I Must Not Check My Sales Figures

I must not check my sales figures remains good advice as just as frustrating

It’s nearly three weeks since I launched my latest two attempts at world author domination. Three weeks of trying to stop myself going on Amazon KDP site to see if anyone has noticed that I have not just three but five books out now. Not just noticed of course but purchased a copy. Oh the joy of that first sale! Then waiting for the storming up the sales charts and rankings. Then, there would be the interview with local press, perhaps a national newspaper and an interview on Radio 2 as the latest greatest Internet phenomena. I mean do we really need to know about another cat or a baby on YouTube or that some Celeb has done something, potentially breathed or uttered a meaningful syllable.

I have books out pay attention to me!

Shortly after my email and phone would be inundated with demands and offers for publishing rights and of course that film deal. Just a couple more sales and it will happen. Look yesterday three copies were sold, I must be edging up the charts now. I’ll do some more adverts that will generate interest 200,000 views, 2 clicks, no purchases.

My hope is gone faster than an elephant sitting on a helium congratulations balloon. Delve into writers forums – it takes time to build an audience, I have less than you, I’m sure things will pick up the usual supportive platitudes from my fellow writers. Plus the other ones, I only had 4,000 downloads last week I wonder what I am doing wrong!

I’ve emailed and twittered, I’ve added my Goodreads folder comments, no spamming – I hate that. I’ve listed my books on sites, added to web sites and blogs. Told family and friends. I haven’t read the first one yet, I don’t have a Kindle, I’m reading war and peace, I don’t read books. Nothing like support when you need it.

Look another sale! Nearly seven billion people on the planet and I get one sale. Unfair of course on the 99.99999999% of the population who couldn’t care less. I’ll run a promotion, give it away, done that before and… That’s not a sale that’s just a statistic a free download, no reviews not even sure if anyone reads the freebies, they just collect them. Don’t log in again, don’t click on the reports dashboard to find out how many. That graph is infuriating surely it means 100’s or thousands not ones and twos. It must be more than that. Log off. Don’t look. Months of effort, hours of drafting and redrafting. On page 36 you used new instead of knew. Damn, damn, damn, correct, upload new version. Did anyone notice? Why have I found out now? After editing, beta readers, more editing, how can that happen? Is that why no one is buying the book, they try the sample and see new instead of knew glaring at them.

It’s been an hour, I haven’t checked. I can’t check at work, I don’t want to check but the bookmark is right there, I can find out in less than twenty seconds. Someone at work says, “I must give your book a try.” I check the report, nothing.

I can’t very well go and shout at them “I thought you were going to buy my book!”

I check a few hours later, one sale! Was that them, no it’s not in the UK unless they are buying from another ID on another site. I must stop this, I’ll check the reviews instead….

This way lies madness.

I need to write instead. Write something different, something better, don’t use the word knew, edit it another time or three. Spend more on advertising, blog more, comment more, tweet more. That next sales rank is just out of reach just a few more downloads away.

I’d better check the numbers I could have sold a million whilst I was writing this. I’ll check the going rate for that Hollywood deal. Log in, no change.

Repeat – ad-infinitum…

0 thoughts on “I Must Not Check My Sales Figures

  1. HA! I know the feeling. Especially the “I just bought your book” sale that never showed up. I had enough of those that I started to wonder if Amazon underreported sales. Shirley that wouldn’t do that! But then there was the month of double digit sales! For the month, not per day. Then there was eroticagate, and my book was deleted, censored or whatever they do. My next one will do better!

    • Thanks for the comment, I haven’t heard a lot about the whole Eroticagate story as I don’t write in that genre, but I have commented on censorship before and one day I may just publish something in that line – not sure who will Beta read that one!

      We all claim we write for the fun of it but we all would like some recognition and sales are the only real conclusive statistic of that. It doesn’t make what we write any good just popular. I’m sure a writer can be both and I certainly would like to be. Anyway thanks for stopping by but i have to go and check….

      I really must stop this!

  2. Being a writer can be so disheartening. I think every time I publish I feel like I am playing the lottery and always hoping that my next book will be the winning ticket. I have 20 books out (this includes foreign language editions and multiple pen names) and still I get an average of about a sale a day.
    Like many authors, I plan to keep trying and playing this cruel lottery game in hopes of an eventual winning ticket.
    I totally feel you.

      • The foreign language edition bit has been a bit of a disaster to be honest. I paid people on Fiverr to do translation work. Some have done really good and others really crappy and since I don’t speak the languages I never know until I get customer feedback that is one star and says the whole thing was mostly unreadable.
        On the other hand, in one case a German edition of a book has outsold all of my other books to date.No idea if the translation was right or not but apparently it created interest.

    • Fiverr is an amazing site. I can’t recommend anyone for french but Alfonso Yanez is who I use for Spanish and I have really been liking him.No complaints so far about his translation from readers and he had to retranslate stuff his predecessor messed up. He is through Fiverr or also you can work with him independently.

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