Writer. Adventurer. Currently working on The Dreamless City, a series of steampunk novels and short stories.

What Goes Up…

What goes up must come down,
What went right will go wrong.

Okay, this isn’t my overall philosophy on life.  I consider myself to have a fairly sunny outlook on things, but this morning has made me suspicious…  Everything went great.  Got the kids out the door and to school/daycare without anyone getting food on themselves, on me, or on my shoes.  Traffic was light because of the upcoming holiday weekend, and there were no major email fires to extinguish at the office.

I’ll enjoy it while it lasts, but I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop.


I also ran across some interesting articles regarding genres and publishing that I thought were worth sharing.  I know these are a couple weeks old, but I hope you’ll cut me some slack.  Sweetpea and Ace have cut into my internet-browsing time.

How Well-Read is Your City?

I love big data, don’t you?  Okay, maybe not so much, but it does lend itself to some fun insights like this news from Amazon regarding bestselling titles by city:

  • Alexandria, Va. was the top city for book purchases across all types.  Inferno by Dan Brown was the best-selling book overall in Alexandria, Va., followed by Divergent by Veronica Roth and The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt.
  • While Alexandria, Va. bought the most books overall, Cambridge, Mass. bought the most print books, and Knoxville, Tenn. purchased the most Kindle books.
  • Seattle, Wash. made the biggest gain this year, jumping from the #13 spot in 2013 to #4 this year.
  • Cambridge, Mass. continues to grow more budding entrepreneurs than any other city, ordering the most books in the Business & Investing category. Top titles include Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman and perennial best seller StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath.
  • Looking only at cities with more than one million residents, San Diego, Calif. is the most well-read
  • Atlanta, Ga. was #15 for total print and digital book, magazine, and newspaper sales.  Woo hoo, way to represent!!
How Titles Sell Across Genres

Edward W. Robertson shared an interesting analysis of the top 100 bestsellers in each genre to determine what percentage self-published writers were capturing of Kindle sales.


Self-published: 49%
Small/medium: 11%
Amazon: 9%
Big 5/Harlequin: 30%


Self-published: 11%
Small/medium: 5%
Amazon: 16%
Big 5: 68%


Self-published: 56%
Small/medium: 9%
Amazon: 5%
Big 5 (plus Baen): 30%

Self-published: 49%
Small/medium: 7%
Amazon: 7%
Big 5: 37%

All genres have not embraced self-published books to the same extent.  Roughly 50% of SF and Fantasy Kindle book purchases are by self-published authors.  If you are writing in these genres, the DIY route does not seem to be a hindrance to success.  However, Mystery and Romance writers might have a bigger hill to climb.

Friday Media Fun

And because it is Friday, you deserve a song-and-dance number.  Enjoy!!

2 comments on “What Goes Up…

  1. ericjbaker
    May 24, 2014

    Interesting stats on the genre percentages. Many ways to interpret that information.

    • tracycembor
      May 29, 2014

      Agreed, there are many ways to slice this cake. It isn’t as in depth as the Hugh Howey report that came out earlier this year, but does give some tasty food for thought. ;)

Comments are closed.


This entry was posted on May 23, 2014 by in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , .

Posting Schedule for 2014-15

Monday through Friday I will be posting about writing as business and craft, the science of creativity, all things steampunk, and progress on The Dreamless City.

Weekends are reserved for my Music Playlist.

Writers of the Future Honorable Mention

About the Author

Tracy Cembor attempts to juggle a preschooler and a baby, a full-time job, random geekery, and the writing life. Currently working on The Dreamless City, a steampunk urban fantasy novel. Come join the adventure.
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