The Humanity of Monsters Reviews and Sales

Because The Humanity of Monsters just hit stores quite recently due to production delays and what have you, it can be difficult to gauge what kind of reaction it’s been met with thus far. The reviews out for it as of now (still in single digits for collective number of reviews) are all from online galleys, and the first Amazon review of the anthology (all the prior ones have gone up at Goodreads) went up yesterday.

Now, because I don’t have access to sales numbers, I’m mostly relying on things like those reviews to see what the reactions to the book are. And so far that response has been quite varied, ranging from unreservedly loving the book to absolutely hating it. As expected. I assumed there would be backlash against the anthology because of some of the things it’s doing. And I am not disappointed in that expectation.

Actually, the range of responses is reassuring. I don’t trust unequivocal or unanimous reactions to a book.

But until ChiZine Publications posted last week’s sales rankings of their titles, as they do regularly on Facebook, I had no real idea how the book was doing in terms of initial sales. Turns out it’s actually been doing quite well.

The following went up a couple of days ago (I’ve conflated two Facebook status updates below):

“Top Five at CZP, Canadian edition! Here’re the top-selling CZP TPBs in Canada last week:

2. THE HUMANITY OF MONSTERS edited by Michael Matheson
3. THE LADY PARANORMA by Vincent Marcone
4. THE ACOLYTE by Nick Cutter
5. THE H.M.S. BAD IDEA by Peter Chiykowski

Top Five at CZP, U.S. edition! Here’re the top-selling CZP TPBs in the States last week:

1. DEAD GIRLS DON’T by Mags Storey
2. THE HUMANITY OF MONSTERS edited by Michael Matheson
3. THE LADY PARANORMA by Vincent Marcone
4. YEAR’S BEST WEIRD FICTION edited by Laird Barron & Michael Kelly
5. WHAT WE SALVAGE by David Baillie”

And that’s just the physical editions. :)

The anthology’s in some excellent company, and appears to be selling well both here in Canada and in the US in its physical edition. I’ve no idea how those numbers will jump around in the following weeks, or even where the anthology was on those lists (if there at all) in prior weeks, come to think of it. But it’s decidedly nice to see it doing so well right now.

And I admit to being curious about how the book landing in various venues will affect those sales going forward, especially given whether or not those numbers reflect higher counts of the eBook, physical pre-orders, or general sales. (I honestly don’t know the breakdown.) But the book’s finally in stock in brick and mortar bookstores like Indigo, it’s been at Bakka Phoenix Books for a couple of weeks now, and it’s at other stores you’ll find linked to from the CZP page for the book. And the Merril Collection of the Toronto Public Library has their copy, which is deeply satisfying. I’m not sure if the TPL will be acquiring copies for general circulation, though I hope so. Reminds me I wanted to find out about that, actually. One more thing for the proverbial to-do list. :)

Lastly, for now, I will note that I’m delighted that The Humanity of Monsters is apparently bought frequently on Amazon along with Ellen Datlow’s The Monstrous. (Or so their system tells me.) Admittedly, I’m wondering if that’s not from the assumption that both anthologies are doing identical things with their contents? There’s overlap of intent to be sure from looking at Ellen’s introduction to her anthology, and the notion may be reinforced because the timing just worked out so the two books were coming out within a month of each other. I don’t know. There’s variation in what’s being discussed though, and why. But given how gorgeous Ellen’s book is, even just from brief perusal of my own copy as yet (because my pile of books to review is not inconsiderable and tends to come first), I am more than happy to have The Humanity of Monsters associated with The Monstrous.

Having one’s anthology considered well-paired with an Ellen Datlow anthology for any reason? Yeah, I’ll take it. ;)

Overall, it seems to have been a pretty good start to the release of the anthology. And I think that’s pretty much all one can ask for at this point.

Well. That and some reviews doing deep, academic-level critique of the anthology. But, you know, I’m patient around that last part. ;)


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