Puppy Love is a short story written by Claire Collins for the Love is on the Wind anthology. You can get the entire Love is on the Wind ebook or one of Claire’s novels, Fate and Destiny, or Images of Betrayal as an ebook for free by leaving a comment on the Second Wind Blog page titled Romance Giveaway for Valentine’s Day. Free ebooks! Everybody wins!
She slammed her fist on the desk. If her computer crashed one more time, she wouldn’t be able to stop herself from throwing the whole thing out the window. Lisa pushed away from the heavy mahogany desk and left the office after rebooting the computer for the third time that morning. She carried her coffee cup, intent on infusing more caffeine into her system. Passing through the living room from the office on the way to the kitchen, she stopped. A scratching noise came from the front door. The sound was accompanied by yipping.
Lisa put her cup on the coffee table and opened the front door. A blast of cold March morning air entered the house. Lisa shivered and wrapped her flannel shirt around her tighter. On the other side of the security screen, a little pile of fur looked up at her with doleful eyes. It wagged its tail.
“Look how cute you are,” Lisa said. “You must be lost.” The tail wagged and the dog scratched at the door again. A pink bow adorned the top of the dog’s head, tied securely into the mounds of soft, fluffy, white fur surrounding the inquisitive face. Someone took very good care of the little dog. Lisa couldn’t see a collar through the screen. It must be hidden under the layers of fur. She could make a quick phone call and get back to dismantling her computer with a sledge hammer in no time. She opened the wrought iron security screen.
Lisa didn’t know little dogs could be so quick. The dog bounded past her legs and straight into the house. Lisa’s cry of surprise didn’t stop the dog that leapt onto the couch and curled into a ball, her sad eyes watching Lisa.
“Okay, Pup,” Lisa crooned from the front door she still held open. “You need to go home. You can’t get comfortable here. Someone will be very worried about you.”
The dog tipped her head and listened, but didn’t bother to get off the sofa. Lisa let go of the security door. She took a step closer to the dog.
“C’mon girl,” Lisa kept her voice cheery. “Let’s go home.” She opened the screen door and pointed outside. The dog didn’t move. Lisa’s mouth quirked, maybe the dog wasn’t used to the soft approach. Lisa assumed she belonged to some little old lady, but maybe not.
“Down!” Lisa commanded. The dog’s ears came up, but she didn’t move. Lisa let go of the door again and strode to the couch. The dog crouched, and when Lisa got close enough, the little furball snapped at her. Then it barked. Lisa jumped back.
“Oh no, you didn’t just try to bite me, did you?” The dog barked again, put her front paws straight out, her back end up in the air, and wagged her tail. Her little mouth opened and her head moved back and forth.
Lisa laughed. “Oh! You’re playing aren’t you?” The tail moved faster. Lisa extended her open hand, palm up, to the dog. She received a lick and a happy yip for her efforts. The dog wriggled on the couch as Lisa scratched around the furry ears, her fingers rubbing against the collar.
“I knew you’d have a collar on, you cute little thing.” Lisa smiled and pet the dog under her chin with one hand while the other lifted the heart shaped tag hanging from the center front of the collar.
“Cuddles, huh?” Lisa eyed the little dog that barked and jumped with excitement when Lisa said her name. Lisa resumed petting the dog so she could grab the tag again and find the dog’s owner.
“Phone number on the back,” Lisa smiled at Cuddles. “I love responsible pet owners. That’s why I don’t have any pets. I don’t need the responsibility and you need to go home.”
Lisa wrote the number on the scratch pad on the end table by the couch. She peeled the paper from the pad and carried it to her office in search of her cell phone. Cuddles followed, her paws softly padding across the tile. With her pretty bow, trimmed hair, and clipped nails, Cuddles spent more time primping than Lisa did.
Her cell phone was charging on her desk. Tucking her feet under her, Lisa curled into her office chair and dialed the number. After the first ring, a recorded message came on the line.
“Utoh Cuddles,” Lisa looked at the little ball of fluff on the floor. “The number’s been disconnected. I guess your owner isn’t as responsible as I thought.”
