really I’m not. Just practicing patience.

    I am mildly curious about when the copy I ordered will actually count as a sale for statistical purposes. I ordered and paid for it in January. It was officially released (and could theoretically have been shipped) yesterday. Its actual ship date will be something other than yesterday, hopefully fairly soon. So which of those dates will be counted in the sales tallies? Normally a transaction is considered to occur when the goods leave the seller’s premises, but in this case, the pandemic means that the goods will leave Sub Press some number of days later than they otherwise would have. So does the sale date count as the date it is shipped, or as the date that it could have been shipped if there was no pandemic?

    Diligently practicing patience. Patience is good for me. Will not order from Amazon. Will not, will not. Practice patience.

  14. I only buy Ebooks now. I miss my First Edition Hardcovers. I do LOVE bringing my whole library with me where ever I go. Started this today. Debated rereading the first two. I think next week I will read all three while enjoying an In-N-Out burger

  15. Do I get slapped for admitting that my copy of this trilogy is all-Kindle? The downside is no autograph, the upside is that I when I finish it, I can begin re-reading The Collapsing Empire without getting up. And trees. Yes, there is a sense of loss. My mother subscribed to the Science Fiction Book Club for most of my childhood. I’m pretty sure I remember the arrivals of Rendezvous with Rama, The Lathe of Heaven, The Man Who Folded Himself. A pretty good deal in the pre-internet world. And I AM getting an autograph this month, apparently, just not John’s.

  16. Oops! turns out my preorder didn’t go through because my bank had issued me a new credit card with a new number (they switched providers) but neglected to mention that the new PIN code was going to be sent out in a different mail that could arrive up to several days later until after I’d already activated it — which meant that my old card had been deactivated.

    All fixed now, looking forward to reading once I’m done with work.

  17. Honestly, I hadn’t read any in this trilogy yet and had purchased the first book a few months ago after reading a few of your other titles (Fuzzy Nation, Red Shirts, Lockin etc.etc.) and placed it on my TBR. Then I saw the second book on sale for Kindle…so I went ahead and picked that up. Then I figured, in for a penny, in for a pound; and preordered the third. Just started the first book last night. Stayed up later than I wanted just on the opening of it. I feel like I’ve missed out not reading it earlier.

  18. I just finished it this morning, from Audible. I hope my downstairs neighbor wasn’t woken up by my loud exclamation of joy at the (glorious) reveal of a certain person’s new employment. Even if he was….fuck it. Great finish to your trilogy, Mr S. Worth the wait!!!

  19. Eagerly awaiting my pre-order to be shipped copy. Glad to know the birthing pains (publishing wise) have not been too great to obscure the joy.

  20. Hi John! I’m currently enjoying the audiobook and will be able to pick up the hardcover from my local bookseller this week. She is taking email and phone orders and giving the option of pickup (one person at a time) or holding it until things open up again. I have to tell you that the stories hello me get through this time of isolation. Thanks for all you do.

  21. I bought this in hardcover, and the middle book (which I had read from the library) in hardcover as well. They will arrive…whenever they do. I already have the first in the trilogy and decided I want to have and read all three books back-to-back. Whoopie!

  22. Thank *you* for the trilogy. I had to go back and re-read the first two before I dived into the third.
    Kiva Lagos is my new favorite bad-ass.

  23. I always read audiobooks now. The past ha’rdcover I fought was TCF at Scalzi’s last tour. I’d be curious to know the audio vs ebook vs hardcopy breakdown compared to previous books.

  24. Two copies of the hardcover from different indie bookstores (one with a signed bookplate) will be here soon. The audiobook is already in the house. You’re welcome. And thank YOU!

  25. Just finished reading the fucking book and it was a fucking ride from beginning to end. Thanks John. You really hit it out of the fucking park on this fucker. (Too much?)

  26. And here in sunny but locked down London, England, The Last Emperox has landed; thank you!