Sunday, March 20, 2011

Repeat After Me...It Is NOT A Competition...

My book has been 'out there' a week now, with the official release date being last Tuesday. If you missed it, I obviously wasn't screaming loud enough.
I wasn't exactly sure what to expect. Due to a few snafoos along the way I didn't actually receive any books until Wednesday.
And then it hit me.
I really did do this. I got a book published.
I am a published author.
So now what?
Well, there has been a LOT of celebrating around here the past few days. We had a private launch party here at the house with good friends and family, in 60's style. It was a blast!! I put pics up on my Facebook page if you're interested!
I'm furiously trying to get my book into as many hands as I can, get people talking about it, keep the momentum going, organize a local book signing, figure out how many copies to bring in for that and...I realized I'm stressing. I sure know how to suck the joy out of things PDQ, don't I?
I blame my severe panic attacks on Amazon.
You see, once they're carrying your book, they have this awful little thing called Amazon Bestsellers ranking. Your book gets ranked among the 8 million other books that Amazon carries.
Yeah, if this is news to you, it was to me too. I never paid attention to that stuff.
But's like a sickness. And each time the numbers go higher, I freak a little. Like, people aren't buying my book, they don't even know about it, it sucks, they hate it...get the idea?
I need help, folks, I'm really mental. See the thing is, I actually got as high as 21,000. Which, out of 8 million, was pretty good. But now we're sitting somewhere in the 200 thousand range.
And really, I have no idea what those numbers mean anyway! I probably won't get a real idea of how many books are selling until that first royalty check.
The fact that I have nine five star reviews so far, within the first week of release, should be enough for me. What am I worrying about a bunch of stupid numbers for anyway?
It's not a competition. Right?
I'm telling you, THIS is a reality check. Time to sit back and remind myself why I do this.
Is it to sell a million copies and get rich? Because if it is, bring on the strait-jacket, I'm clearly delusional. Sure I'd love the book to do well, but I'm just happy to hear that people are enjoying it. I love getting comments like, "I can't put this down!" It makes me smile to know that people are relating to my characters and being touched by their story.
So for me, it's not a competition. I'm going to stop checking the numbers, but I'm not going to stop talking about my book, and I'm going to continue to ask YOU to talk about it too - but not because I want it to hit the top 100. I want it to hit hearts. I know it can. It already has.
So if you've read, plan to read or are reading Yesterday's Tomorrow, spread the word. Write a review. Talk about it to your friends. If you didn't like it, talk to me about it. :0)
And remind me about this post in another week when I have another panic attack!


Heather said...

Happy book birthday! Best of luck to you and Yesterday's Tomorrow!

Maggie said...

I totally hear you! Between the Amazon rank and the Bookscan sales data that Amazon offers their authors, it can drive you batty. I was a constant checker when my book was released in November. I would be super giddy when I was in the top 100,000 and then super bummed when sales took a nose dive.

In reality it's silly. We don't know exactly what those numbers mean. (or at least I don't :))

Of course we want to sell a massive amount of books, but what is important is that you wrote something that you are proud of. Plus having those five-star ratings is wonderful too!

Get immersed in your next project and I promise the craziness will wear off. Of course, market your heart out, but try not to dwell. I haven't checked my numbers in probably six weeks, and I feel much better.

Keli Gwyn said...

Congratulations on the great reviews. I expect to see many more.

Aron White said...

Catherine, I know what you mean. I self-published on Kindle a little while back and it gets addicting checking your sales rank on Amazon. I've had to scold myself for not taking them too seriously. It's funny because I watch my sales rank decline then someone buys a copy and it spikes up again and I go "yeahh!" then I'll have to watch it sink again until someone purchases another copy. I was ranked around 300,000 in the Kindle store last week and jumped up to around 68,000 this week, which out of 700k ebooks isn't bad I suppose, but it's fun to watch the cycle repeat itself :)

Congratulations on your new book!

lisa said...

Hi Catherine,

Greetings from Laos. I should be working on book number two, but I'm following links from my google reader instead. Congrats on your first book being published - it's such a fun buzz! And, like the others, I totally know of that addiction to Amazon of which you speak. Some time after my book came out I coined the term Amazturbation to describe my obsession... I eventually had to put myself on strict Amazon checking rations and googling-myself rations.

Congrats again, and love the cover. Is your book out on kindle? As you might imagine getting books in Laos is rather a feat.


Gina Conroy said...

So excited for you! And love the trailer!

Catherine West said...

Thanks all - I am on a numbers fast now - haha! Lisa, the book WILL be on Kindle, I'm just not exactly sure when. My publisher said it's been submitted so we just have to wait. and only made the hard cover available on Monday, just a week after the release! Oh well, at least it is there now!