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Dog Days Dogging It

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You probably recall our coverage of Anna Marie Cox’s bext week ever. This was back in early January when she signed that half-a-million dollar book contract, her first novel Dog Days was released, and she got about 79 mentions in the New York Times in a matter of days.

It seems that all that attention may not have done the book very much good. Earlier this week, GalleyCat obtained the Bookscan sales figures for Dog Days. It seems Cox sold 3,800 copies of the novel in the three weeks since its release. And it’s already slowing down. Last week, sales dropped 37.5% from the week before. fishbowlDC pointed out that Cox’s novel lags behind Quantitative Chemical Analysis, Sixth Edition on Amazon. As I’m typing this, Cox’s recently released $24 novel is number 2,405 in terms of sales on the popular website while the $125 text book originally published in 2002 ranks in at number 1,864.

Now, on the one hand, I know a bunch of first time novelists who would love for their work to sell roughly four thousand copies in three weeks. So from that perspective, these figures are a very positive achievement.

But on the other hand, none of them received two book reviews in the New York Times the week the novel was released, a healthy profile piece in the same newspaper, a featured op-ed piece in the same fish wrap, a full-page article in People, a book review in the Washington Post, coverage in USA Today, a review in the Village Voice, and many more articles that I’m just not able to think of off the top of my head this early in the morning. So when you look the novel’s performance from that perspective, it seems more than a tad disappointing.

And not many of the first time novelists I know cashed a reported $275,000 advance check either. With the money Cox received, plus all the coverage the book got, the attention and the expectations are raised tremendously.

It will be interesting to see if sales pick up for this highly-hyped book.