Mythology and Causation

Note: The opinions herein are my own and are not intended to support or deny anyone else’s opinion no matter how idiotic.

Myth: Getting 50 “likes” is magical and Jesus will hold your book up, live, on the Jesus Show, and then rainbow unicorns will have a parade in your honor.

Reality: No one gives a flying frack about likes, unless you have zero. And, frankly, if you can’t even be bothered to “like” your own book, why should anyone else?

Myth: 10 books is the magical number. Once you have 10 books out, some code monkey deep underground in an Amazon bunker wakes up and tweaks the algorithm so it notices you. Then the heavens part and sales magically ring up like beer sales in Ireland.

Reality: The more books you have out, the more chances you have to interest readers and sell one. Readers that like one book will tend to look for more. Also, there is no underground bunker… it’s an invisible satellite at L5.

Myth: A one star review will absolutely kill your sales dead.

Reality: If you only have one star reviews then your sales will most likely suck. But if you have more threes, fours, and fives than ones, a one star should not have a major impact on your sales. MANY readers pay no attention to reviews (this is the point where many writers start yelling NUH UH! in my ear). Many readers click “buy” based solely on the cover, blurb, or because of a recommendation from a friend. Many readers are smart enough to throw out a few fives and ones when they consider reviews.

Myth: Something that happened today had an immediate downward effect on my sales. I just know it!

Reality: Some days are better than others for sales. Some weeks are. Some months are. Often sales numbers stop updating, which skews the very numbers you are looking at to make your wild-ass-jump-to-conclusion. When you see sales slump on a title, look at other possibilities before you decide what the cause MUST BE. It could be reporting lag; other writers might be seeing the same slump on unrelated titles; it could be that the two weeks before school starts are a dead zone. In short, there are many variables at work when it comes to book sales.

Myth: It’s all a big conspiracy to keep my unimaginably beautiful and literary prose from being adored and enjoyed by the entire World!

Reality: Okay. That one’s true.

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