Some of you know that this was a big week around my household: RELEASE WEEK!
Yep, that’s right. My wife had a book that came out on Tuesday. She’s had more than 40 of these days, but we repeatedly find ourselves in the same place – checking Amazon rankings every 5 minutes… just hitting refresh once more to see if the rank has moved up or down.
I’m feeling a bit reflective of these past 10 years and wanted to share my observations as a third party:
1. People don’t get it. Here’s the feeling: After months of hard work, multiple edits, and waiting for cover art – it’s finally here. The day your book is out – free in the world to hopefully sell a bunch and make you a lot of money. Your friends and family will ask how it’s going, but won’t understand the chaos/stress/relief/excitement of release day.
2. The rankings actually don’t mean much. When we hit refresh, all we see is a snapshot of a moment in time. I’m a data person. Sales at a point in time are great, but what counts more is sales over time. If a book bounces to a rank of 500 – that’s great, sales on a given day are strong. Consistent sales mean a lot more, so if you’re going to hit refresh, try to track it over time so you can see the real trend.
3. Comparing ranks to your last book isn’t always a good idea. Like I said, I’m a data person. The fact is that overall volume of sales change over time. In plain English sales rank may be higher or lower in one month than another with the EXACT same number of sales. For example, a rank of 800 in March could be the same number of sales as a rank of 1200 in June – that’s right – the rank can very well be different with the exact same number of sales! If you try to compare your own releases with rank – keep in mind that in some months people buy more books…
4. You’re not alone – EVERY author I know does this. Whether a first book or 40 🙂 a release week can be very stressful.
5. Don’t forget to distract yourself. I bought my wife a Wii on release day. Silly? Yes. Different? Yes. Fun? Absolutely. Distracting? Yes and that’s the point. We’re going to hit refresh a hundred times – so at least force yourself to take a break every now and then. Go to the mall or a park, walk around – build a snowman. Just have some fun! After all – you’ve earned it!