On an email group I’m in, a well-published and award-winning writer made an offhand remark, along the lines of: “My book with NG only sold 10,000 copies.” That took the wind out of my sails a bit. Why? Because I’m very excited that BookSpeak! Poems About Books ?(Clarion, 2011) has hit the 10,000 copies sold mark! It made’several nice lists, and it even won the Cybils and the Minnesota Book Award–yay! But the thought that 10,000 people or institutions actually bought it…that at maybe 8,000 libraries around the country, readers could discover it…oh my gosh. That’s the best thing ever.
I know in sales terms, 10,000 is not a huge number. I hope it keeps selling, keeps reaching more book lovers–or maybe making book lovers out of book likers, or making poetry likers out of poetry tolerators. We all have things we hope our books do.
But considering my first trade poetry collection, Stampede! Poems to Celebrate the Wild Side of School (Clarion, 2009), sold only a few more than 2,000 copies, I’m feeling pretty darn good about BookSpeak‘s 10,000 right now. 😀