The factor

This morning I awoke to discover that — in less than 12 hours — the ranking of Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel had fallen over 6000 points, from 2109th to 8216th. It was as if, overnight, the significance of my book had shrunk to a measly fraction of its former size. This is not the first time something like this has happened in the three weeks since the book has been out, and it can make publishing feel like playing the stock market in some third world country.

Moreover, it makes me wonder what neophyte authors had to obsess over back in the dark ages (say, ten years ago) before Internet merchandizing took the world by storm. After all, on websites like and, an author can now spend literally hours a week brooding over the status of his book. For all practical purposes it

Posted by | Comments (1)  | January 26, 2003
Category: Book Release and Tour Diary

One Response to “The factor”

  1. Torrey Lindbo Says:

    I would say the factor will continue to be a roller coaster ride, since this morning(Jan 29), Vagabonding was back up to 3,064. And based upon the book event last night at Powells Books in Portland, where about 100 people packed the store to listen to Rolf and quickly snatched up the 15 copies of his book they had on hand, I would say Amazon may increase their sales if other book stores fail to have enough in stock.

    I checked (the on-line storefront for the bookstore Rolf read at last night) to see if they had a ranking system – no ranking system, but I did find out they have 3 more in stock at other stores. So, for the 85 people who weren’t able to obtain a copy of the book, there will only be 2 copies left by the time I post this. And for those who don’t get to the remaining 2 copies in time, I suppose we’ll see the rating on the rise…