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...

Magdalena

2 comments:

  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.

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  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.

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