Friday, January 16, 2009

Chasing the Numbers

A writer who doesn't know better can drive herself crazy chasing numbers.

There are a lot of numbers that don't make a huge difference to me right now, such as the NYT bestseller list. So happy for the people who are on that list, and I'm sure there's a special kind of anxiety that goes along with it. Such as, if my book is Number 7 this week, will it go up or down? Will I be inundated with those pesky invitations to do nationally televised talk shows?

No, I don't have to worry about the NYT numbers right now. What I do watch, on a daily basis, are the numbers on Fictionwise and Amazon. I try not to watch it on more than a daily basis, because Amazon in particular can drive you nuts. A book's ranking can change hourly. Believe me, when the first Ladies of Legend book went up on Amazon, I checked its ranking constantly. Not a healthy thing to do, and finally I slacked way off. Fictionwise, which is a huge seller of ebooks, updates numbers less frequently.

Yesterday evening I checked Fictionwise, and was amazed that The Blank Book had made a considerable jump in ranking. Yes! It jumped. It did not dive, as it has done off and on since being released there early last fall.

You'd think I would be happy with that. But no. I want to know why it jumped. Did I do something right for a change? Did I somehow reach a new group of ereading people who were intrigued by the book blurb and excerpt?

Cuz if I did something right, I would probably be glad to do it again.

Meanwhile, another number is looming ahead: 31. The last day of this month, when I need to turn in my manuscript for Where Her Heart Is. Page count and word count. More numbers...



  1. Congratulations on the jump. Perhaps part of the reason is increased advertisements of the e-readers. There was a segment on tv the other day about the electronics trade show in Vegas, and a pretty good section all about e-readers. Personally, I've been all over the net, looking at e-publisher submission requirements, author websites, etc., and yes, I may have bought an e-book or two. Or four. If you had asked me six months ago where I was going to submit work, with no hesitation I would have told you one of the big name publishers. The more I learn about the e-pubs though, the more I like.

  2. Lilmoose,

    Good luck to you, wherever you submit your work!

    It does seem that in our current environment, small publishers may have a distinct advantage.