Warmed and Bound Podcast Interview # 6: Caleb J. Ross

 Warmed And Bound beat the Harry Potter Paperback Box Set last night on Barnes and Noble’s Paperback Bestseller List. That’s so impressive. Say it with me now: Warmed And Bound beat Harry Potter. Never thought I’d be saying those words. Unbelievable. 

At The Velvet, there are a few people the regular visitors call fixtures. Caleb J. Ross is one of those fixtures. Author of Stranger Will, which you all should be familiar with since I reviewed it here a while back, and Charactered Pieces, a collection of short stories, Caleb is forging his way through the hearts and minds of readers across the world. Well, more like bulldozing his way through the hearts and minds of the readers, because his stories pack a lot of punch. His words will floor you. He’s taking over here August 5th for a day filled with whatever he wants to do. A Swat team will be standing by and I have Seal Team Six on speed-dial. I’m sure everything will be fine. I’m not too sure about the stripper pole he had installed last week, or that box of cigars over on the counter, but surely everything thing will be just fine.

Livius Nedin and Robb Olson at Booked managed to make Caleb sit still long enough to get an interview, and if you will kindly grab a beverage of your choice and have a seat, you can listen to it right here.

Dig that trigger on his coffee mug. Too cool.

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11 responses to “Warmed and Bound Podcast Interview # 6: Caleb J. Ross

  1. I’m not trying to be an asshole, but what in hell are you (and many others) talking about? On the “top sellers of the hour” between 9 and 10 o’clock or whatever, on the day of its release, an anthology featuring 30 plus writers who all, for that day, were doing everything they could to move copies, through 1 single website, for a period of an hour or so, in that hour sold more copies than some “Harry Potter set”, a “Harry Potter set” which also sold copies on ten million other websites that hour, and in physical stores, years after its release and likely to people who already even own multiple copies of it.

    I mean, two hours later “Harry Potter Boxed set” was still up there and “Warmed and Bound” not so much and sinking.

    You might as well say “Warmed and Bound” outsold “Heart of Darkness” and “Infinite Jest” and “Motherless Brooklyn” etc etc etc and every other book combined, that hour, through that site. So what?

    I’ve been watching this “Warmed and Bound” thing with some interest and now am just getting dubious about it, all these authors and the main site giving vague, fluid, changing by the hour sales ranks at one specific website seems fishy, like why are you saying this and why are you saying it in such a way as to purposefully try to frame it in an exaggerated context? It’s like Fox News reporting on the GOP, seriously. Why don’t you say how many copies sold, full stop, or something like that? At least that would be something. I mean, on the hourly bestseller list at even a site as large as Barnes and Nobel a book only needs to sell 10 or 20 in that hour to be in the top and when the numbers dip below position 30 it could just be one of many books that each sold 1 or 2 copies.

    I mean, really I’m not trying to be an asshole, just to make the point that it would be impressive to sell a few hundred in a day, it would be an honestly impressive thing to honestly celebrate, otherwise it seems like a bunch of people trying to fluff themselves.

    My two cents, as an impartial observer, just because someone had to say it. I guess all those submissions I have out to lit mags should be considered rejected, but I think someone had to say it because “Warmed and Bound” is a cool project and it would be so much cooler for aspiring writers like me to see something like this not become a circle jerk about where can the most impressive sounding information be taken from to dress up to make it seem like its something its not. It seems like a cool anthology, what happened to just letting it be that and a cool underground press project done well?

    • Terry,

      All valid points. None of us expected this, so it’s all a little overwhelming. I guess we’re all a little excited. If it was a case of 20 or 30 books moving in an hour in one day, and the rankings were still the same, we would share your sentiments, but the fact is it takes a lot more than 20-30 books sold in a couple of hours to affect the rankings. The book has sold out its print run at many of the B&N warehouses.

      B&N incorrectly priced the book cheap enough that buying several copies to get free shipping was about $10.00 more than buying one correctly priced book through Powells or Amazon. Did we take advantage of that? You bet your ass we did. The sad thing is that I haven’t even purchased one single copy of the book yet. Why not? Because, like many aspiring writers, I’m broke.

      Now B&N is unable to fulfill the orders. The Velvet Press is graciously forwarding a free eReader version to any and all customers who email a copy of their cancelled order. It’s the least they can do.

      As for us promoting the book, well, that’s what we do, shamelessly I might add. This website is mainly used to promote books I like, written by writers I like, and to promote my own writing projects. Publishers rarely promote books these days, so Self Promotion is the only avenue. I will use all the information provided to me to promote the book, shamelessly. To be completely fair, Amazon currently has Warmed And Bound ranked at #7,509, which is far exceeding our expectations there. Keeping the book ranked in the five digit area was a respectable goal for us, so of course, we’re excited about it.