Cuddles stood on her back legs, her front paws on the seat of the chair. Lisa scooped her up, putting the dog in her lap.
“I guess I’m going to have to call the pound to come get you. Your owner will probably call them when they can’t find you.”
Lisa moved the mouse on her computer to look up the number. The computer didn’t respond, the image of a partially created and unsaved design plan frozen on the screen.
She emitted a bad word under her breath. Somewhere around there, she had a real paper phone book, but she had no idea where it was. She picked up the phone again to call Information for the number. Before she could flip the phone open, Cuddles jumped from Lisa’s lap, barking furiously as she raced down the hall. Lisa unfolded from the chair and went after the dog. She arrived in the living room in time to see Cuddles scratching at the security door and barking. An angry-looking large man strode up the sidewalk. Lisa reached the front door before the man could rap his thick knuckles against the unlocked screen.
“Can I help you?” Lisa’s voice was firm even though she was shaking on the inside. The man was huge, at least six foot five inches tall and solid as a brick wall. His dark brown hair showed red highlights in the sun and sunglasses hid his eyes. His unshaven square jaw was set with anger.
“Yeah, you can help me by giving me back my dog.” He spit the words out, putting his hands on his hips and tipping his head.
Lisa held her hand on the lock, ready to flip it closed if the man made an aggressive move. She looked down at Cuddles. The little groomed dog with her pink bow, a spray of fur spreading out from it, and her playful personality belonged to the gruff man on her porch? Lisa imagined that someone like him would own a more suitable pet, like a rabid pit bull.
“What’s her name?” Lisa wasn’t quite willing to give this man the dog without knowing for sure that she belonged to him.
The man shifted on his feet and looked around before studying his shoes. “Her name is Cuddles.”
Lisa smiled at his embarrassment. Not so tough now, are you buddy?
“I’m sorry,” she said sweetly. “What did you say her name was?”
The man looked directly through the screen even though he couldn’t see her through the holes in the thick metal. “Her name is Cuddles. Happy now? Can I have her back, please?”
Lisa pushed the door open and Cuddles ran out. The man scooped her up with one hand, holding her wriggling body against his chest while she licked his face. His other hand held the screen open. Lisa leaned against the doorframe.
The man’s face softened and he smiled, his teeth in an even row except for one on the side which was just crooked enough to keep them from being perfect.
“Cuddles, you’re a bad girl. You aren’t supposed to leave the yard.” He spoke softly to the dog, seeming to forget Lisa was watching. He stopped smiling, his face turning in her direction.
“Why do you have my dog in your house? I’ve been hunting all over the neighborhood for her.”
Lisa crossed her arms over her chest, holding the flannel shirt against her. “I didn’t let her in. She let herself in. I called the number on her tag. If you had an updated number on there, you would have known exactly where to find her.”
The man looked down at the dog. “Yeah, I need to do that.” He spoke softly again for a moment, then his voice turned to steel. “Well, thanks for letting her in, I guess.”
Without waiting for a reply, the man turned and walked down the sidewalk, tucking the little dog inside his jacket as he went.
Lisa’s house returned to normal for the rest of the day. Early the next morning, scratching and barking at the front door stopped her on the way to the kitchen to make coffee. She opened the door. Cuddles greeted her with a bark before sauntering into the house and getting comfortable on the couch.
“The sun isn’t even up yet,” Lisa said to the white fluff on the couch. “Why me?”
The little dog didn’t answer, only yawned and stretched. Anticipating the knock on the door, Lisa started the coffee pot before going to the bathroom to shower. The dog followed her. Lisa put her outside of the bathroom door and shut it. She didn’t even get the water turned on before Cuddles started howling in a pitiful little voice from the other side of the door. Lisa threw the door open and the dog trotted into the room, watching every move Lisa made. The man could arrive at any minute. Lisa turned to the mirror. A shower could wait. He wasn’t that important that she had to be clean and fresh to give him back his dog. She splashed cold water on her face so her green eyes didn’t resemble Christmas. Then she combed her long straight auburn hair into a ponytail. She was sitting on the couch in a pair of lounge pants and an oversize sweatshirt with a cup of coffee in her hand and Cuddles curled up in her lap when the knock came at the door.
