“Reports of My Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated”

Quote from Twain. Some numbers from Midnight Rain. ‘Cause you know I was to the point of reinventing myself because of my fear of the numbers on Midnight Rain, and the fact that I’d heard it hadn’t done as well as everyone hoped.

How well did it do?

In its first reporting period, it earned out its own $25,000 advance plus all but about $2000 of Last Girl Dancing‘s advance.

In its first reporting period, it sold over 50,000 more copies than any title of mine has ever sold before in a first period, and about that many more than most of my titles have sold lifetime.

It had an acceptable sell-through. Not earth-shattering. I was hoping for the 80%-97% sell-through that most of my other books have averaged, but the fact that this was essentially a first novel, that it was shelved where most of the people who have been my readership for the last fourteen years will never have found it, and that a LOT of copies were printed make that kind of sell-through nearly impossible. It’s almost certain to have sold almost entirely to readers for whom this was the first introduction to my work.

So Midnight Rain didn’t do as well as everyone hoped? No, it didn’t. When you’re hoping for break-out bestsellerdom, it didn’t do that.

It did, however, do well for a first novel. If I can find any sort of repeat readership from the folks who liked it, and who I hope went out and bought Last Girl Dancing because they liked it, I might have something solid to build on.

No gimmes here. I’m not out of the woods — you’re only as good as your last book, and Last Girl Dancing is, in suspense, my book of the moment.

Still, the Twain quote in the title seemed apt. I’m still alive as a suspense writer. Still kicking. And almost ready to send the outline for the third book off.

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About the author: Novelist, writing teacher, on a mission to reprint my out-of-print books and self-publish my new ones.

9 comments… add one
  • hollylisle Aug 26, 2006 @ 11:16

    Thank you, Dixie. No apologies necessary. I’m pleased that you bought the book, and delighted that you liked it.

    Good luck with the revision.

  • DixieWrtr Aug 26, 2006 @ 11:03

    Well deserved and more! I happened across MR in a used bookstore in NC (sorry!) and immediately bought it, of course. Loved it! Gonna get LDL, Talyn, and I See You as soon as possible. I’ve been busy with the final revision of my first novel and hadn’t kept up with you. Now I’m getting smart and gonna use your One Pass Revision when I finish my second!

  • klharrds Aug 9, 2005 @ 7:36

    Nice to hear Holly, none of us wanted to see you change your name.

    By the way, I mamanged to get hold of most of your Novels in UK book stores but the two romances and Talyn i’ve had to get from amazon. I tried to order them but even in the major chains the new books are not on their databases. Will they be coming out over here, i will i just have to get used to paying p&p.

    Kate

  • shay Aug 9, 2005 @ 4:30

    good news about the books, i’m gonna order LGD, MR and Talyn from amazon at some point this week. shame there not in any uk bookstores that i’ve seen

  • MarFisk Aug 8, 2005 @ 19:48

    That’s great news, Holly. I know it might not have been what you’d hoped for, but so few books pay out their advances nowadays from what I’ve heard. Good luck with LGD as well. My copy is on its way 🙂

    Cheers,
    Margaret

  • JenThePen Aug 8, 2005 @ 16:57

    Good news! 🙂

  • joela Aug 8, 2005 @ 15:56

    Thanks for sharing. Any news on what published writers go through is always educational to us non-published (but hoping to be) writers.

    I have both your romance/suspense books and am on the warpath looking for a good copy of Talyn.

  • TinaK Aug 8, 2005 @ 13:28

    Yeah! I’m glad to hear that you’ve done well with your first trip into suspense. It was because of Midnight Rain that I purchased Last Girl Dancing and I loved both of them. Also finished Tayln this weekend and LOVED it! You’ve got a fan for life in both genres Holly. Way to go!

  • Linda Aug 8, 2005 @ 12:18

    Good!! I’m so glad to hear this. I finished LGD and was impressed. You’ll hit your stride in this genre, just as you have in fantasy. Good luck with the proposal.

    I’m off to read “Talyn”, which got here when I was about halfway through “Afterburn”. Why is it that everyone’s books come out at the same time? (grumble) 😉

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