I’ve been a published author for all of three months now and I’m still learning lots about this strange world of publishing and promotion and bookshops and bloggers and festivals. It’s all fun to me, but there’s also a lot of intrigue, jealousy and personal paranoia. I’ve experienced a bit of the latter myself thanks to the availability of instant data about who is buying the book and how many people visit this website. Amazon’s ‘Author Central’ facility, for instance, gives you a chart – updated every hour (yes hour!) that tells you where you sit on their sales ranking. You can become obsessed with this. If a friend calls to tell you he or she has bought your book, you cant get off the phone quick enough to see what impact this has made on the graph. Madness, I tell you.
Then there’s this this website. The backroom boffins at WordPress give you a daily, weekly, monthly bar-graph of ‘visitors and views’ and then there’s a map of the world that colours itself in various shades of pink or red depending on where those visitors are based. I’ve always done well in the U.K and U.S.A (thankyou guys) and I gave a small cheer when I finally made it into Russia last month. But I’ve hardly made a dent in South America, Africa or the Middle-East. And, frankly, I thought I would be doing a lot better in Poland. I mean, I have family there for goodness sake.
Not that I’m becoming fixated on world domination…but I am, kinda.