Susan Grossey

A slave to the numbers

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 ( and Goodreads ( 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!


  1. Roy McCarthy Avatar
    Roy McCarthy

    Good decision Susan. I’ve got to be extremely bored to check my sales figures these days. My focus is always on the next project. If that is successful then it will give the back numbers a boost at the same time.

  2. ihatemoneylaundering Avatar

    That’s an excellent attitude, Roy – I shall try hard to emulate you. After all, there’s little to be done about past projects – they’re out there now and have to sink or swim.
    Best wishes from Susan
    PS The work-related books I’m writing at the moment are for Jersey, so you might see those surfacing at some point (to continue the sink/swim analogy!).

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