“C’mon in,” she said as she opened the doors. “Your runaway is on the couch.”
He didn’t wear sunglasses since the day was starting out overcast. His brown eyes had a guilty look in them.
“Thanks. I thought I found where she got out and I fixed it. Guess I better look again.” He entered the house and Lisa shut the door behind him. Cuddles jumped around at his feet.
Lisa resumed her position on the couch. “Maybe this time you should give me your name and number and I’ll call you if she shows up again.” She handed him the paper and pen from the end table.
He scribbled on the paper. “I’m going to watch and see what she does the next time I let her out. She probably won’t bother you again.”
Lisa waved her hand in dismissal. “She really isn’t a bother. I actually like her.”
The man handed back the paper and Lisa read his name and phone number. Ben Welsh. He stood in the center of the room, the little dog watching her from the safety of her owner’s massive hand.
“I do have one question though,” Lisa said. “Why does a big ole’ guy like you have a Pekingese? I would think you would want a big manly kind of dog.”
Ben’s eyebrows went up. He laughed. “What? Are you saying my dog isn’t ‘manly’?”
Lisa grinned. “Cuddles isn’t exactly a masculine name either, but the pink bow in her hair really screams feminine. I’m guessing she’s your wife’s dog and you keep getting elected to fetch her.”
Ben’s smile faded and his eyebrows dipped to a frown. “She’s a Peekapoo, not a Pekingese and I’m not married. She was my mom’s dog.”
“A Peekapoo?” Lisa asked. “Does your mom live around here?”
Ben gently rubbed the silky fur on Cuddles’ ears. The dog closed her eyes, her chin resting on Ben’s arm that held her.
“A Peekapoo is a mix between a Pekingese and a Poodle. My mom died last week. I live three blocks behind you. I brought Cuddles home two days ago. My sister was taking care of my mom after she got sick, but my sister has a Rottweiler and he didn’t like Cuddles much.”
Lisa didn’t speak for a moment. She couldn’t think of a word to say to the big man holding the tiny dog.
“I’m sorry,” was all she could manage. It didn’t seem enough.
Ben looked up at her. “It’s okay. Really. Mom had breast cancer and it was too far along when they discovered it. She was really sick and in a lot of pain at the end. I’m grateful her suffering is over.”
Lisa studied him for a moment. Although he was in pain, his eyes were dry and accepting.
“Well, maybe Cuddles will get used to your home and settle in soon.”
Ben shrugged. “At least she keeps coming back here. I spent a couple of hours yesterday going through the neighborhood calling her name until I heard her in here barking. Today I just came straight here, hoping she did the same thing.” He turned and placed his hand on the knob. “Anyway, we’ve taken enough of your morning. I’ll let you get back to whatever you were doing.”
Lisa laughed and rose from the couch, placing her coffee cup on the table. “All I’m doing is fighting with my computer. I want to work and it refuses to let me.”
Ben’s hand dropped from the doorknob. “What’s it doing?”
“It keeps locking up when I try to use this new program I installed.” She glanced over him and lifted on eyebrow. “Why, are you a computer tech?”
Ben laughed. “No, actually I’m a tow truck driver, but I know a thing or two about computers. I dabble in repairs in my spare time. I don’t really want to drive a truck forever, so I’ve been taking classes for a couple of years.”
“If you can fix this thing, I might actually get some work done. In trade, I’ll become your permanent dog sitter if you ever need one.”
His eyes sparkling, Ben agreed with a nod. “You’re on. I bet I can fix it in less than five minutes.”
“We’ll see,” Lisa laughed as she showed him to the office. He handed Cuddles to Lisa as his fingers flew nimbly over the keyboard accessing parts of the computer Lisa didn’t even know existed. In just a couple of minutes, he rebooted the computer and loaded the dreaded program. It started up much faster than it used to. Ben moved so Lisa could sit at the desk with Cuddles in her lap. It effortlessly opened her latest room design without a hiccup or glitch. She moved around a few items and added others and it still performed perfectly.
“So what are the designs for?” Ben asked.
