pp has not had much to say about statistics lately. So. Data. Cussedness thereof.
Lighting Rods took a long time to get published. It was very different from The Last Samurai, so different that 50% (at a guess) of readers who loved TLS hated the book. This is not encouraging to a publisher, whichever half of the 50% he happens to side with.
You'd never guess it now that the book has been published. Reviews have been, for the most part, extremely enthusiastic. (Sloth prevails over shameless self-promotion; I could throw in lots of links, but sloth, as I say, prevails.) This does not really give an accurate picture of responses to the book.
My publicist, Tom Roberge, was swamped by requests for review copies. Everyone who asked for an ARC did not write a review. Some loved the book. Others HATED it. The ones who hated it hated it so much they couldn't bring themselves to waste time writing a review.
The result being that, if you go by reviews, you'd be likely to see this as a book with a 3.8 GPA. A, A, A, A+, A+, A++, A-, B+, B+ . . . Because the people who HATED the book, the people who would give the book a C, C-, D+, or downright F -- hated it so much they couldn't write a review.