So here's what I think happened.
The NYT Best Sellers list captured a week in which GUN MACHINE was only available for, I think, five days. Could have been four, but let's say five. For at least four of those days, the book wasn't available in any Barnes & Noble bookstore in America.
Availability in the US through other outlets seems to have been spotty. I don't know when comics stores received their Diamond orders (if they ordered through Diamond Comics Distributors), but twitter chatter suggests many of them may not have seen copies until the following week.
The numbers I have access to suggest that there were anywhere between 1600 and 2000 pre-orders (for the hardback ONLY) in the amazon.com system. They all fired on or around Jan 1.
(That number could even be low, but it's what I've got right now. Bear with me.)
Now, independent bookstores in the US have been strong supporters of GUN MACHINE. The book made a list of works selling well in indie stores, surrounded by frankly terrifying competition. But, unless the NYT was polling only those stores? I don't think that does it.
I've heard tell that "internet sales" don't factor into the NYT hardback fiction list. I'm looking at what I have -- and, yes, I'm still missing a lot of info and have a lot of questions -- and I don't see how that can be true. I think the heavy lifting has to have been done by that tranche of pre-orders firing off on the First.
If true -- or even some degree of true -- that is, I think, A Thing, that possibly has some import worth unpacking further down the line.
* * * * *
A novelist friend of mine emailed, the day the news broke, with a note that read in part: "For the rest of your life, quite regardless of what else happens, any book you publish will be 'by the New York Times best-selling author"."
Which just sounds like a license for mischief, really.
* * * * *
I'm not going to bore you to death with the reviews. At least not right now. Tell you what, though. Remember I mentioned some engagement metrics on this list? A few people who work in marketing responded with variants on the following:
Industry standard email open rates: 12-14%. Industry standard click-through rates: 2-3%.
So apparently you're all brilliant and marketers everywhere would kill to have you in their lives.