      • Hi Bob. Hey thanks for responding so thoroughly, it’s cool of you. Yeah, I had no idea a lot of that back story, of course, I think what I was more venting about was some general stuff. I’m just trying to get started with getting some things out there, or trying to get ANYTHING out there, and I’m bouncing around through all the information, and it seems like every time something comes out and gets a little attention there’s just all this hyperbole and everything is the “best book ever” and “redefining this” or whatever, but never any facts other writers can work with, it just gets me irritable when it seems like spin. I was told about The Velvet and a few places and looked around and a lot of writers like Cleavenger I like were involved with “Warmed and Bound” so I guess I was hoping for more tangible, nuts and bolts information and got a bit put off when it was all like “this is the bestselling thing of all time!”. So, anyway, I understand the excitement and the marketing and all and again it was cool of you to just take my points and respond, you’re alright.

        Anyway, sorry to hear there’s trouble causing the numbers to dip for you all and I hope it gets fixed. My order was mysteriously canceled and I know people who had the same thing happen, but I’m sure it’ll get clear.

        Really look forward to reading and thanks for the info in your response.

  2. That was a great interview. I’ve still got a couple more of them to catch up on after the madness that was last week. Thanks for helping us spread the word. That BN opening day was really exciting, despite the snafus. And it’s not like it was some one-hour spike; it continued like that for more than a day. Of course it’ll taper off and settle into whatever rank the market demands. It’s just so rare for independently-published material to experience that (in our genres, anyway), any extra momentum that spike generated could be self-perpetuating when readers who might not normally seek that stuff out get eyes on it in the Top-Whatever list on the home page.

  3. Terry,

    We will give any and all “nuts and bolts” information we get. I’d like to echo Bob’s responses and also extend an invitation to join The Velvet. You might like it, we’re kind of nice people. Believe me when I say that I feel your frustrations.

    Just to defend the hyperbole a bit, we did this all ourselves. We’ve been watching this project grow from an idea for almost an entire year. The book includes brand new work from writer’s we not only respect, but idolize. And we’re published in the same exact book.

    Couple that with sales numbers that have the genuine potential to exceed what we had originally anticipated (numbers we won’t exactly know until we get our first statement from our distributor), and you get the pomp that you’ve seen the last couple days.

    – Sean P. Ferguson

  4. I don’t recall this quote: “this is the bestselling thing of all time!”

    But the other points, yes, valid. Though you can see, and you elude to it in your response, that getting any attention as a struggling writer is in itself to be praised and promoted. Think about it this way: how could you expect us not to blast everywhere that for a few moments we were selling more copies of our no-name-publisher book than some of the staples that have dominated bestselling lists for months?

    • Like I said, this has really been overwhelming. Wow, what a weekend, and I still have to plug Anthony’s interview, which I’ll be doing shortly. And Terry, I’m going to echo Ferg’s statement and extend an invitation to The Velvet. Don’t be a lurker. You’re a writer and a fan, so you already have a foot in the door. So sorry your order was cancelled, hopefully that will all be cleared up very soon.

      • Now I actually am feeling like an asshole, you guys all being so great and straight forward. And really I do understand the energy and hyperbole, I don’t know, probably just moody about things and got a bit carried away about stuff that bugs me that’s not, it seems from the way you guys responded, anything to do with this in particular. Like I say, it seems a really cool anthology and I can’t wait to read it and it is amazing for you guys to have done it yourself and get that spike. Yeah, I think I’m moody about other things and probably that angsty writer jealousy. Oh and Caleb, I know it wasn’t an exact quote, silly to have put it that way.

        I will go ahead and stop being a “lurker” at the Velvet, you’ve all made me a lot less intimidated by this, though in an odd way the laid back, straightforward style you’ve shown here kind of intimidates me in other ways.

        Thanks for this, all, letting me vent about stuff and actually overlooking making it constructive instead of blowing me off or something, you;re all great.

  5. No need to apologize Terry. You made some valid points, things we all tend to question anyway. I’m probably the biggest skeptic I know, and I’m very critical of everything, but I also realize that everyone has an opinion and a voice, and I’m extremely fair. Come on down to The Velvet. Everyone there is cool as hell, and yes, very laid back.

    • Mlaz

      No no, I know, “Who this bitch coming in shooting off at the mouth and everything” I know. I hope that will change, but I guess it’s up to the writing for people to start knowing me. But I have heard of you, though, a bunch of you. But lots of people have heard of you guys.

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