Right, so, model status. When a book first gets released, the bookbuyer for a company like B&N or Waterstones will place an initial order, and then each store will get a certain number of copies. For B&N the number of copies a store gets is based on how well they sell that particular kind of book. So a place like Oak Brook, which does a lot of sf/f traffic, will get three while the store in Bloomingdale will only get two.
Those books then sell or sit. If a particular title sells through and the store does good business in that genre, the store manager might choose to order more copies. That decision is left entirely up to the manager. After three months the book’s status is considered and stores that haven’t been moving copies might send them back to the vendor. Sometimes the book has sold through before that point, but the manager hasn’t reordered for whatever reason.
The cumulative effect is that the book starts dropping off shelves. Some places are selling out and not reordering. Some are sending their copies back as remainders. In time, the book simply isn’t on shelves. Sales plummet.
This was happening to The Pagan Night. In most cities it was no longer on any shelves. In some, where it was selling well, it was maybe on a third of the shelves in the area. But nationally, our sales were in the single digits per week, compared to a high of nearly 200.
Then a couple weeks ago, stores began to restock. Nearly all B&Ns nationwide have at least one copy on their shelves. We didn’t know if this was a buyer directed reorder, or if it had been put into the reorder model. But a store from me restocked, sold out, and then restocked again. So it looks like we’ve made the model.
Ah, but what is a model? B&N will create an inventory model for certain titles, indicating how many should be in stock at their various stores. This is how you can walk in and buy some titles that came out seven or eight years ago, but the book you’re looking for that came out seven or eight months ago is no where to be found. It didn’t make the model. If a title is modeled at two copies, when one of them sells the computer will automatically order another. If it’s only a single copy (as appears to be the case with The Pagan Night) the reorder after sale still happens, but there will be a period of time when it’s not on the shelf while the new copy is being shipped from the warehouse.
All in all, this is good news. I think these models get revisited every 3-6 months, but I’m honestly not sure. This is the first of my titles to make the model, and even if it only lasts for three months that will be considerably longer than either of the Veridon books were on shelves. The Pagan Night might very well still be on shelves when The Iron Hound (book two in the series) comes out next year. And wouldn’t that be spectacular?