“I create office layouts to utilize space effectively. See here,” Lisa pointed to the reception area on the screen. “They used to have the front receptionist in this doctor’s office too far away from the front door. The patients would have to go clear across a usually crowded room and then go back across the room to find a seat. With the new plan, the receptionist is closer to the front door and the waiting rooms are divided. There’s a play area for children over here.”
She used her mouse to point at a different location. “This office has several different specialists. Some deal with mostly elderly patients and others deal with children. With the new layout, the patients are separated instead of all being lumped into a large room, and the nursing assistants open a door directly into the appropriate medical suites. I was working on the designs in my old program, then they came out with an upgraded version that just didn’t work right at all, but it seems to be working great now.”
Cuddles was curled up in Lisa’s lap, sleeping. Lisa absentmindedly rubbed the dog’s soft ears as she spoke to Ben.
“Well, I need to go home and get to sleep,” Ben said, looking at the sleeping dog. Lisa stood, lifting the furry bundle and handing her to Ben.
“You haven’t slept yet? Has she been missing that long?” Lisa asked.
Ben shook his head. “I work nights so it’s past my bedtime. I let her out when I get home before I go to sleep.”
Lisa nodded. “That explains why she’s been showing up so early.”
With a final good-bye, Lisa walked Ben and Cuddles to the door. She watched as he climbed into an enormous truck parked in her driveway. Then she went to take her morning shower and get to work.
The next morning, her visitor was back. Lisa let Cuddles in on her way to the coffee pot. The knock on the door came this time before she made it back to her room to comb her hair and splash water on her face. She stopped in the living room, glancing down at her flannel pajamas before she sighed and opened the front door where Cuddles was already doing her happy dance and barking. So he would see her in her pajamas. No big deal. She could just give him the dog and he could go home and go to sleep. She picked Cuddles up and unlocked the door.
Ben stood on the other side smiling. “Aha,” he exclaimed as he came into the house, oblivious to Lisa’s apparel. She stood at the front door watching his excitement as he continued speaking. “She’s not getting out where I thought she was. She’s so little that she goes under the fence. I saw her this morning. I tried to grab her before she got through, but it didn’t work. By the time I got around and in the truck, she was already running through yards in this direction.” He stopped and took a breath, his eyes scanning over Lisa’s attire.
The corner of his lip quirked. “Cute jammies. The little snowmen are a nice touch.”
Lisa didn’t smile. She crossed her arms over her breasts. The cold outside made it apparent that she wore no supportive undergarments under her pajamas. “Can you let her out just an hour later? At least then I could get a shower in and be dressed before I had visitors.”
Ben’s eyes lifted back to her face. “Sorry. I think I’m going to take her out on a leash until I can get around the bottom of the fence where she’s been digging to get out.”
Lisa nodded. She felt bad for snapping at him and she was disappointed that she wouldn’t see Cuddles or Ben anymore. She didn’t know what to say. They stood awkwardly for a moment.
“Tell you what,” Ben said suddenly. “I don’t have to work tonight. To thank you for putting up with us so early in the morning, how about if I take you out to dinner?”
“I’d like that.” Lisa looked at the tiny bundle curled up in Ben’s arms. “And to be honest, she can come visit me every morning if she wants to.”
Cuddles never again showed up at Lisa’s door first thing in the morning. Instead, she arrived in the afternoons and she brought Ben with her. It wasn’t too long before Lisa would wake up and Cuddles would be sleeping in the bed between Ben and Lisa. Ben landed a job with the design software company that Lisa used to do her room layouts. He showed them how to work out the kinks in their upgrades. The company became incredibly successful and took Ben along with them. Several years later, Ben, Lisa, and their three young children mourned when they woke up one morning to discover that Cuddles had passed away during the night. They spread her ashes over Ben’s mother’s grave. On the way home from the cemetery, Alice, the oldest child who was named for Ben’s mother, leaned from the backseat. Her face looked from one parent’s tear streaked face to the other.
“Mom?” she asked. “Tell us again how you and Daddy met.”
Lisa smiled through her tears.
