Sunday, February 08, 2009

On the Charts at!!

Your scribe is pleased to report that his first novel, Winning the Lottery: A Tale of Greenwich and London, is now officially "on the charts" at To be precise, it is " Sales Rank: #1,007,786 in Books." Now, to be sure, this is a long way from #1 on The New York Times best-seller list, but it's also the first time your scribe has seen any number at all attached to it on the Amazon website. Time to break out the champagne!

What is particularly interesting, to your scribe, at least, is that his long-standing local history book, Images of America: Greenwich, is only at #1,339,722. And yet this book has sold between 5,000 and 10,000 copies over the past six years. The local Borders store on Greenwich Avenue, which, sadly, closed at the end of last month, routinely sold several hundred copies of this book every year, which accounted for a couple of thousand copies right there.

Just Books and Just Books II used to sell them at a pretty steady rate, too, but they always seemed to let months go by before reordering. Then a new stack would come in, and immediately fly out the door. Then more months of waiting before they reordered. If your scribe were in the bookstore business, this is probably not the way he would choose to operate....

And then, of course, there's Diane's bookstore, the logistics of which your scribe has never managed to comprehend. The Great Diane herself took one look at the book back in 2002, turned up her nose, and sniffed. To the best of your scribe's knowledge, she has never sold a single copy. And yet a large number of the 25,000 households in Town own a copy. Many people have wondered over the years how Diane manages to stay in business, your scribe among them.

But back to Winning the Lottery. Does its current status on Amazon mean that it, too, will sell thousands of copies over the next few years? Your scribe would like nothing better. But, as already acknowledged, he is woefully ignorant of the book business. Even on the drabbest day on Greenwich Avenue, when every other store was empty, there was always a line of people waiting to check out at the Borders bookstore. What corporate nincompoop decided to close this very obvious profit center? The parent company must be in dire straits, indeed.

Well, dear reader, it is becoming increasingly obvious that the future of the book trade lies in the online outlets, such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and - yes, indeed - Borders. So if you want your very own copy of Winning the Lottery, go to:

It's available in both trade paperback and hard cover, by the way. And is that the Island Beach ferry on the cover? By Jove, it is! Not to mention Island Beach itself, spanning the center of the front and back covers. And notice how nicely the tower of Christ Church at the lower right holds its own with Canterbury and Westminster Abbey. Yay for Greenwich!

And for Images of America: Greenwich, go to:

Such a pity that you can't buy these two books about Greenwich anywhere in Town these days. Well, perhaps the new owner of Just Books will see the light. Perhaps even the Great Diane will have a Road to Damascus moment and realize the error of her ways. In the meantime, dear reader (and you do read, don't you?), there's always And your scribe usually manages to have a few signed copies near at hand. So all is not lost in the literary world of Greenwich, Connecticut....

But as for the political, social, journalistic, and economic situation...well, that's material for another post, another day.


Blogger Malicious Intent said...

OH wow! Congrats!
I cannot see how both books would not be appearing in various Greenwich shops, especially any that cater to the tourist industry.

I so admire folks who are brave enough to write a book. I want to so bad, I am just not very confident about it...although the idea of short stories sounds appealing. But which stories?

February 14, 2009 11:55 PM  
Blogger Bill Clark said...

Thanks, M. I.!

You don't have to be brave to write a book, just dumb enough to think that you have something worth saying. And I've never known you to be without something to say... :)

And you also happen to have a truly gifted writing style, as I've told you before. Saucy, ironic, clever, and funny as hell. I've known friends who have written books about the challenges of parenting a special needs child - you could do that one with both hands tied behind your back, pecking out the letters with your cute Sarah Palin button nose. (Sorry, couldn't resist. But your nose *is* cute. Thankfully, you have more in your head than just air.)

So follow Sir Philip Sidney's advice when he was dithering about how to start his sonnet cycle: "'Fool!' said my muse to me: 'look in thy heart and write.'"

In other words, just sit down and do it. I know you can.

February 15, 2009 1:55 PM  

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