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October 19, 2018

It’s hard not to get frustrated with the numbers, especially when the only “numbers” you really have to dangle in front of you between quarterly checks are Amazon stats. Keep in mind, that this is IF you’re conventionally published.

If you’re self-published, you also have those numbers, but in addition, instead of quarterly checks, you have what you sell out of your garage, the trunk of your car, or from whatever other marketing devices you can come up with.

In any regard, when it comes to numbers, the only source on the net I’ve found so far that even post any is Amazon.


Let’s face it. Unless you’re a top ten to one hundred seller, you can watch your numbers go from an initial burst of say…30,000 on the best seller list to then take a nosedive in a couple of weeks to 2,000,000.

That’s quite a swing, right?

What about Barnes & Noble? Smashwords? Any other sources?

Those sites don’t post numbers on line, so if they sell anything, you have no way of knowing until you get a royalty check (or a direct sale check), depending on which way you swing.

With only Amazon numbers available, it can get pretty frustrating unless you have steady sales, which at least keeps your numbers in the thousands instead of the millions.

None of that matters when you sell books directly. Direct sales bypasses those numbers on Amazon.

Does even that matter?

Of course it does, because that also affects your rank, which in turn affects how often your book shows up in other areas on Amazon, which in turn affects how exposed your book is, which in turn affects the chances more strangers will possibly buy your book.

In other words, those dismal numbers on “the only site that matters” affects how exposed your book becomes to a wider audience.

Hence, when and IF you decide to write a second book and want to market it to a wider base, it’s going to be easier or harder, depending on exposure of the previous one.

If your numbers aren’t high enough to spread through Amazon, that’s one potential marketing tool going to waste.


As a small-time author, it can be extremely hard to get the word out, no matter how good the story may be.


There are a million other writers out there with great stories, each clawing for a foothold.

All you can do is try your best, and hope for a bit of luck. You’ve got the writing behind you, but you also need to get the exposure.

The biggest challenge is persistence and waiting.

There are tricks to working the system, which I can’t go into because I don’t know them all myself. I attended a session on one of these tricks at the last writer’s conference, but only half understood what the instructor was talking about. It had to do with key words. It never quite clicked with me.

What am I doing?

I’m continuing to write, as in sequels to my first books. I’m doing the best I can to let everyone know about my books using social media. I engage my readers through my web site and social media. I’m hoping they’ll spread the word as well.

I watch the numbers and admit I’m as frustrated as the next person. The soaring heights, and dizzying nosedives on Amazon, can be quite disturbing if you let them get to you. One of my experienced writer’s group members told me she never bothers because it would just frustrate her. She tends to do well at book signings and has a very good social media platform and a good group of fans. I’m working on that. My series is still new.

I watch the numbers and though I get frustrated, I also take them with a grain of salt. I’m no best-selling author yet. I know that, and I’m just so happy I have something out there at all. I’m grateful I HAVE a book on the list. I don’t care if it’s so and so on the list. It’s ON the list!

One day…


It’s going to happen to you, so get ready.

Your book isn’t always going to sell like hotcakes. Especially the first one, it may sink like a lead balloon. It may take several sequels or other efforts before the world recognizes how great you are.

Don’t let the numbers get to you.

Happy writing!

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