Friday, May 3, 2013

Pathetic Navel Gazing

"Mirror, mirror, on the wall. What is my book's current Amazon sales rank?"

There's an enormous sinkhole out there, a greater waste than Facebook, more insidious than Lolcats.  It is a black hole, sucking up valuable writing time, warping perceptions so unsuspecting writers do not even realize what is happening until huge chunks of their day simply vanish. It appeals to our vanity and caters to our worst anxiety. 

What is this awful THING, you ask?

Amazon's Author Central offers a single page under a tab--innocently enough called "Books"--that allows an author to keep an eye on all of their ebooks sales ranks throughout the day. It appears to update hourly. An increase means a sale has happened. A sale.  An uptick in sales rank can elevate an author to the heights of ecstasy; a downswing plunges him back to the depths of despair. 

If there is a state of neutral buoyancy—a point where a novel neither rises nor falls—it is unknown to this mere mortal. The metrics that govern sales rank are cryptic and mysterious, known only to some inner circle of geeks who reside deep within the bowels of Amazon's Citadel of Darkness HQ, dining upon the still beating hearts of authors offered up in sacrifice.

Sales rank is only one of the lures used to draw credulous writers into this Venus Flytrap. There are several other equally sinister tabs, including "Sales Info" and "Rank" (Author Rank), providing even more ways for authors to indulge in maudlin navel gazing.

Here I shall illustrate my own foolish obsession with the Sales Rank feature. My paranormal novella became available for a free promo that will last through May 6th.  Since its release, The Child Thief has hovered within an approximate range, around 60,000 at the best and 200,000 at the worst.

Today I gave away about 130 copies. It shot up pretty fast at first.

A few hours later the progression slowed and finally appeared to top out. Woo-Hoo! I'm in the top 2000! YEAH, BABY, YEAH! Of course, my entire day vanished into the Bermuda Triangle, but that's okay.

I'm gonna have a bragging rights banner made:  TOP 2,000 In Kindle Store!


Get your copy on Amazon.

"Help me! Please. The child thief has stolen my son."

Valkyrie Victoria Storm has werewolf hunters hell bent on revenge trying to kill her. She can barely keep her own downtrodden pack alive, let alone respond to the pleas of a murdered mother.

Can she set aside her differences and work with her sworn enemy to save a little boy from a Christmas nightmare?


  1. Oh, I am so with you. I spend too much time checking, too. Way too much. It's a compulsion, like checking every ten minutes for if they couldn't wait an hour or so.

    1. Vonnie, Oh man, I need to have Mr. Snark block my Internet access to it. It's worse than freaking email. (Mostly because my computer tells me when I have new mail.) *G* I hope there's a point where the newness of it wears off and I stop checking.

  2. Mmmm. Guess I have to rethink my time! I never check my sales rank, it is what it is. But, I can imagine the thrill of seeing your numbers improve. Cause I checked after a review and that helped. So there are ways to influence those numbers!

    1. Mary,
      I think it's the newness of being an Indie author. I never really did this with my Wild Rose releases. Whatever the case, I've started a twelve step program to get over it. #1...Admitting I have a problem. *G* Thanks for dropping in and commenting. :)