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Archived Author Help > Sales Obsession - HELP?

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message 1: by Jenycka (new)

Jenycka Wolfe (jenyckawolfe) | 301 comments Does anyone else obsessively check their Amazon and Smashwords and other online retailers dashboards for sales numbers?

I know I look too much. I get unreasonably happy when I go above a certain number of sales per day. If I'm below that, or, heaven forbid, no sales one day (occasionally happens), I get really emotional, and think about quitting altogether. At dinner the other night I wasn't paying attention to my friends conversation because I kept checking my dashboards.

This is a problem, and it's affecting my mental health. I can't be the only one concerned with sales numbers; anyone have advice on how to cope with the emotional roller coaster and try to strike some balance?

Yes, I am aware I sound like a bit of a lunatic here.


message 2: by Christina (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) Yep. I have a tab on my phone and tablet that is always open to my kdp dashboard. After two years, you would think I'd be over it but... Not so much.


message 3: by Courtney (new)

Courtney Wells | 138 comments I'm sure I would be no different if I was published but - yeah - obsessing won't change what is happening with your sales.

Honestly, I think the fact you're more likely than not to have at least A SALE a day means you shouldn't even consider quitting. I personally live in terror I'll publish and find weeks with nobody at all grabbing my book, so I'm almost afraid to start sometimes.


message 4: by Courtney (new)

Courtney Wells | 138 comments Random thought - what about a cross-campaign with authors who write in a similar vein?

For instance, find authors willing to share their readership in a sense that you write for a similar crowd (or an ecclectic one) and use blogs or other social media to try and direct attention to one another?

Yes, you're marketing for - say - 6 other authors BUT if 6 other authors are doing you the same courtesy, it isn't like you're losing out. In fact, you're gaining exposure with people who wouldn't be aware of you otherwise.


message 5: by EJ (new)

EJ Fisch (ejfisch) | 37 comments

I think it's perfectly reasonable to check your sales on a regular basis. Like Christina, I always have a tab open in my phone's browser that shows my KDP graph. It's usually the first thing I look at in the morning, and yeah, it can be really discouraging when several days go by without any sales. I've been noticing a weird pattern where I see several days of good sales (sometimes up to 3 or 4 copies a day) followed by several days of absolutely nothing. Not too long ago, I went something like 15 days without any sales at all, so I decided to shake things up a little and make both of my books free for a weekend. The giveaway was very successful and even after they were back to full price, I saw a spike in sales. So that might be something to try if you ever find yourself in a real slump.

Then like Courtney said, the fact that you usually have at least one sale a day means you're doing better than a lot of other people out there. I really don't know what else to say other than try not to obsess over it, and just remember that a lot of us are in the same boat. Trying to cut back on the time spent looking at your graphs might help curb any discouragement. There have been a couple of times where I've forgotten to check mine until late afternoon and when I look, I've made a couple of sales. It's a nice surprise! So maybe try setting aside a few minutes at a specific time of day for checking - maybe first thing in the morning and then another time in the evening. When I went through that long period of no sales, looking at the graph a lot just made me feel worse.

Hang in there!


message 6: by Dwayne, Head of Lettuce (new)

Dwayne Fry | 4333 comments Mod
Jenycka wrote: "Does anyone else obsessively check their Amazon and Smashwords and other online retailers dashboards for sales numbers?"

I did at first, but it's getting to be less and less all the time.


message 7: by Courtney (new)

Courtney Wells | 138 comments Maybe a productive distraction to try and bite back that urge is use that drive force (i.e. more sales!) to brainstorm/act on new ways to draw exposure your way ^-^


message 8: by Peter (new)

Peter Samet (petersamet) | 2 comments Hi, my name is Peter, and I'm a sales data addict.


message 9: by Christina (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) E.J. wrote: "

I think it's perfectly reasonable to check your sales on a regular basis. Like Christina, I always have a tab open in my phone's browser that shows my KDP graph. It's usually the first thing I l..."


