Woo hoo! I’m happy to report that the mass market of No Commitment Required is in neighborhood Wal-Marts!
Why is this a big deal, you ask? For one, according to Romance Writers of America, the majority of readers who buy their purchases new, 31%, buy them at chains like Wal-Mart, Target, and K-Mart. 22% buy from mall bookstores. So getting into Wal-Mart gets me in front of more readers.
Second, Wal-Mart sells at a discount. In my neighborhood store, NCR was going for $4.84 for Wal-Mart shoppers, less than what the B&N discount gets you, and is only matched at Borders if you use your weekly 25% off coupon.
Third, Wal-Mart buys a lot of books. I checked the other books, there were roughly 4-5 copies of other titles. I bought the last one of mine I could find on the rack (hey, I don’t have a copy of this version, and it counts as a sale, which it wouldn’t if I made an author purchase from the publisher) I think it’s safe to assume that they had at least as many copies of my book as they did the others in the line. Granted, they might not have copies of my books in less urban areas, but there are 2800+ Wal-Marts in the US. Even in urban markets, that’s some mighty fine exposure, and writers know exposure to readers is what you need.
Contrast this to my neighborhood Borders (in the same shopping center as the Wal-Mart), which only has two of my books in their system, both the IR ones. Granted, NCR is a mass market released this month, but Three Wishes came out in 2003. Why didn’t they have Through the Fire, the RT award winner that was released last year? They didn’t know and neither did I. Maybe only the interracial ones sell there. Who knows? But they do have a local author section and since I was definitely local (as in less than two miles away) I think I can get some shelf space and a signing event out of them. I’ll save it for the September release though.
So I had a feeling of “I have arrived” at least for a little while. I love being in trade size, but the reality is, I really wanted to get into mass market. People are more willing to take a chance on a $7 paperback than a $10 trade. I totally understand that–especially when the $7 mass market can be found discounted to $4.84. Remember, I was, am still am, a reader first. I have to invest my pennies just as wisely.
Since NCR was released at the beginning of May, I’ll only receive a month’s worth of sales information when royalty statements are compiled and sent later this year. But it will be interesting to compare the numbers of the mass market to the trade edition.
Until then, keep readin’ and writin’!