Update: Checking out popular highlights

All right, so the TUYO sale ran from the 2nd through the 6th, and of course I scheduled it there because RIHASI was releasing on the 2nd.

Comments about RIHASI:

Thank you for leaving reviews! I have never had a book stick at 5.0 stars for that many reviews; I can now tell you that if you have ONE four star review out of 51 five-star reviews, Amazon will round that down to 4.9 nine stars even though the average is actually 4.98. This is actually fine with me because honestly, 5.0 even was starting to look almost unbelievable by that time. The book is now at 70 ratings (as of 10AM Monday morning), and an average of 4.9 stars, with 37% of ratings accompanied by reviews — a very high percentage. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the extraordinarily thoughtful reviews many readers are writing.

RIHASI stayed well up in the top 10,000 Kindle books until yesterday and now is gradually sliding downward. It was up in the top 100 Action and Adventure Fantasy category for the same period. This, in case you don’t know how to judge these numbers, is not nearly enough to get the book as Best Seller tag, but it is very solid.

I will add, I buy my own ebooks via Amazon, and do you know why? Because it’s neat to look at the popular highlights, that’s why. It doesn’t take a lot of highlights to trigger the popular highlights feature — three will do it. Let’s have a quick tour of popular highlights in the Tuyo series —

TUYO — the most popular has 63 highlights. It is this: “Every man is glad to stop looking for the truth when he’s handed a lie he likes better.”

NIKOLES — the most popular has 14, and this is definitely one of my very favorite lines: “If you’ve made mistakes, well, you’re young yet. Eventually you’ll get used to that and it’ll stop being such a shock.”

TARASHANA — the most popular has 31, and it is “Arguing with a man too much will make him think he must hold tight to his first opinion.”

KERAUNANI — has a 6-way tie; every popular highlight has just three votes. That moment with Pir in the hayloft stood out for readers; three of the lines that got highlights are in that conversation. Here’s one of those: “Something like this, there’s less blame to go around than it looks like right now.”

SUELEN — the most popular has five. It’s this one: “Those voices, that song, made him feel that sorrow might lie at the heart of the world, but not inconsolable grief.”

I will add, I had that line, cut the scene or paragraph that included it, kept the line itself in a separate file, and eventually made a place for it because I really liked that line. All these are lines I personally like a lot. I’d be quite startled if readers were highlighting a line that I didn’t like much myself.

TANO — the most popular highlight has 20 highlights: “The moment in which it is most difficult to hold your tongue and your temper is the moment this is most important. Failure to hold both at such moments makes it hard for you to think clearly and easy for a man who disagrees with you to dismiss your opinion.”

TASMAKAT — I honestly think everyone is going to remember this line. I loved this line and this whole conversation. This line has 23 highlights. “It is not given to any man to know what great terrors or wonders, what small griefs or comforts, what hollow failures or shining victories may lie before him. Perhaps you would do best to wait for each coming dawn before you step into the day that has arrived, and for each sunset before you judge the darkness of the night.”

MARAG — the most popular highlight has 14. “Every mistake you have ever made lies in the past. This is the day you face now. Put your attention to this day and this moment, not to anything that lies behind you or before you.”

RIHASI has been out for just one week. Has that been enough time to pick up any popular highlights at all? Yes, because it doesn’t take many. There are four highlights for this line: “Rihasi had decided she did not need courage; she only needed meticulous planning and a calm expression.”

Good to see! I don’t think that’s my personal favorite … oh, no, I can indeed think of some other lines I would particularly pick out. It’ll be interesting to check in a year and see if some of those are showing up in popular highlights.

Obviously the lines that appear as popular highlights are almost all advice one character is giving another, and it’s nice to know it often seems like good advice! Suelen’s line is more poetic than advice. Rihasi’s line establishes her as a character — it’s about who she is as a person.

I sent a copy of RIHASI to Eric Lowe, by the way. I hope he enjoys the stab stab stab scene!

Audiobook progress:

I’ve just listened to Chapter 9 for RIHASI and Chapter 3 for THE YEAR’S MIDNIGHT. I hope I’m hitting Approve for both by the end of the month.

Audiobook narrators can be really impressive, by the way. Who do you think might be most challenging in RIHASI? I’ll tell you who I was most anxious about: Bereket. And Lord Aras, who has to have the same tone he has in other audiobooks, but Bereket is such a specific type of character. I was worried the narrator might not get him right. Turns out I need not have worried: He sounds perfect. I might have laughed out loud when Kior said, “If you’ve got a lot of friends,” and Bereket drawled, “I’m a friendly man.”

How about TYM? I hadn’t thought of this at all, but it’s obvious after the fact — Lord Death. HOW do you voice Lord Death? Well, it turns out the narrator managed.

Both projects are going really well, and yes, I think I might wind up with whiplash from going from one to the other and then back to SILVER CIRCLE. Which, yes, I also hope I will be finishing up by the end of the month.

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1 thought on “Update: Checking out popular highlights”

  1. I rally enjoyed the popular highlights – I turn those off (with prejudice!) in my kindle apps because I find them massively distracting, but was really interested to see what they were. I may have to figure out how to look at them.

    Audiobooks, yay! I LOVED Rihasi, so I’m really looking forward to that! I’ve already promised myself an audio re-read of Marag on my annual 10 hour drive to vacation in August, and if Rihasi is out by then I’ll probably add it.

    (I presume Tasmakat audio is currently caught in “there’s A LOT of book in this book” and will be done when it’s done. Hmm, I wonder if I should indulge in a hardcover copy to take with me on vacation to re-read…)

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