I gotta agree, a sale a day is really good. Interestingly, I can now predict the middle of the month is where my sales will slump. No matter how well I'm doing, I'm going to hit a roadblock right around the 15th.

I still maintain that it's okay to be obsessed to a point, but if it gets to be a problem, try setting aside specific times to check.


message 10: by Peter (new)

Peter Samet (petersamet) | 2 comments 95% of my sales seem to be related to Amazon's recommendation algorithm. When it turns in my favor (usually for the first few months after a 99c promotion), I can expect to consistently sell 1-5 books per day. When it turns away, I can go a full two weeks without a sale.


message 11: by Jenycka (new)

Jenycka Wolfe (jenyckawolfe) | 301 comments This is awesome! If we are all doing the same thing we can't all be crazy, right?


message 12: by G.G. (new)

G.G. (ggatcheson) | 2491 comments I used to be obsessed and check every day...for nothing. Checking didn't make people miraculously buy the books. However, checking and seeing no one had caused heartaches. All I can say is that I envy you guys, but I'm also happy it seems to work for you.


message 13: by [deleted user] (new)

Yea. Every since I published I have been checking my sales chart...it is kind of exciting and depressing at the same time.

I'm trying to stop. It doesn't do anyone any good like G.G said. It is a distraction from what matters: writing more.


message 14: by Christina (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) Jenycka wrote: "This is awesome! If we are all doing the same thing we can't all be crazy, right?"

I'm going with this. No arguments, dangit!


message 15: by Charles (new)

Charles Hash | 1054 comments Isn't the definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results or something.


message 16: by Jenycka (new)

Jenycka Wolfe (jenyckawolfe) | 301 comments Occasionally I GET different results though. My numbers go up. So am I really insane? I mean, I am, but in regards to this?


message 17: by Charles (new)

Charles Hash | 1054 comments I'm just gonna go ahead and point out that everyone is insane.

Especially authors.


message 18: by Christina (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) Dammit, Charles! That was supposed to be a secret.


message 19: by Courtney (new)

Courtney Wells | 138 comments First rule of writer club - don't point out everybody's a god-complex or detached grasp on reality.


message 20: by Jenycka (new)

Jenycka Wolfe (jenyckawolfe) | 301 comments Courtney wrote: "First rule of writer club - don't point out everybody's a god-complex or detached grasp on reality."
I thought the first rule of writer's club was that you don't talk about writer's club.


message 21: by Jenycka (new)

Jenycka Wolfe (jenyckawolfe) | 301 comments E.J. wrote: "

I think it's perfectly reasonable to check your sales on a regular basis. Like Christina, I always have a tab open in my phone's browser that shows my KDP graph. It's usually the first thing I l..."


EJ I might actually love you right now. The graphic and the advice.


message 22: by Owen (new)

Owen O'Neill (owen_r_oneill) | 1509 comments I swear I don't check my sales more often than ... dang it, how long has it been? Crap... hang on....

Ummmm... OK. Where was I? Oh yeah -- as I was sayin' I have this totally under control. Totally.

Jenycka, check pretty much all you want, but I've noticed (as I think you have) that the sales have a saw-tooth pattern (on Amazon). I obviously have no idea what they do internally, but it seems that on some days, it's our turn in the barrel and some days, it's not.

I would say this: don't compound stress by stressing that you're stressed (if that makes sense). This business is a roller coaster, I don't think you can make it not be a roller coaster. I'm not sure you "balance" -- I think you have to ride it out. Yes, it's going to lift you up very high some days and bury you on others. If you can, just go with. Try to remember how it felt at the top when you at bottom and that you'll be there again, and temper your enthusiasm at the top by knowing it won't last up there.

In the meantime, just write and resist the urge to try to control things you really can't.

I know that's very easy to say. Not so easy to implement. But have faith that you have it in you to ride it out. If you start to lose faith, ask someone you trust. They'll tell you.


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