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October 15, 2007

On the Ginormous Book Market

From the drawing board of Derek Kirk Kim

[This post was originally written in my private journal on 8-31-07, a couple weeks after my latest book, Good As Lily, had hit bookstores.]




I stopped by my local Barnes & Noble this afternoon to see how Good As Lily was doing. This particular Barnes & Noble is a mid-sized one with 2 floors and an escalator. It's mammoth. On my way out, I was coming down the escalator, gazing out at the endless battalions of shelves. As I was being slowly lowered into this vast ocean of books, it really hit me what a microscopic portion of this world I really was. What a pointless, insignificant drop in the bucket my little book was. Just another book among millions. Nothing special – a simple-minded diversion, at best. Am I so egotistical to believe that someone should choose my book over the hundreds and thousands of books in that store? Does my book even deserve to be read when someone could fill his or her mind, imagination, and spirit with The Catcher in the Rye or American Born Chinese or Carl Sagan's Cosmos instead? How can I expect someone to dish out their hard-earned, minimum-wage money on the drivel that is my writing when there are so many – SO MANY – books they could read instead. It's truly a blessing – a miracle, really! – that any of my books sell at all. It's easy to forget that.


Oh, and not one copy of Good As Lily had been sold, just in case you were wondering.




hehe, i would like to see that :)

I found Good as Lily in a secondhand bookstore, and bought it on a whim. It's definitely one of my favorite graphic novels, now, and I've been passing it around to all my friends.

I bought your book at Lonestar Comics! It was a great read! =)

Well, you've got a copy sold at a B&N in NYC, which is currently on loan to a friend, who also lent it to her brother.

So, to be corny, but encouraging, a small pebble throw into a lake will make small ripples that will eventually get bigger and bigger.

Numbers! Aren't they fun?

I didn't know you could walk into a B&N and ask them how many copies of a particular title have moved. I'll keep that in mind. Should I ever see a book in B&N (a book of my own) I'll know I can march up to the counter, proud author, and beg the figure. It will be in the tens at least, no doubt, the hundredths! ... I mean, hundreds!

I've posted positive comments about Good as Lily - it's my personal favorite of the Minx titles so far. I'll also be adding it to my list of highly recommended graphic novel titles for schools when I speak at two School Library System conferences in upper state New York next month.

I bought Good as Lily the first day it came out from Borders Books. It wasn't even on the shelves yet - I had to ask an employee to check the stock room.
I've enjoyed all your books and wait eagerly for the next!

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