I’m proud that readers from continental Europe are buying (and hopefully enjoying) our English language eBooks. I don’t often check our sales figures, though, as the volumes are so low. But the low volumes can throw up unexpected and amusing results. Right now, for example, in the German short story charts, our book, Waif, is at number 6, behind Nick Hornby and Mark Twain, but above Maeve Binchy, Anais Nin and Stephen King.
Waif isn’t the only book of ours to chart on the continent, but it is the most consistent. Perhaps the title and artwork cross national boundaries well?
Even within English-speaking countries, Waif isn’t consistent. Looking at the Amazon customer reviews, it seems more popular in America than the UK, despite being written by a Brit (though certainly not an Englishman — Nigel’s Welsh).
Looking further afield than our own books, I find 50 Shades of Grey interesting. If you don’t know it, this is a book that’s come from nowhere to be wildly successful — especially as a Kindle book — on both sides of the Atlantic. If you haven’t come across it, it’s often referred to in the press as ‘mummy porn’ — and, no, I suggest you don’t put that term into Google to see what that means. Across continental Europe, it’s been translated into German, Spanish, Italian, and French, and sold in the native Kindle Stores. It’s a big yawn with no reaction from anywhere except for Spain, where for some reason it’s the bestselling Kindle book of all. Perhaps it’s an antidote to the rioting and bank crises? If so, then it’s not exactly getting a ringing endorsement from readers; just look at the reviews on Amazon…