I just calculated my average ranking in the Amazon Kindle store, and it comes to 535,424. This is the average of the ten paid titles I currently have on Amazon (there are two more, but they’re free for the moment, so they weren’t figured in). Now, for those of you who know about this stuff, you know this is a pretty dreadful statistic, not one which offers much hope for my writing aspirations. To the others, let me put it into perspective. If you sell even one copy of a book per day, that book will probably be ranked somewhere around 80,000-100,000 on Amazon. So what this 535,424 figure means is that I’m currently selling far fewer than one copy of each book per day. In fact, the number is closer to around sixteen one-hundredths of a copy of each book per day. When you consider there are more than a few self-published writers, some who started the same month I did, and are now selling around one thousand books a day, every day, without having any kind of a breakout hit, the mountain looks pretty steep, no?

Although I’ve been given much good advice, as well as many thought-out theories as to what my problem is, I don’t really know the reason for all this, and I probably never will. It’s one of those things, you know, like a restaurant that opens up, serves great food, gives great service, all at a good price, and can’t draw a crowd. Pretty soon, they’re folding up. There’s no shortage of excuses, but no one knows exactly what the cause was.

What I’m trying to say is, there is definitely a concrete reason for my failed attempts, but I’ve not been ordained to receive that reason. I can either drive myself crazy by guessing (which I won’t do) or simply shrug and say, “Just unlucky, I guess.” But that would be lying to myself, since I know luck has absolutely no role in a writer’s initial success. I wrote what I think is a pretty insightful blog on it some time ago in response to those writers who attribute their phenomenal out-of-the-gate sales to “luck”.

Anyway, maybe these figures will improve. Now, where’s that bottle?


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  1. Joyce Ann

    Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose

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