Saturday, September 2nd, 2006

The Hardest Working Man in Publishing

Check out the tag signed on LibraryThing, and look at the top books. Those are weighted by book popularity. Here’s the raw (unweighted) numbers.

The data are clear: Neil Gaiman is a machine! Both lists start with his American Gods and from the full list six of the top seven are by him. From Gaiman’s author page you can tell he’s signed 193 books on LibraryThing. Of all signed books on LibraryThing, 1% were signed by Gaiman. (Compared with only two books signed by J. K. Rowling.) Calculating that maybe a quarter of users employ tags, it stands to reason that his pen has passed over something like 800 books on LibraryThing—and LibraryThing is a speck in the ocean of books. What’s up with this guy?

In related news, I spent Thursday and Friday touring with my wife, in support of her new book Every Visible Thing, doing Toad Hall Books in Rockport, MA and Brookline Booksmith in Brookline, MA.* Touring with a six-month old baby is pretty hard. I spent most of it, including all of the readings, walking around with Liam in a sling. Between the car seat and unfamiliar places, he slept terribly. After two days, all three of us were wrecks. We’ve been recovering since.

So, I’ve decided that—clearly—Gaiman has no children. Damn. I just checked. He has three. As far as I can tell from his blog, he isn’t neglecting them either. I think I’ll go back to bed now.

*Booksmith is an old favorite—Lisa and I used to live around the corner, and Lisa worked there—but Toad Hall was a new discovery for me. They’re tiny, but obviously beloved. And they really go for my wife’s books. In the last year they managed to sell 99 copies of her second book, In the Country of the Young—my favorite but probably her low-seller—apparently by just telling people to buy it. A chain bookstore can’t do that sort of thing.

Labels: 1


Leave a Reply