Search Your Engines

It’s been fascinating to watch.  We tend to think things appear instantaneously on the internet, and sometimes they do.  Book announcements, however, are less prone to that.  The Wicker Man, my book for the Devil’s Advocates series, was first announced to the world (apart from me) on Oxford University Press’s website because they distribute books by Liverpool University Press.  It took several weeks before it appeared on LUP’s site (I’m projecting here, it still hasn’t showed up there).  Like an anxious father, I checked every few days to see if word was getting out.  After about two weeks it showed up on Barnes and Noble’s website, but not Amazon or Goodreads.  Then it appeared on ecampus, a textbook seller.  Days later it appeared on Amazon’s site in Spain only.  Word gets out slowly.

Some things hit immediately, of course.  Everyone in the world knows about them seconds after they happen, whether they should or not.  Some young folks, who grew up with the internet, are having trouble letting go of the, well, troubles of the world that jet through the 24/7 news cycle.  Books by unknowns travel much more slowly.  Of course, I’ve been trying to reinvent myself.  In as far as I’m known, I’m known as an ancient Semitic goddess scholar.  (The ancient part is correct, in any case.)  I turned to writing about religion and horror about a decade ago and if web searches mean anything, my most searched book seems to be Holy Horror.  That makes sense since Nightmares with the Bible is so expensive that I can’t afford additional copies even with the author discount.  The Wicker Man will be up near forty dollars, but that’s cheap these days.  At least it will be paperback.

Maybe I have been checking more than I let on, but I’ve also noticed something else odd.  Ecosia, the tree-planting search engine, comes up with more results (based on the ISBN) than Google does.  That astonished me.  Google apparently isn’t as good at searching as it would have us believe that it is, at least for obscure information.  (In my case, very obscure.)  Ecosia even outperformed Bing.  With this internet full of stuff, you’re obviously missing out if you don’t use multiple search engines.  Yahoo added yet one more site with the book.  I’m wondering when the actual publisher, or Amazon’s main site, will catch up.  Giants do move slowly, I guess.  Maybe once the cover image is released…

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