Yesterday my friend and associate Garth Guessman called me about the nonfiction book Bird From Hell, by Gerald McIsaac, now in the second edition; I had never heard of it. It seems we now have three nonfiction books about extant pterosaurs in North America, so let’s take a look at some basic facts (before I insert an ad for my own book). These paperback books, in cryptozoology genre, are Big Bird (by Ken Gerhard), Live Pterosaurs in America (by Jonathan Whitcomb, third edition), and Bird From Hell (by Gerald McIsaac, second edition). The first comparison surprised me.
Basic Exposure Online
This test was done by using a Google search with each book’s title in quotes, followed by the surname of the author. Gerhard’s book seems to have much better exposure on the internet, compared with the other two, and it seems to have little to do with the “Big Bird” of Sesame Street.
- Big Bird 295,000
- Bird From Hell 25,300
- Live Pterosaurs in America 20,200
This has little, if any, relevance to the books themselves, just how broadly they are covered online.
Amazon sales ranking on January 9, 2012
These were sampled early in the day. A one-day ranking has limited relevance if books are selling reasonably well recently, but none of these three have sold on Amazon recently. This Amazon number refers to ranking, not to number of copies sold, unfortunately (author’s want a low score here, like in golf). McIsaac’s book has not sold on Amazon.com (paperback version) in many days, perhaps many weeks. I would keep in mind that earlier editions can take sales away from the latest editions of a book; I have noticed this with my book. If this were taken into account, Live Pterosaurs in America (with three editions) would probably be the best-selling of these three, on Amazon.
- Big Bird #1,051,985
- Live Pterosaurs in America #1,120,918
- Bird From Hell #4,802,158
Number of Pages
My book is the clear winner here.
- Live Pterosaurs in America 154 pages
- Bird From Hell 124 pages
- Big Bird 108 pages
- Live Pterosaurs in America – Nov 2, 2011
- Bird From Hell – April 21, 2011
- Big Bird – February 1, 2007
Present Sale Price on Amazon (on January 9, 2012)
This is the sales price, not the suggested retail price (SRP). Authors have limited control here, if any. Names are abbreviated.
- LPA – $9.82
- BFH – $11.04
- BB – $11.75
From two of the unsolicited recommendations for this cryptozoology book:
“I couldn’t put this book down. It is absolutely fascinating to read about eyewitness accounts of the people who have seen these creatures. To learn about these testimonies from such an open minded perspective is refreshing in the extreme! . . . Jonathan Whitcomb needs to write more books!” (From StrangeDream, second edition; review published on Amazon on Oct 11, 2011)
“This seems to be the author’s second book on the subject, and this one is worth the effort. He has focused on the accounts of witnesses who saw something, and that adds credibility. The writing is easy to read and he adds comments and analysis to make it all more useful. Mostly, the author lets the sightings speak for themselves, which is good. A worthwhile book.” (From Red Rabbit, first edition; review published on Amazon on Nov 26, 2010)