Award-Winning Editor of Clarkesworld Magazine, Forever Magazine, The Best Science Fiction of the Year, and More

Month: October 2004

Results from my promotional experiment on LJ

A little over a week ago, I ran an experiment here to see if a friends suggestion would yield any results. He told me that I should be using the livejournal more aggressively for advertising the store. To that end, I ran a 10% off sale for a few days and promised to let people know the results.

For starters, I’m only on a few friends list. I knew from the start that this would probably be a large obstacle and despite a few people picking up the news and posting it again on their livejournals, turnout was fairly poor. There was only one person who ordered something while referencing the livejournal. (Thank you)

As luck would have it, some unexpected bills came in. I extended the duration on the sale and then promoted it on my mailing list and The Message Board of the Damned. By the end of the week there were 30 people who took us up on the sale. Here are the final totals for sales:

Livejournal : 1
Message Board of the Damned : 6
Clarkesworld Books Mailing List : 20
Word of mouth from Damned : 3

In the past, I’ve advertised in magazines, google adwords, convention programs, and web sites. This experiment generated more sales than any one of them did in a two month period. Go figure. I still have a lot to learn about promoting my bookstore. Suggestions always welcome.


Neil Clarke
Clarkesworld Books

Bestsellers for the Week Ending Oct 24 , 2004

It’s Monday, so here’s our bestsellers for the week ending October 24th, 2004:


1. Circus of the Grand Design by Robert Freeman Wexler (signed)
2. Going Postal by Terry Pratchett (signed)
3. Polyphony 4 ed. by Deborah Layne and Jay Lake
4. Brotherhood of Mutilation by Brian Evenson (signed)
5. Midnight Tides by Steven Erikson (UK trade paperback)


1. Interzone
2. Third Alternative
3. Alchemy
4. Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet
5. Cemetery Dance

Last week’s sale cause a few older titles to creep back up into the top 5 list. It was also pleasing to see the number of Tim Lebbon books we sold. He was our top selling author for the week, but none of his books made the top five. Several made the top 10.

I’ll be posting more details about the sale and my Livejournal experiment shortly. I’m still pulling together some data and want to make sure I have it right first.


Bestsellers for the week ending Oct. 17, 2004

Here’s our bestsellers for the Week Ending October 17th, 2004:

1. Going Postal by Terry Pratchett
2. The Devil in Gray by Graham Masterton
3. Incubus Dreams by Laurell K. Hamilton
4. The Turtle Boy by Kealan Patrick Burke
5. Darklings by Ray Garton
5. Banner of Souls by Liz Williams

1. Interzone
2. Alchemy
3. Weird Tales
4. Zahir
5. Electric Velocipede

Overall a slow sales week, which is made worse by the arrival of some unexpected bills. I’ll also be out of town until Friday, which complicates things even further. I need to give things a good kick to avoid trouble down the road.

So, until Friday at 8:00, all in-stock books and magazines are 10% off my regular price. Just mention this posting in the comments section and I’ll subtrack 10% when I process the order. Spread the word. Effectively, this is an extension of the discount that was to expire tonight.


Clarkesworld Books

A Little Experiment

I’ve been running an online sf/f/h bookstore for a few years now, but one thing that has always perplexed me is advertising and getting our name out there. I’ve been having an extending email conversation about this with a friend of mine and I’m going to run with one of his suggestions. This will be my first blog-originated promotion. After the offer expires, I plan on sharing the data I collect on how effective this little experiment was in comparison to newsletters, forums, and print ads I’ve run.

My store is at: If you place an order an mention LIVEJOURNAL in the comments field of the shopping cart, I’ll subtract 10% from the price of the in-stock books. If you haven’t done business with us, you should know that we offer a flat rate shipping option of $2.50 per box (media mail).

Feel free to spread the word to whoever you want. This is all about seeing how word-of-mouth works within this medium.

Oh yeah… This offer expires Monday, October 18th at 8:00pm EST.


Clarkesworld Bestsellers

Here’s our bestsellers for the Week Ending October 10th, 2004


1. Going Postal by Terry Pratchett
2. Powers of Detection ed. by Dana Stabenow
3. A Handbook of American Prayer by Lucius Shepard
4. The Labyrinth by Catherynne M. Valente
5. The Blue Girl by Charles de Lint (tie)
5. The Stupidest Angel : A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror by Christopher Moore (tie)


1. Weird Tales
2. Alchemy Magazine
3. The Third Alternative
4. Aurealis Magazine
5. On Spec

I think this is the first time I’ve had a tie in our list. I’m very pleased with the showing of The Labyrinth. As I’ve said before, it’s excellent. It was only outsold by a book that had very strong preorders and another that had a large UK bulk order.

Weird Tales continues to have a strong showing. We just picked up a bunch of back issues since there has been so much interest. Alchemy is definitely deserving of it’s place in the top 5. Definitely my favorite for the month.

All data pulled from orders at Clarkesworld Books,

Reading a good book

For a while now, I’ve been hearing great things about The Labyrinth by Catherynne M. Valente. ( It finally arrived a few days ago and I must say that I’m enjoying this one a lot. The only complaint I have is that my kids won’t give me enough time to finish it!

I’ll be doing our bestseller list tonight. This should be appearing in the top 5.

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