The number of the beard

I know a lot of authors who watch their Amazon ranking in much the same way that a Catholic priest might a group of choirboys in the shower. Personally, as I've probably ranted on about at length, I'm not in the least bit interested (well, maybe if it was Gloria Hunniford and Anne Widdecombe in a bath of warm raspberry jam*...). Amazon rankings don't actually mean anything: they're based on 'proprietary formulae' that have bugger all to do with how well a book is actually doing.

That said: they do sometimes display a scary prescience. Agent Phil emailed me the other day to say that the paperback of DYING LIGHT had hit the mystical number of six hundred and sixty six...

Proof were it needed that Amazon is a little strange

Of course, if Stephen Fry is to be believed (and who am I to call him a liar -- you don't get a nose that shape by picking it**, you get it through violence) then the number of the beast isn't 666 at all. It's a translation error, the REAL beast's number is 616, but someone thought that didn't look right and changed it***. See: that's the trouble with editors: no respect for the original. Probably played havoc with the poor buggers semicolons too.

And now, I'm back off under my rock.

* Though it would have to be seedless, otherwise it gets caught in their purple PVC thongs.
** Unless you're very, very clumsy. Or overenthusiastic. Or have HUGE fingers.
*** This sterling fact brought to you courtesy of too many nights sat on the sofa watching QI.