Two days ago I was digging around on the Barnes & Noble website and noticed they were listing my book, MOURNING BECOMES CASSANDRA, which is slated for release June 16, 2009. This was odd because I had never contacted B&N to list my book and had no idea how they planned on getting any copies, not to mention how they planned on slashing the member price to what it costs me to print a copy!
When I commented on this in my Facebook status update, I unwittingly started the pre-order feeding frenzy on Amazon. Kidding about the frenzy, folks, but for one Brief Shining Moment, at my very, very peak, MBC hit #9,983 on the Amazon sales ranking! At this writing I've dropped back to #36,296. (We interrupt this blog to ask those of you who live in WA State NOT to order on Amazon because I can just hand you a copy when I see you--saves you shipping and me the hefty 55% cut Amazon takes. Either way there's no avoiding state sales tax, but take that up with Ms. Gregoire.)
In any case, I quickly discovered I could become an Amazon rankaholic: all my self-worth determined by my hourly ranking. Like BRIDGET JONES and her diary entries, but instead of counting my cigarettes and shags and weight, I could list my rising and falling ranking. This is unhealthy. Moreover, the sales ranking calculation algorithm is a deeply-shrouded mystery and not one to build self-esteem around. (See http://ezinearticles.com/?Navigating-the-Amazon-Sales-Ranking&id=41607 for an interesting article. I was still confused after reading it.)
What does this have to do with literature? Lots. The moral of the story is, brief shining moments are not maintainable in books because BSMs that go on and on, becoming Lengthy Shining Eons, get b-o-r-i-n-g. We either like our BSMs to open books and then be lost forever, as in GONE WITH THE WIND or THE FUGITIVE, or we like to end with one after much Strang and Durm, as in just about every comedy, fairy tale, romance you've ever read. (Did anyone else just have a "doh!" moment and realize, for the first time, that Rowling's name for Viktor Krum's school is a joke on Strang and Durm? Sheesh, Christina! Okay, I'm awake now.)
Sorry about all the parenthetical comments in this post. I have a real question for you Friday, if I still remember it then.