My friend and fellow author Pat made me start blogging. Okay, she didn’t really MAKE me. It was a suggestion. A forceful suggestion.
That really isn’t true either. As authors, we encourage each other to find ways to promote ourselves and our books. Pat suggested we blog. So, we did.
I wrote many blogs all about writing and I always hated those blogs. I don’t think I’m qualified to tell others how to write or how to get published. Pat is much better at them than I am.
I think my posts ended up having a sarcastic twist to them, even when I didn’t mean to. And now, my blog has grown to take on a life of it’s own. I’m horrible about posting with any consistancy. I don’t always have something to say and I don’t always have time. Often, I’m content leaving comments on other blogs.
Recently, a couple of my favorite bloggers left, but one came back. 🙂
Another has abandoned one blog to spend more time on another one but at least he didn’t abandon his readers.
So I have a question.
Why did you start blogging? What do you get out of it?
I did it because Pat made me. I keep doing it because I actually kind of like it.
I want to be a housecat.
I mean really, is there a better life than to be a pampered fat cat?
Let’s think about this for just a minute.
I wake up from my early morning nap when I hear an alarm clock going off. When the human walks out of their room, I weave in and out of their feet trying to trip them so they can see the world from my point of view.
If they make it into the kitchen to start a pot of coffee, I’ll be right there yowling around their ankles until the noise penetrates their sleeping ears and they fill up my food and water bowls. Then the human can go away while I enjoy my breakfast and take my morning nap.
When I wake up, the humans have all left my house and I can sit in any windowsill I choose. I stretch out all of my feline muscles while my sharpened claws are hooked in the upholstery of the living room couch.
I take my early afternoon nap, eat some more, then go lay in a human bed to groom myself, making sure to lick away all of the loose hair and other nasties so I’m nice and clean.
Then it’s naptime again. After that, I stroll across the kitchen counters and table, looking for leftover scraps or those yummy breakfast dishes the young humans leave when they go to school.
Then it’s naptime.
Around the time I wake up, humans return to my house so I lounge around on the floor like the good kitty they think I am.
Periodically, I’d need to use the litter box, and when I cover my mess, I’d get to throw litter all over the floor. What do I care? I don’t have to clean it up. Once a week, the humans will put fresh litter in there and sweep up my mess.
When I want to be stroked, I only have to rub my furry face against a human and I get instant gratification.
Of course, when the humans are home, unless I’m eating, using the litter box, or being rubbed, I will spend all of my time napping.
When they go to bed, I will spend my time playing. My favorite game will involve rolling a marble across the tile floor just outside the adult human’s bedroom.
On April Fool’s day of this year, I quit smoking. I found the date to be very fitting since I was a smoking fool for over 21 years. Yes, I was barely out of the womb when I started. I was young and stupid. Those were the good ol’ days.
So I traded my nicotine addiction for a new vice.
I’m now addicted to Cheerios.
I’ve tried to quit smoking four times in the last two years. I gained forty pounds trying to quit. This time, I grab cheerios when I get a craving.
I love Cheerios. Do you realize how many kinds of Cheerios there are? Apple cinnamon, strawberry yogurt burst, multi-grain, honey nut… the list goes on and on. http://www.cheerios.com/ourcereals/ourcereals_home.aspx
The worst part of my new addiction is holding the cheerio while I light it on fire and inhale.
|© Claire Collins
Web address for this interview: http://www.whohub.com/clairecollins
His ears strained to pick up any strange noises in the surrounding forest. An owl called out asking who he was, but he didn’t respond. Each step brought him closer to the sounds he heard a few moments ago.
His father saw one when he was young, and enjoyed reliving the story as the young ones grew older. He believed his father, but he also wanted to learn about the legend himself. Part of him believed it was just a tale to scare the young, but part of him thought the lore might be true.
He crept forward, cautious not to disturb anything in the woods by his movement. If they were out there, he didn’t want to alert them to his presence. Dad said if they see him, they would eat him. He thought that if he saw them, the fright would scare him so bad that if they wanted to eat him, he wouldn’t be able to put up a fight anyway.
