There's always a bigger fish. Qui-Gon Jinn said that, and I know you're not going to argue with a Jedi. And whilst there is always a bigger it's also the case that I am a small fish. In the writing world I'm a herring. Possibly red.
Anyway. The point is that small fish gotta hustle or they become small fish sticks. So, I've done my best to market The Emperor's Knife, spent a small fortune on posting copies hither and thither, and generally tried to hold up my end of the bargain any writer strikes with their publisher. I also keep a close eye on the painful business of bookscan which tears away the weasel words we writers comfort ourselves with and hits us upside the head with cold hard figures. Bookscan data is available to authors who sign with the program at Amazon and claims to catch about 75% of all sales on a weekly basis across the whole of the USA from bookshop tills to Amazon sales.
The graph below charts The Emperor's Knife sales across the 30 weeks since its US release.
You'll note a 'graceful decline' from modest beginings. This graceful decline carries us from roughly 80 sales a week early on to 40/week after 20 weeks. Sales halve in 20 weeks. At the point indicated by the arrow something happens. Sales start to halve every two weeks!
Now small fish have small publishers, in my case Night Shade Books, so I sent them an email to find out what the deal was. It turns out that NSB's distribution has been problematic of late. They had to switch distributors because the old one wasn't living up to expectations, and the change-over seems to have left quite a few crates of books stranded in warehouses... The good news is that whilst all the accelerated decline was due to books not being replaced - some of the decline was due to books not being replaced because there were no replacements to be had. In short, The Emperor's Knife sold out its print run but confusion over distribution combined with the imminent release of the trade paperback (now out) meant that a 2nd edition never quite happened.
So, I'm now a small fish that's happy the 4,000 hardbacks sold out, and sad I never got to boast about a 2nd edition.
At the end of it though, I'm still a small fish and if I don't watch my figures, watch my publisher, toot my horn, and do all those other things I gots to do + write another book ... well I'm going to get lost in the weeds or chewed up and spat out.
Come in. The water's lovely.