Friday, November 2, 2012

Gift or Curse?

Tip of the Day: Um, uh.... Be kind to chickens. They come from broken homes. (That's one of my mom's favorite jokes. I suppose it also qualifies as a tip.) ;)

We self-pubs seem very focused on the raw numbers. How many ebooks we sell. How much we make per month.

It's almost an obsession. We have access to data our trad pub friends are dying to see. Or so they think....

Sometimes I think it's a curse to know exactly, on a minute-by-minute basis, how I'm doing. I made an announcement on Facebook about a new book and within minutes, I knew how many people jumped over to Amazon to buy it. You'd think that would be great. It's really not.

In the beginning, I was super-focused on my sales. I checked about nine thousand times a day. Now I check once a day, in the morning, and enter the numbers into my spreadsheet. I used to check every sales outlet every day. Now I only check Amazon (though iTunes is coming in a very close second lately - thanks, Australia!).

Many writers say this can help you market better. They say it can help you keep track of what matters to readers. They say lots of things.

I say it simply drives us insane. Don't get me wrong, I love the business side of self-publishing. I grew up in a family business and owning my own corporation is very fulfilling. But sometimes I think too much information at our fingertips is more distracting than advantageous.

It makes us proud at times, but it can also make us horribly insecure. A couple months ago, when my sales fell off of the Amazonian cliff, I panicked. I tried everything in my marketing toolbox to bring sales back. It worked - a bit - but I never did get back into the high sales I'd had earlier in the year. It's fair to say I was a smidgeon depressed for a couple of weeks. Now? Meh.

It took some time, but I remembered I didn't get in this business to rake in cash. I did it because writing is the ONLY career I've ever wanted with all of my heart. I wanted to write something other people might like. I've done that. Maybe that should be enough.

Happy Friday!!!!

Megg, Miss Enchanted ePubber

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