A flickering campfire, circled in by rocks glittered through the trees ahead of him. The air smelled strange, a bitter and musky scent wafted through the air from the fire. He crouched behind a tree, waiting. Watching.
A shriek of laughter split the air and he wanted to turn and flee, but his feet wouldn’t move. Two creatures ran up the hill towards the fire, their grotesque features displayed by the flickers of the flames.
Afraid, he spread his wings and took flight, anxious to get away as fast as possible. His father wasn’t just telling stories. He could barely breathe as his heart threatened to break free as he made his escape, flying into the air over the heads of the creatures,
It was true. Humans were real.
Claire Collins is the author of Images of Betrayal and Fate and Destiny
I am the featured author at Second Wind this week! That’s pretty cool. It means that they put my face up there and the cover of my book, Images of Betrayal. There’s also a little about the book, and a little about me. And as a bonus, the entire first chapter is posted! There’s even another nice little surprise, a sneak preview of my next book, Seeds of September.
First, go to here, (But make sure you come back to wordpress): Second Wind Publishing Featured Author
See? That’s cool, huh? You can look around a little. I’d really like that. You can buy Images of Betrayal as a book or an ebook. You can pick it up on Amazon for the kindle too. My other book, Fate and Destiny is out there in those formats too. And if you want it for the Iphone, or palm reader, or in a ton of other formats, you can buy the books from Smashwords.
Okay, there’s more. Come talk to me. I hosted a discussion on facebook, too. You don’t have to discuss my topic if you don’t want to. I’d be tickled pink if you would just come say “hi”!
And while you’re on Facebook, I’d love to be your friend, so click on my name and add me and leave some graffiti on my wall. Claire Collins
How about videos? Here’s the trailer for Images of Betrayal.
I think that’s most of it. Thanks for coming to visit and my little tour of the Internet and Images of Betrayal. I’d love to hear from you!
An idea for a new book smacked me in the forehead last week. It was painful, but I took aspirin, put aside the book I’ve been working on for the past several months, and let the new story pour out into a word document. Three pages into it, I had another realization smack me in the head. I donned my husbands football helmet to protect my brain and reread the beginning I had just written. It was true. I hated the lead female character in the book. She came across as a princess type. She was pretty, and she knew it. She dated brainless eye candy and realized they weren’t nearly as perfect as she was. Yep, I couldn’t stand her and she wouldn’t shut up. “Write my story,” she kept yelling in my ear as she stomped her size seven shoe. “Write my story. I’m perfect. My life needs to be perfect. Keep going.” I frowned, looking out past the face guard of the helmet at the computer screen. “Shut up. You’re too perfect. Your problems are in your own perfect little head. You need real problems if you want a place in my book.” Then I read over the parts about her best friend, a normal mother of two with motherly hips and a determined smile. She wasn’t anywhere near perfect, and she didn’t claim to be. Thankfully, the helmet deflected the brain impact this time around. Despite the cries of outrage from Miss Perfect, I backspaced clear to the point where their personalities really started to emerge. My perfect character became more realistic, more flawed, and her best friend became more wise, more single, and less motherly. I quickly added another five pages full of words building their lives and rounding them out into likable, believable people. Miss Perfect’s voice in my head became less demanding as I wrote. She became freindlier, more caring. By the time I finished the first chapter, she was my new best friend, and her best friend was a strong counterpart, her strengths and weaknesses merging well with Miss NowNotSoPerfect. “Thanks for not listening,” she whispered, scuffing the toe of her size nine on the floor. I clicked the save button and smiled, but I keep the helmet handy, just in case. Claire Collins is the author of Fate and Destiny and Images of Betrayal. http://www.secondwindpublishing.com
I want to share a little of what it’s like to be a part of Second Wind Publishing. We are so much more than a group of authors who share the same publisher. We are a collective bargaining team. We make decisions together and discuss options in our own private group. We read over each other’s work and share ideas on covers, plots, storylines. We each blog here and have input on our website. We swap marketing ideas and cross link to our personal websites. We share stories about our children, our jobs, our hopes, and disappointments. Second Wind isn’t a faceless corporation where the shareholders are raking in the dough and paying out overinflated royalties. We are small, friendly, and working for ourselves as well as each other.
