15 years & a gazillion readers

  I’m thrilled to announce that Sin & Syntax has now sold—well, not exactly a gazillion copies, but well over 100,000. This is a huge milestone for me, and I'm in the mood to celebrate. I thought I'd tell you a little of the back story, as well as offering you a way to get a very very very affordable copy. (If you've read the book, you know I discourage the use of that adverb "very"—unless repeated three times. LOL.) Sin & Syntax First, the back story. I considered titling this post "From Midlist Book to Backlist Bestseller." Those of you in the book biz know that midlist titles are solidly successful. They have reached sales in the 20,000-60,000 range, and the publishing house has probably made back its money. But the book didn't hit the Big Time. There is indeed something "fair to middling," or "middle-aged" about the label. And it's unusual for a book to get into the six-figure sales once the buzz of publication quiets down. Sin and Syntax was welcomed with an initial positive critical response, and I was happy that it made the midlist mark in its first two years. But something told me that the book should have a shelf life, and I wanted more people to buy it. Not out of greed (once a book is in paperback, royalties are pretty small), but out of a belief that the book could help struggling writers. I am by nature an evangelist, so I never stopping talking about the book. I sold copies at my cost to endless students, to people sitting next to me on airplanes, to attendees at writing conferences, to readers of this blog. I even talked my publisher into doing a new edition. So we now have a backlist baby. In recognition of this milestone, my publisher, Three Rivers Press, is making the Sin & Syntax ebook available at a special price of $1.99. This offer is only available for a limited time, so don't dilly-dally. Head over to Penguin Random House between now and July 12th to download your digital copy. If you’re someone who prefers to “try before you buy,” I’ve posted an excerpt of the first chapter, "Nouns" so that you can see what 2 bucks will buy you. Imagine, a future free of dangling participles. No more anxiety over which v. that. Answers to your every grammar question, just a keyword search away. All for $1.99.

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