So I survived my birthday, which is more of a miracle than it might seem. Next year I plan to find a bunker though and stay a long way away from those I love and innocent bystanders. I did have a great time at ArmadilloCon. I have attended several ApolloCon’s, but this was first ArmadilloCon and first time on a couple of panels. I also participated in their advance writers’ workshop as an instructor. I might have been a little stressed but it all went pretty well, though I did forget to eat on Saturday and almost did a face plant. Thankfully I avoided that, though I was unable to avoid getting a year older.
Okay, I promised you a secret. When you publish a book, it is often hard to tell how well that book is selling. In fact, it used to be impossible to know anything until your first royalty statement arrived and even then, it reflects sales three to six months behind, because retailers take that long to pay your publisher for books sold. It makes it hard to tell what promotion works and what doesn’t. And there is an emotional component to it, too. We all like to feel like we are succeeding. Then along came Amazon. So here’s my secret: each morning I go look at my books’ numbers on Amazon. I try not to get discouraged if they haven’t moved or are climbing, but I love seeing them get really low (which mean something sold!). It’s a bit lame, because no one really know what Amazon numbers mean, but I look for movement. I suspect I am not alone in this.
The other thing I look for is new reader reviews. Naturally, I am hoping for good reader reviews. If the stars on the review are low, I probably won’t read it right away, because I need to keep my spirits high while I’m working on a new book. Low stars are hard on the muse. I’ve been very lucky in my reader reviews, for the most part, so the muse is in decent shape. The thing is, unless a reader take the time to email you, you don’t know how readers are reacting to the book. Good reviews from review sites and book blogs are wonderful, but what an author needs is good word of mouth to keep a book or books selling.
While I don’t expect a reader to invest in whether my books sell, IF they like them and want them to keep coming, sales help. A lot. (grin) If you’ve ever liked a book and gone looking for more by that author and not found anything, it is possible that it was because the first book didn’t sell well and their publisher dumped them.
And beyond the whole money thing, we’re like anyone else doing a job: we like to know that we’re appreciated and liked. It sounds a bit needy, and yes, there are authors out there who think they are wonderful without feedback. But I’m not one of them. For me, the creation of a book isn’t complete without readers. I write to be read. I love to read, so I also like being the end user of other authors’ creations.
So I guess what I’m trying to say here is that readers matter to most authors, not just as a revenue source but also as readers. We need readers to complete our creation process. You matter. 😀
And yes, I do obsess a bit about the Amazon numbers. So now you know my secret. (I also look at the fictionwise reader rankings, but that might be another blog post. Or not.)
No reading last week. Spent it prepping for con. No movies, reruns on TV, oh, except for Eureka! I was just getting used to the alternate time line and now it looks like they are shaking the globe again! Not sure how I feel about that. Warehouse 13 is fun, too. There is something to be said for running new shows in the so called “off” season when reruns abound. I’d call it smart–not unlike the publishers who “get” digital publishing and don’t overcharge for digital books or delay release. 🙂