Underlife: by the Numbers

Release date: December 21, 2009
Sold: Two-thirds of its print run
Amazon ranking (as of December 15): #721,282, B&N: #Sales Rank: 905,950
Buy used: $1.36 + shipping on Amazon.
Most books sold at one reading: 55 (book launch party)
Average number of books after a reading: 4

The other day, I ran into a friend of mine who also is an entrepreneur and has authored two nonfiction books. He gave me great advice before Underlife was published. He asked how the book was doing, and when I told him it was doing well but, “… you know … it’s poetry. Poets don’t sell that many books,” he said, “Yeah, but it’s not about book sales. It’s about the opportunities the book brings.” And he was right.

This has been a year filled with joy and excitement—more than I expected. I’ve traveled up and down the East Coast: Boston, New York, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, and Miami—wow! I’ve been able to put names to a few faces of fellow bloggers and readers by meeting them in person. I’ve read at venues where only three people have shown up, and I’ve read before hundreds. But at each reading I can honestly say I connected with someone in the audience. That’s the power of poetry—the ability to inspire and expand community.

The book has been nominated and recognized for a few awards, received solid, positive reviews from bloggers and critics alike, and even got the Thumbs Up from my kids!

My humble goal for this book was to earn a second print run. Well, I’m not there but here’s hoping it happens early next year.

On Sunday, December 19, a year after the Underlife launch party (watch last year's slide show), I’ll be reading with Major Jackson at the Brookline Public Library for my last reading of 2010. My parents will be in town; it will be the first time they will hear me read my poems—ever! If you’re in the Boston area, I hope you make it for this very special event.

Thanks to everyone who bought, read, recommended, blogged about, adopted, and said a kind word about Underlife. I really do appreciate it--more than you know.


Susan Rich said…
Congratulations, January! I love how my hometown plays a celebratory part in your history. We are going to see you out here in Seattle sometime in the next year -- I hope!
Collin Kelley said…
It's always fascinating to look back and see where you've been. Your book is fab. But I told you that already. I encourage everyone to buy a copy and let's sell out Jan's first press run!
evelyn.n.alfred said…
I have my copy. I really like the quality of your book. Some of the poetry books out there look so...um...you know, but yours is so professional.
January said…
Thanks Evelyn, Susan. I really appreciate the vote of confidence.

Collin, I was really inspired about your post a few months ago on Conquering Venus. Wouldn’t it be nice if all of our titles earned a second print run? You are the best!
Kells said…
January, have I wished you congratulations on such an incredible year and book.

What a ride!

Thank you for all your posts about what you are up to, what your book is up to, etc. etc.

Your blog is one of my very very favorites!

Congrats on all your success and wishing you much more in the next year.

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