The Joy of Coming in at 10,000th Place

You know, I’ve always considered myself a pretty even-tempered, non-obsessive, level-headed, stay-home-on-a-Friday-night kinda fella. I’m the one that’s listening to the conversation about <insert political/sport discussion> and wondering how it is everyone’s so excited/elated/foaming-at-the-mouth about it.

Then, I published a book. Now, all of a sudden, my entire feeling of self-worth is tied up in my book’s Amazon.com sales rank. I check it about a hundred times a day. I’m absolutely, completely obsessed with it.

I don’t even know me anymore.

See, I’m never going to be the type that’s good at marketing, mostly because I simply can’t stand the idea of bothering somebody I don’t know just because I’ve got a thing I’d like to transfer ownership of. I did enough research on how to sell a self-published book to feel like I had a basic grasp on the basic elements, and that was about it. Based on that research, I knew I’d get most of my sales on Amazon.com Kindle, and I determined that, for somebody like me—first-time author; no established brand; really, really long book—finding a spot anywhere above the #100,000 sales rank on Amazon Kindle would be a decent measure of relative success. If “Knight of the Flame” actually managed to get to #50,000, that would be the sign that I might actually have a future in this little self-publishing business.

Today, my little book crossed the #10,000 rank, coming in at 9,313!

Amazon Ranking

I’m flummoxed. I’m aghast. How in the world did this happen?
Seriously, to anyone who’s bought a copy, anyone who’s mentioned it to their friends or family, anyone who’s written a review or put a rating up on Goodreads: Thank you. Thank you so very much. When I decided I was actually going to buckle down and finish this novel, I decided that I was going to write it for me. I wasn’t going to tailor it to make it “marketable” and I wasn’t going to try to make a literary masterpiece; I was just going to tell a story that I would personally enjoy reading. There’s this wonderful sense of inclusion you get when you find out that a lot of other people seem to like the same things you do.

I had a particularly nice “aha” moment while walking the dog this week (I really need to walk the dog without headphones on more often), which means I’m doing a bit of backtracking on book 2, so I’m still working out some details on chapter 10. It’s going well, though, and I’m starting to get really excited about getting the next volume out on the market.

Thanks again. Really. Thank you.

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