My bookselling friends tell me that December is the big book-selling month of the year. (These Census figures show even bigger spikes in January and September, but these are from textbooks, which make up a really big chunk of the total book market.)
And indeed, sales of How Not To Be Wrong shot up in a very satisfactory way during the holiday season; according to Nielsen BookScan, the book sold more copies in the Dec 15-21 week than it had any week since the first month of release in June. The book also rose up the Amazon rankings; having settled in in the #1500-2000 range for a couple of months, it popped up to around #700, about the same level as August, and stayed there for two weeks. Two days after Christmas, pop — immedately back down to four digits. The increase in ranking suggests that How Not To Be Wrong was unusually popular around Christmas, even relative to other books.
One thing I don’t quite get, though; the Kindle edition also got a notable rankings boost in the second half of December, though a bit smaller. Where is that coming from? Do people buy books for other people’s Kindles as Christmas presents?