Having 'The Demi-Monde: Winter' coming out at the end of December in the US has meant that I'm getting a daily tutorial on publishing lore in America. The latest infodump concerns Barnes & Noble. B&N are the biggest book retailers in the USA with (according to Wiki) 717 stores, so I guess that makes them a pretty big deal when it comes to shifting books ... a bit like our Waterstones but with bells on.
The first time B&N impacted my consciousness was when I was told that their resident SF& fantasy expert 'James' had made Winter one of his SF picks of the month for December (good stuff!); that there had been an 'email blast' (love it) going out to B&N customers; and that the book would be on their 'new arrivals' table for the first two weeks of January. Sounds good.
Liz Bourke also wrote a review of Winter on the Barnes & Noble Bookseller's Picks (http://www.tor.com/blogs/2011/12/not-your-fathers-computer-simulation-rod-rees-the-demi-monde-winter) which was a very nice review indeed, though Liz obviously isn't a great fan of cliffhanger endings. The important thing she said though was that with a series like the DM an interval of one year between books is too long: I agree with her ... nine months tops should be the guideline. That's what Quercus are now working towards and I think it's very sensible.
Anyway, congrats to all at HarperCollins on the good work!