A while ago I wrote a post about how – just after publication – I was obsessively checking sales figures for “Fatal Forgery”. I also resolved to check the numbers just once a month. Well, you can imagine how long that resolve lasted… I try not to check more than once a day, and to be fair to myself, it’s not just “Fatal Forgery” at stake here. In total I have now published fourteen books via CreateSpace – thirteen connected with my day job – and so I figure that if I check each of them once a month, that means I have to login to CreateSpace’s sales page fourteen times a month, which is about every other day, so by checking daily I’m really not that wide of the mark. Come on: I bet you can’t get through the day without at least one juicy rationalisation!
But as I was cycling to town this afternoon (Saharan dust? industrial pollutants? I cough in their face!) I had an epiphany. Always worrying about sales is making me miserable. I’m in the enviable position of not having to rely on book sales to pay my bills, so really I should see every sale as a little bonus, a few pennies that I don’t actually need for essentials and so can enjoy and spend on fripperies (good word, that). For “Fatal Forgery”, I am going to remind myself to focus on the lovely things that (without exception) everyone who has read it has said about it; I have printed out the fabulous reviews from Amazon – including a lovely new five-star one from the Kindle Book Review (http://www.amazon.co.uk/product-reviews/B00DW5K76W/ref=dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1) and Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18195411-fatal-forgery?from_search=true) and stuck them on the wall by my desk. And as for the work-related books, I need to do them anyway, for profile-raising and -maintaining purposes (isn’t it academics who say “publish or die”?), so the level of sales is secondary to the mere fact of their being.
Of course I still hope in my little secret heart that somehow word will get out and “Fatal Forgery” will be a runaway bestseller, but me refreshing the sales page every ten minutes is not going to help it on its way!