The life of a book: part 2

Months ago I described my experiences with book sales called the life of a book. Almost a year has gone by since then: time for an update for those curious about what it’s like on this side of the book.

Here are 12 months of amazon rankings for artofpm (courtesy of rankforest):

The bad news:

  • Essays proved to be good traffic and sales spikes, but I’ve only written 3 essays since last April. My goal is one a month, so I’m in essay debt. Book writing drains my interest in longer pieces – I can do the blog thing w/a book in progress, but essays are harder to motivate.
  • I’ve struggled to balance book writing, blog posting, and essay writing. If you have any self-discipline pills, please send.

The good news:

  • Blog traffic has been on a steady climb. But correlation to sales data is harder to prove.
  • Amazon sales spiked for 6 weeks, from 12/15-1/30.
  • Artofpm returned to O’Reilly’s best seller list two weeks ago at #21, which is unusual for a book two years old.


  • The sales spike is hard to explain: project management seems an unlikely holiday gift. (Here honey -Have fun!)
  • My consulting and public speaking activities have been steady: I can’t correlate sales with those activities.
  • The spike lasted about 6 weeks, but now has trailed off, with amazon rankings around 7000.

What does all this mean? I don’t know. I though writing this post would help sort it all out: but there’s no easy explanation.

Thanks are due to anyone out there who has recommended the book to others. At this point the book is on its own, and its continued success comes from people telling others about it: so thank you.

The continued sales makes it easier for me to write more online, and defend the time for more books. I can’t tell you how much I’ve appreciated the support. Hope y’all like the myths of innovation book when it’s out: I think you will :)

If you have questions about life on this end of the book, fire away.

7 Responses to “The life of a book: part 2”

  1. alex

    Just a hunch, but could the 6 week spike around Xmas be driven by wives/parents/friends purchasing items that were languishing on someone’s Amazon wish list? Although artofpm wasn’t one of them (I had already treated myself), I received several items that had been on my wish list for a while (a couple of them for more than a year).

  2. Scott (admin)

    Alex: That’s the best hypothesis I’ve heard so far.

    The more I think about it, buying just about everything in the U.S. spikes that time of year, so why not business books.

  3. Carolyn Wood

    Let’s see…December 20th at Digital Web Magazine we named a (very) few books that were our staff’s favorite books read in 2006, and yours was one of them. Your book title was linked to Amazon and we have thousands of readers, so maybe that contributed a bit to the sales? :)

  4. Tom

    Besides wish lists, there’s also gift certificates, and more people shopping in general. While you might not get it for a present, you may just see it while shopping, and buy it for yourself.

  5. Rob Carlson

    I second the wish-list thing. I got a fair number of interesting books queued on my wishlist for the holidays from family and friends. And lots of geeks rely on online lists to share their preferences, which would explain the spike.


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