Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Hilda van Stockum - June Was Busting Out

Sometimes we can infer one thing from another.

We know that Hilda van Stockum's Winged Watchman has sold more than 42,000 copies since it was allowed to go out of print by its original publisher, Farrar Straus. This book by my late mother continues to sell 2,500 new copies a year through Bethlehem Books. In addition, there is an active used-copy market that operates through Amazon and various on-line bookstores.

Now, put that together with the fact that the site reports the number of hits every month. The daily average is ordinarily about 300 per month. In May 2012, that number doubled. In June the daily average bust out to 1,900 average hits per day and in July it went to 2,500.

Ladies and gentlemen - I conclude that "The Winged Watchman" is on a lot of summer reading lists, and the lists are including links to the author's websites. So in July every year several things are happening:
1. Parents and their chilldren are checking on the author to decide which books to read.
2. The girls and boys are writing their book reports and they are web-surfing to prepare author notes.
3. Who knows, maybe some parents are web-surfing to check on the credibility of the author.

Also, I conclude that if 2,500 people per day in July are checking in on the author, the ratio of new books sold to books read has to be a small number like 1:20 or 1:10. The combination of 42,000 used books in circulation and local library availability means that readers don't actually have to buy a new book.

God bless young readers, and older readers, and buyers, every one!

John ("Timmy" Mitchell)

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