That One Time I Decided To Do Everything At Once

So, it’s May. The end of the school year is nigh (here in Alabama, anyway; to the rest of the country who has to wait until the middle of June before you see the sweet light of freedom, LOL SORRY GUYS GOOD LUCK), I’m working on Creepy Faces while I wait on my final (!!!) round of edits on Pull, and for some reason, we’ve decided to try to sell our house.

(I say “for some reason” as if we just casually decided to put it on the market for fun, which is not at all true. The Rileys can be somewhat devil-may-care about many things, but real estate is not one of them.)

The antsy-ness at school is expected. I’ve been teaching for a decade, so I know what May is like, and it no longer surprises me. We’re just pushing through as best we can right now, and soon, exams will be over and the bags under our eyes will be a distant memory.

But the house-selling part?

I was NOT READY for that.

We’re landscaping. We’re cleaning. We’re repairing. And this is after working a full day and then hanging with our kiddos when we get home. None of this even starts until 8pm, at which point I would really just like to crawl in bed with a book and–oh, who am I kidding, I don’t even have the strength to read right now.

A couple years ago, when we sold our first house, it was done in an unconventional and completely stress-free way. This time, we’re touching up paint at 9:30pm and shoving clutter in the dryer like our lives depend on it.

And they don’t, of course. Not at all. In fact, we don’t have to move. It’s just a really good time for it, and we’ve done lots of things to the house that could earn us some cash. So we’re trying.

But there are times when I feel like my entire identity rests in how the next showing goes, you know what I mean?


All that to say: Things are a bit busy around here, guys. And Mrs. Riley needs for summer to HURRY UP.

(You don’t even want to know how many times it took me to spell “hurry” correctly. I typed hooray, hurray, hurrey before I got it right.)

(This is sort of like yesterday in class, when I kept starting sentences on the whiteboard in English and ending them in Spanish without realizing it. Feeling scattered is even more dangerous when you speak more than one language.)


Counting the days until summer,

Señora Riley

Pre-Ordering PULL: Why Should You Bother?

There are two things you should know about publishing. First, its inner workings are a mystery to most of the world. Second, its inner workings are a mystery to authors until we actually start doing it and then we learn things along the way, mostly by accident.

This would be known as “building the plane while you’re flying it.”

(Incidentally, when you have an agent as terrific as Agent Emma, you don’t have to worry about all the things you don’t know. Because guess what? She does the knowing FOR you.)

One of the things I’ve learned about publishing, mostly just by watching other books release, is that pre-order sales are MUY IMPORTANTE.

(That means “very important” for you non-Spanish speakers out there.)

Why are pre-order sales so important? Well, there are some small reasons (early word-of-mouth publicity, for example), and then there is one really big reason. And the really big reason is this:

Pre-order sales count as part of first week sales. 

That means that any pre-ordered copies of a book count toward that book’s sales numbers in its first week after release.

Okay. So what?

Guess which sales numbers are used to populate bestseller lists? Yep, you guessed it. It’s the sales numbers from the first week, which includes pre-orders.

So, to put it into mathematical terms:


Now, let me go ahead and say this: ALL sales are important to an author and their publisher. It’s not like you shouldn’t buy a book after the first week. YOU SHOULD. Authors’ careers can be launched off the charts by hitting a bestseller list, but steady sales keep their books selling to publishers, which, in turn, keeps their books on shelves.

I think I speak for all authors when I say we appreciate every single sale.

But those pre-orders–well, they can really make a difference for us. If we debut on a bestseller list, it’s MASSIVE exposure, which can result in…

…steady sales,

which helps solidify our careers,

which keeps our books selling to publishers,

which keeps our books on shelves,

which keeps our books in your hands.

My awesome friends, family, and readers often ask me: “I know I can buy your books anywhere, but where do you make the most money? How can I buy them in the way that benefits you the most?”

This is one of the biggest answers to that question: Pre-order it. Or buy it the first week. Use your local bookstore if you can, because I’m a big supporter of local businesses. But if you can’t, there’s this other website called Amazon, where you can pre-order it right this minute, if you’d like.

You can also click this lovely screenshot of PULL’s Amazon page and be taken straight to the pre-order thingy (technical term).

Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 2.08.20 PM

So there you have it: Pre-orders And Why They Matter, by Anne Riley.

Thank you for all the support, Grasshoppers. To those of you who have already pre-ordered the book and then told other people about it, gosh darnit, I just wanna give you a hug.

Until next time…