The ritual is this: log on, go to, sign in, hit 'Reports', hit 'Month-to-date Unit Sales,' eye the numbers, hit '', eye numbers.

Ach, what is this?

One of the numbers has changed. There's been a sale, no, TWO sales.

What to do?

How do we cope with this unexpected bounty when we are have grown used to signing on, time after time, day after day, and finding no change in the numbers?

And why are numbers of such primal importance to us when words and their creation are what we live for?

Sometimes we are stunned, don't quite believe what we see, have to double check, delve into 'Prior Six Weeks' and 'Prior Months'. And even then we are sceptical.

In this mood, our celebration will be minimal. We may sniff, swallow, pucker out lips in some way. We are happy inside, but not happy enough to show it. Not that there is anyone around anyway, as this ritual is often gone through while alone.

Is it that we don't expect to succeed, are so steeped in stoicism, we somehow resent any change in the familiar pattern?

We sniff again perhaps, and try to convince ourselves to be a little happier. 'Two sales: HOOT, HOOT.' But we are not really into it, the two hoots are forced. And the moment has passed. Delayed triumph is just not triumph.

We walk away in a confused state. We have suffered during months of painful ig-nor-ance. Now we can't enjoy a flicker of interest from two kindly strangers. We may even resent the fact that we have earned 60 Amerian cents, that all our efforts have produced two krill. A sardine wld starve on this fare. We hate the two kindly stranges for putting us through this torment, wish we cld tell them to reverse their purchases, to give us back our equanimity. We force ourselves to look away.

The next day normality returns. The numbers have not changed. We even check,,,, just to be sure. There is no need to do this as there have never been any numbers to be found on any of them, not even a line of noughts.

Then the anger resent rises up, wild, mad resentment. Why have the numbers not changed? What is wrong with those people? Why are the not filling their trollies with our goodies? Don't they know we designed and created our own front cover? Don't they know we have our voice on What is wrong with them, them, them, them? Not us. We are fine, balanced, normal, t*******. We are not wrong? They are. Anger changes to despair. A cup of tea on and we are numb again, safely numb, all is well. We can go about our daily business.

Alas, our daily business involves repeating the exact same dysfunctional pattern every couple of hours, with exactly the same result.

This goes on for a couple of days.

We start to fantasies about the next number, variously trying to bully it, make love to it, ignore it. Other people swim thrice its number as an offering to the gods of numbers and sales.

And then, maybe ten entire days late, during which we will have checked the numbers say 30 or 40 times, click. One of the numbers has clicked on one. We are creative black belts, tenth dan, once more. We have had a sale.

This time there is no delay. We clench our fists, our pectrals tense, we bare clenched teeth and utter ... a strangulated, almost whispered, 'yes'. That's it. No more. We sigh, not out of triumph, out of a deep and needy sense of relief. We may not be scaling the amazon best seller list, but nor are we still sinking back into the slime where the broken bodies of other doomed spear-carriers lay themselves down to morph slowly into fossils that will become some new oil deposit in a hundred million years.

Might it not be wise to look just once every year or two? Or even to ignore, 'Reports', altogeter.

Yes, but we are not wise.

Tomorrow, I will think about moving towards a sitution where I might possibly consider re-reading THE MEDITARIONS of Marcus Aurelius, the Roman Emperor who rose about the pain and pleasure of it all. Yes, that is what we shall do. We shall get Marcus down from the shelf. There is no actual need to actually read him again as that will depress us. But just knowing that he is there, to hand, will definitely be a comfort when we find ourselves clickerty-clicking towards those mocking figures once more. I swear to you the number 7 sniggered at me on Tuesday morning, positivley sniggered. They know their power those numbers do.

And just so you know, I have checked my figures twice in the short time it has taken for this puddle of woe to form before my eyes.

I wld like to think that the numbers might have clicked on just to mock me and so kept on adding graph after graph in a mad terrorise them into escalation. Ach, I am even chosing words of many syllables, such is my madness.

Should I ever achieve another sale, I will think no more about it.

Actually, you know that that is the most monstrous of lies. And here is the link to Watching Swifts in case you want to spin my plate and watch me w-w-wobble precariously on and on and on and on...forever...more.
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Published on May 12, 2012 16:39 • 127 views • Tags: amazon-co-uk, amazon-com, best-sellers, madness, sales, satire, selling, writers, writing

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