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Can we get The Curve into the Bestseller charts? Please help

By on August 23, 2013
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The Curve will be published on October 3rd 2013 in the US, the UK and the Commonwealth.

(I know the Commonwealth is a bit old-fashioned, but it’s how the book industry divides up the English speaking world. Basically into the US and “everyone else”.)

It’s very exciting. Those of you who follow me on Twitter or Facebook will know that it was hard work putting the book together. It’s been through several revisions. I’m very happy with it, because it has improved immeasurably over the writing, editing, rewriting and copyediting that caused me heartache and headache, all for a better book.

But I also want to sell copies. Lots of copies. It’s a important message, which I want lots of people to read. But it’s also a commercial endeavour. And for that, I would really like your help.

I would like to get The Curve into the New York Times and Sunday Times bestseller lists.

Targeting the bestseller charts

The bestseller charts for books are not quite as important as they are for games. They are not a primary discovery channel in the way that, say, the AppStore charts are. They are still very important:

  • Booksellers choose what to push and what not to push based on what is selling. If The Curve gets off to a flying start, they will push it harder
  • A “New York Times” Bestseller sticker provides social proof that lots of people have bought the book, making it lower risk for people who don’t know my writing to buy it
  • It gives the sales force at my publishers more confidence when pushing the book
  • It helps my career for the next one

So all-in-all, it would be great if I could chart.

What does it take to chart?

I’ve done some digging. In October 2012, the #10 book on the Sunday Times Bestseller list was Andrew Marr’s A History of the World. It sold 1,987 copies that week. So 2,000 copies is my target to beat. In the US, the figure is a bit higher, at around 2,500, but the New York Times does some data analysis to produce its list, so I can’t be exact.

Here’s the best bit though: all Amazon pre-orders count in the same week. So, if you buy The Curve at any point from now until publication, you’ll be helping me to chart in the first week. And if Amazon, and book sellers, and even my publishers, see that the book is popular, they will double down their efforts to sell it more. The big get bigger.

So please, if you think that you might be interested in The Curve, and were planning on buying it later this year, it would be marvellous if you could pre-order it. It gives me the best chance of charting, of getting attention from the people who sell books and of getting more people to read about the future of business and art in a digital age.

You can pre-order at or

Thank you so much.

About Nicholas Lovell

Nicholas is the founder of Gamesbrief, a blog dedicated to the business of games. It aims to be informative, authoritative and above all helpful to developers grappling with business strategy. He is the author of a growing list of books about making money in the games industry and other digital media, including How to Publish a Game and Design Rules for Free-to-Play Games, and Penguin-published title The Curve:
  • Also, I note the double meaning implicit in “bs list” 🙂

  • Hello Dave, thanks for the comment.
    I agree with you, sort of.
    I launched this appeal on GAMESbrief, where I have been writing material on the business of game design for 5 years. I have 20,0000 monthly users who visit the website to read my stuff, many of whom are fans of what I do.
    So for that audience, they are already confident that what I write has the potential to be interesting, and are likely to be comfortable buying a book from me.

    You came from a different direction: we have no existing relationship and so you need to be convinced, which is entirely fair enough. It would have been brilliant to have all the free stuff available before I started this campaign, but it wasn’t ready. So I used my existing relationships with existing readers to kick this off, and will then use the free giveaways (the blog, the free ebook, the infographic, the 90 second video and so on) as each of those becomes available. Each of them will start to strengthen my relationship with new potential readers, with the hope that I will turn them from potential readers to readers to fans to superfans.

    It’s a very long process 🙂

  • dave neal

    so, I think you’ve got it backwards. you should have the freebies out before the push to ‘bestsell’ your book. I am not a gamer, i found you via futurebook. I am interested in how to use $0 price to pull sales. but i’m not sure you have the answer, and i’m not going to spend ~$20 to find out. based on the tremendous response here it will be interesting to see if you’re up there on the bs list.

  • I address that in the book 🙂
    There will be lots of free content given away on when we launch the redesign, but at the moment, there is no commercial imperative to give your ebook away for free, although I do believe that day will come. I am experimenting to be ready for that day.

  • dave neal

    so why isn’t there a free digital version, given your thesis?

  • Thank you very much. Each one helps.

  • Nate

    Happy to help Nicholas, you’ve provided me with a great deal of help for my game with Gamesbrief. Pre-order ordered. 🙂 Good luck!

  • Thank you so much. I believe that the charts are still very much driven by physical copies, but the “Bestselling” rank on Amazon, which is also valuable, includes Kindle.

    But it can be hard to tell.

  • Nicolas Godement

    Done! 🙂
    I got the hardback copy but do Kindle copy count in pre-orders?