Eleanor has been out in the world now for just over a month, and to my surprise, she's been doing quite well on her own. For most of that time she's hovered in the 1,000-3,000 rank range on Amazon, which means the book has been my best-performing new release ever. But a book is never quite done even when it's done, and there's been a lot going on with Eleanor these past few weeks.
To start with: Amazon surprised me with a huge gift today, wrapped up in a big glittering bow. Eleanor was selected as today's Kindle Daily Deal in the Science Fiction category. Kindle Daily Deals–KDDs–are fairly amazing promotional machines. Amazon pitches four or five or ten books a day at the wall. In this case, the wall is the entire Amazon reading audience, and the wall is made of velcro, and almost every book thrown at that wall sticks. So while Eleanor has done well on her own, today she got a bit of a rocket ride that is still going on.
At the moment, as I post this, the book is ranked #54 in the entire Amazon store. If you dig into some subcategories, it's the #6 book in the entire Science Fiction & Fantasy section, and the #1 Time Travel book. (Greatfall has been the Kindle Daily Deal twice before, but Eleanor has already outperformed it. It peaked at #58 in the entire store.)
The book has sold kind of insanely well today: Over 2,000 copies sold in the last 18 hours, which brings Eleanor to nearly 3,000 books sold. Amazon readers in the Prime or Kindle Unlimited program can also borrow Eleanor, and they've done a lot of that. I still make money from borrowed books, so if you add those to the tally, Eleanor comes in somewhere around 4,000 books sold.
Later this month, I'll be reading from Eleanor at an event with several other authors and their own books. A local bookstore, Jacobsen's Books, promotes the event by stocking the authors' titles they'll be reading from. As a result, Eleanor (and Deep Breath Hold Tight) are on their shelves now. I also managed to get a couple of copies into Powell's City of Books (the smaller Hawthorne location). If those sell, there's an outside chance Powell's will order more.
It's been kind of a dream come true to see my book sitting on a shelf. Powell's was kind enough to shelve the book face-out, and to add a "shelf talker," a little card announcing the book's arrival, so I look even more at home among the other books.
There's something else worth mentioning here, too. A while back, I talked with some agents about representing me, and helping me extend Eleanor's reach a little farther than I'm able to do on my own. When the first of them shot me down in a couple hours' time, I moped, and then I wrote a short story (one I consider my best so far). When the next one passed, I got pissed-off. The clear deduction to be made here? I don't handle rejection as well as I'd like to think I do.
Just before Eleanor was released, though, I heard from a third agent. This one represented a couple of friends of mine, but I wasn't banking on those connections having any real influence on the agent's interest. (After all, the first agent also repped a couple author friends, and he had zero interest in Eleanor.) But this agent loved Eleanor, and when we talked about my desire to continue self-publishing while also looking at traditional publishing opportunities for some books, he said all the right things. So in late June, I signed with Seth Fishman at The Gernert Company, and we're going to see if we can turn Eleanor into something bigger than I'm able to alone. So there's that. Now I'm agented, so I can start turning my nose up and farting perfume. (Not that I didn't do either of those things already. Strawberry perfume, in case you were wondering.)
I confess, though, I geeked out quite a bit when I found out that my agent also represents Ann Leckie and Django Wexler, and a smattering of my very favorite webcomics creators (Kate Beaton and Randall Monroe among them). I don't know any of these people, but now I have something in common with them, which is totally cool. Even cooler? My agent is an author himself. And frankly way cooler than me (though that isn't hard to pull off at all).
Final note: In the amount of time it has taken me to write this post, Eleanor has jumped to #46 in the Amazon store. I wish I didn't dislike exclamation points so much, or I'd use about forty-six of them right here.