I’ve heard from half a dozen people so far that, as of Friday,Â THE BONE GARDEN had not yet arrived in their local bookstores.Â The book was supposed to go on sale Tuesday, three days earlier.Â Other readers have told me thatÂ in their stores, the books had arrived but were still in the back room, and only when the customer requested it didÂ a clerk finallyÂ unpack them and pull them out.Â Which means there are probablyÂ dozens, if not hundreds of stores that will report no sales of my book for the first week — a vital week in a book’s release — and this could well be significant when it comes to tallying up the bestseller list.Â
It’s frustrating for me to walk into a store and see that otherÂ books with on-sale dates the same week are on prominent display rightÂ in the front, while my book is nowhere to be seen.Â Ironically enough, a book I blurbed is on display everywhere — while my own book remains hidden.Â Â Â
Years ago,Â the same week thatÂ LIFE SUPPORT was released in hardcover, UPS went on strike.Â Â Thousands of myÂ books got stuck in warehouses, undelivered.Â Â It dribbled into stores over the month that followed, and didn’t even make it into stores where I was doing signings.Â
So this, in comparison, is a relatively minor aggravation.Â
I’ve grown resigned to this situation, as it’s happened so often before, and I’ve learned to accept the inevitable.Â The only thing I can control is what goes into the book.Â After that, it’s in the publisher’s and the bookseller’s hands.
You can get agitated about this sort of thing only so many times, and then you learn to give up and let whatever happens, happen.Â Over the years, I’ve fumed and fretted over situations like these.Â This time around, it feels so familiar and so unchangeable that I’m just going to let the fates take their course.Â I don’t expect a great first-week’s sales, so I just have toÂ hope that THE BONE GARDEN will keep selling in the weeks to come.