Monday, September 05, 2005


I just discovered the insanity of book rankings. What addictive and utterly unproductive piece of information. I found myself checking it at least once a day last week, and saw the ranking of my book rise, then fall, then rise again, then fall again... the madness never stopped.

First, it was at about 230K, and I thought that was pretty good, considering my book's not out yet and there's been no advertising or publicity. So probably a few dear friends have pre-ordered. Then the next day, it went up to 77K. I was surprised. Then came the madness of obsessive checking. Cripes. This is habit-forming! It went up to 52K, then back down to 90K, then up to 31K... 31,000 for a book that is five months away from release. That's pretty interesting. Then slowly, as sales dwindled, the ranking went down to the 100s, then the 200s, and now the 300s...

I think it's back to normal now, because I really don't expect any sales during these few months (at least until some publicity goes out). I figure it must have pre-sold about 10 books last week. Still, it's been very interesting, especially that it broke the 100s barrier in a matter of hours. The spike this past week also pushed my book to become #1 on the Behler's list ( only). That was kind of neat, to see my book at the #1, even if it was going to be brief.

Even though I take the ranking with a grain of salt, still, the figures tell me a few things:

  • it could be a trap if an author becomes too obsessed with sales figures, rankings, and competition
  • this is really happening. Let's say 10 people have ordered my book. That means, people -- people I don't know -- are going to read it, for real
  • if you build it, they will come. Slowly. But it's true


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