As a writer it is all too easy to get lost in the numbers game. To spend your time planning and thinking about those big number sale days. We dream about logging on and checking out Amazon ranking and seeing us having broken the top 100. We’ve sold 1000 copies over night and suddenly, in our mind, that means we are on our way.
But does it really?
Sure, if you manage to sell 1000 books over night you are doing very well, but it isn’t the number that is making the difference, but rather the mere fact that you are selling anything at all.
The way I look at it, momentum isn’t generated by 1000 sales, but by 1 sale. That is all it takes. Sure, you may sell 100 books in one afternoon, but not all of those will be read straight away, not all of them will be read at all. So it really isn’t a fair interpretation of things.
Someone could be sitting on a bus, look over the should of the person in front of them, see the title of the book they are reading and bingo, they look it up, make a purchase. Somebody could have picked up a copy of your book for free during a promotion or even won it as part of a contest you entered it into, or ran yourself. They read it, enjoyed it, and told a friend. This friend told a friend of theirs, who happens to be a big horror fan, and all of a sudden, the name is being passed around a group of horror fans and the groundswell begins.
I am not saying that selling 1000 copies, or even 50 copies, doesn’t give you a greater change of having that occur, but rather that selling 50 copies is just as great an achievement and something that should be celebrated just as much as a day where you sell but one copy. Even if you don’t sell any at all, the fact that your book is out there and has been bought by at least one person already, should be celebrated, because who knows who that person was, who they will tell, or whose lap your book may end up in as a result.
6 thoughts on “It Only Takes One Moment to Make a Groundswell”
This was a timely post for me since my sales for April on Amazon weren’t as good as they had been the two previous months. I do get a little stressed when sales are tanking. Back in Jan or Feb of 2011, I flirted with the top 100 on Amazon. I got to 134 with one of my novellas. It’s a great, euphoric feeling, but it doesn’t last. Slow and steady will win out in the end. Thanks for a dose of reality.
I have to admit that it was also a bit of a moral boosting post for me. I am still not selling very well, maybe one a week on average, and so thought this would help cheer me up. Besides, I actually believe it, and do celebrate every sale. The groundswell is out there, and it is waiting for us all.
Thanks for stopping by Lauralynn, it was a pleasure as always.
Good post! I am also riding the wave of ups and downs, and every time I check my Amazon ratings I get a little nervous and then either jump for joy or cry to my husband. You are right, Alex, we should be proud to be published. After all, our books will keep selling for the rest of our lives anyway…
The higs and lows of being a writer, especially an indie or even fully self published writer are rather dramatic. I am sure it makes us stronger, but I know my fingernails dislike me and will probably never be the same.
It is always a pleasure to hear from you Catherine.
Thank you, Alex. I really needed to hear this today. I sold 5 books last Friday, 6 the Thursday of the week before that. Today, I sold only two. I have been feeling a bit down about that. Your words have picked me up. I am also uplifted by my recent boldness of entering into the Twitter and Blog world. Every sale counts. Every heart and mind touched makes a difference.
Just keep doing what you’re doing and enjoying the ride. It will make the moment when you make it big even bigger 🙂