Since we are the “little guys”, it’s up to us to promote ourselves and support each other. If you have a moment, go check the website to see what’s new. You may discover your next favorite author!
Claire Collins is the author of Images of Betrayal and Fate and Destiny
I have a real job. Yes, believe it or not, I don’t just sit around all day living the lives of my imaginary people. Shocking, I know. Yes, I have an actual job where I leave home every morning to go work for someone else and I come home at the same time every night. I fight rush hour and have more than one boss. Do I want to write instead? Absolutely. I’d gladly trade my eight to five job for ten hours of sitting at my computer clicking away at the latest story. The problem, of course, is that I have bills to pay. Oh yes, and children. Lots and lots of children. They like to eat… and argue. So even if I didn’t have to feed them, the chances of me sitting at my computer and clicking away at keys for ten hours is simply never going to happen until they all move away.
I know there are lots of other people out there who have the same desire to get lost in a good novel whether they are writing it or reading it. No matter which end of the spectrum you are, I thought I would share the Association of America Publishers sales reports for the month of December. You can read the whole article here: http://www.publishers.org/Dec08stats.htm
Oh, did I mention that in my real job, I’m an accountant? I have this ‘thing’ for numbers…
Check out the increase in ebook sales compared to the changes in the other categories. So what does this really mean?
Contact: Tina Jordan
212/255-0200 ext. 263
AAP Reports Publishing Sales for Month of December
February 12, 2009, New York, NY: Book sales tracked by the Association of American Publishers (AAP) for the month of December increased by 9.7 percent at $1.5 billion but were down by 2.4 percent for the year.
The Adult Hardcover category was down by 10.3 percent in December with sales of $113.3 million; year-to-date sales were down by 13.0 percent.
Adult Paperback sales increased 12.5 percent for the month ($132.8 million) and increased by 3.6 percent for the year.
The Adult Mass Market category was down 8.3 percent for December with sales totaling $73.7 million; sales were also down by 3.0 percent year-to-date.
The Children’s/YA Hardcover category jumped up 124.6 percent for the month with sales of $115.1 million, although sales for year-to-date were down by 12.4 percent.
The Children’s/YA Paperback category was also up by 37.0 percent in December with sales totaling $54.4 million; sales increased by 6.4 percent for the year.
Audio Book sales posted a decrease of 11.7 percent in December with sales totaling $10.5 million; sales for the whole year were down by 21.0 percent.
E-books sales jumped up by 119.9 percent for the month ($6.5 million), reflecting an increase of 68.4 percent for the year.
Religious Books saw an increase of 3.5 percent for the month with sales totaling $49.3 million; sales were down by 7.6 percent for the year.
Sales of University Press Hardcover books were up 5.4 percent in December with sales of $7.1 million; sales decreased by 7.9 percent for the year. University Press Paperback sales posted a decrease of 3.8 percent for the month with sales totaling $9.7 million; sales were down 8.2 percent for the year.Sales in the Professional and Scholarly category were up by 11.4 percent in December ($110.3 million) and decreased by 0.5 percent for the year.
Higher Education publishing sales posted an increase of 5.6 percent for the month ($814.7 million) and increased 2.7 percent for the year.Finally, the net El-Hi (elementary/high school) basal and supplemental K-12 category posted a decrease of 14.4 percent in December with sales of $127.2 million; the category was down by 4.4 percent for the year.
The Association of American Publishers is the national trade association of the U.S. book publishing industry. AAP’smore than300 members include most of the major commercial publishers in the United States, as well as smaller and non-profit publishers, university presses and scholarly societies—small and large. AAP members publish hardcover and paperback books in every field, educational materials for the elementary, secondary, postsecondary, and professional markets, scholarly journals, computer software, and electronic products and services. The protection of intellectual property rights in all media, the defense of the freedom to read and the freedom to publish at home and abroad, and the promotion of reading and literacy are among the Association’s highest priorities.
NOTE: All sales figures cited in this release are domestic net sales
Claire Collins is the author of Images of Betrayal and Fate and Destiny