It’s that time again! Before I unveil the Top Ten, let’s go over a few of the ground rules, shall we? These rules have been fairly stable for some time now but I have recently added rule # 5, so please take note.
1) This list only tracks sales through AMAZON. It does not keep track of sales through Barnes and Noble, face-to-face or anything else!
2) This list only tracks PRINT sales. We do not currently track e-books. Exactly how Amazon calculates these things is mostly a trade secret and they vary wildly from day to day. If I checked this tomorrow, the list could be very different. This list reflects sales ranks as of Monday morning June 25, 2012.
3) In order to keep the focus on new releases, eligible works must have been published within three months of the current date. So, since this list is being done in June 2012, I’m only looking at books published since March 2012. Please keep that in mind before complaining that Title X is not listed.
4) I am no longer tracking pre-release orders. Some publishers never actually release their books and when they do, it’s months after they were supposed to be released. Everything listed in the Top Ten is currently for sale.
5) Like the name suggests, we’re tracking “New” pulp — I’m not tracking sales rankings for reprints of classic material. In order for something to qualify for this list, it has to be at least 50% new material that has not been printed in book form before.
6) I am human. I make mistakes. If you are aware of a title that should be listed below (keeping in mind all the rules above), please let me know and I will make sure to remedy the situation.
7) I get most of my information from All Pulp, New Pulp, the Pulp Factory mailing list and a few other sites. If you think I might miss your release, let me know in advance — drop me a line and tell me when it’s being released.
Without further ado, here’s the completely and totally unofficial New Pulp bestseller list as of right now (title, then publisher, then release date, then sales rank):
1) Doc Savage: The Infernal Buddha by Will Murray (Altus Press, May 2012) – 32,787
2) Sherlock Holmes: The Crossovers Casebook by Various (Moonstone Books, March 2012) – 51,979
3) Sgt. Janus, Spirit-Breaker by Jim Beard (Airship 27, May 2012) – 164,007
4) The Lone Ranger: Vendetta by Howard Hopkins (Moonstone Books, May 2012) – 186,998
5) Jungle Tales by Various (Airship 27, June 2012) – 200,775
6) Kolchak and the Lost World by C.J. Henderson (Moonstone Books, May 2012) – 202,807
7) The Pulptress by Various (Pro Se Press, June 2012) – 210,031
8 ) Pro Se Presents # 11 by Various (Pro Se Press, June 2012) – 278,838
9) The Lone Ranger Chronicles by Various (Moonstone Books, May 2012) – 297,382
10) Tales of The Rook by Various (Pro Se Press, May 2012) – 383,847
Just missing the list were: Pro Se Presents # 10 by Various (Pro Se Press, May 2012) – 487,010, Pro Se Presents # 9 by Various (Pro Se Press, April 2012) – 489,756, Living Legends by Various (Metahuman Press, May 2012) – 594,014 and The Destiny of Fu Manchu by William Patrick Maynard (Black Coat Press, March 2012) – 610,695
Let me start by saying that it is now taking quite awhile to do these lists — because many publishers are releasing a ton of books right now. As a result, there are many books to track and I’ve noticed that some releases appear to be slipping through the cracks, in terms of sales. The last two Pulp Obscura releases from Pro Se (the Eagle and the Armless O’Neil books) have not been able to crack the list — in fact, they’re not very close (both have ranks above 1.2 million). Likewise, Tales from the Hanging Monkey from Airship 27 (1.7 million) has yet to make much impact. In slower times, any new release from those two companies was bound to make at least a cursory appearance on the list. To be honest, I’m not sure we’ll see any of those three here — not with the kind of competition they’re facing. I mean, Destiny of Fu Manchu had been in the list every week up until now and features a major pulp figure as its star — and it had a sales rank that normally would have gotten it squarely in the top ten. Instead, it’s the 14th best selling book this time around, in its last week of eligibility. Now, that’s a sign of real strength in the pulp market but publishers do need to be aware that without proper promotion, some of their books are now going to be released and promptly vanish into the mists of forgotten works, swallowed up by all these Moonstone books and books featuring “popular” characters and authors. Promotion is no longer something that people can ignore, figuring their books will sell to the hardcore New Pulp crowd no matter what. Those days are gone.
Anyway, Doc Savage and Sherlock Holmes continue to lead the way, though the Holmes book comes to the end of its eligibility with this week. It’s had a very healthy run on the list. The big surprise this week is Sgt. Janus, which climbs all the way to # 3, showing real strength for this new character. Also, Airship 27’s Jungle Tales makes a very impressive debut at # 5. Pro Se continues to see strong sales for The Pulptress and their monthly magazine.
From a publisher standpoint, we have four different companies on the list. Moonstone leads the way with four titles, followed by Pro Se with three, Airship 27 with two and Altus Press with one.
Take it all with a grain of salt, folks.