Wednesday, March 25, 2009
A Mystery for the Ages
By Deborah Sharp
What's up with Amazon? In a riddle to rival the Great Sphinx of Egypt, my mystery keeps getting paired with books that don't appear to have much in common with Mama Does Time.
I'll admit it: I click on my own book pages at Amazon to see what's shaking. Usually, it's nothing much. New customer reviews? A star from Publishers Weekly? Rankings rocketing into the single digits, biting at the nape of Ms. Stephenie Meyer?
Nope. Nope. And, You've got to be kidding. And, yes, I do check out my Amazon rankings. I know, I know .... they're not supposed to mean anything; it's some arcane formula that has to do with movement of your book and not actual sales figures, yada yada yada. Everybody checks out their numbers. Authors who say they don't are like those Hollywood stars who claim, ''I never read reviews.''
Right. And you don't Google yourself, either.
Anyway ... The Telltale Turtle: A Pet Psychic Mystery by Joyce and Jim Lavene? There's nary a turtle nor a psychic of any sort in Mama Does Time.
A. K. Azern's The Case of the Bouncing Grandma? Ditto and ditto. Negatory on the bouncing. Not a single grandmother.
Now, I'm sure those books are fun reads, and their authors are probably asking, "Who the heck is this Mama, and what does she have to do with my title?'' I am by no means complaining. I'm thrilled that anyone is buying the book, no matter what they choose to buy it with. I'd get a kick, though, to see the PG-rated Mama partnered up on Amazon with some dark, erotic thriller. Or, maybe a couple of physicists, needing a break from reading Quantum Enigma, could mosey on over and become ''Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought'' . . . Mama.
Hey, it could happen. If there's a distortion in the time-space continuum.
I am pleased to report that in Amazon's Inappropriately Capitalized category of What Do Customers Ultimately Buy After Viewing This Item, fully 91 percent buy Mama Does Time. (Ninety-one percent of how many? Who knows.)
Of course, I immediately began to worry about the fate of my upcoming Mama Rides Shotgun
Just 48 percent of customers buy this one after viewing. It's not out until July. Are they reluctant to pre-order? Perhaps the anti-gun lobby disapproves of the title? The cover shows a saddle on a horse. Is it equinophobia? Perhaps Amazon's customers don't like Cow Hunter chili.
What does it mean??? Who knows. It's a mystery for the ages.
How about you? What mystifies you about the Great and Powerful Amazon?