Okay, fellow writers. Be honest now. How often do you check your books’ Amazon rankings? Does your heart soar with happiness when that line shoots skyward? How about when it heads for the cellar? I have to admit I’m a bit of an Amazon rankings junkie, obsessively signing into Author Central several times a day. I’m writing this blog as a therapeutic exercise, designed to help me kick the habit. Here’s what a few of my colleagues have to say:
Kathryn Magendie, (latest release, The Lightning Charmer) rarely checks her rankings or review, with this exception: “When The Lightning Charmer went on sale and someone said it was rising in the rankings, I began peeking in – and peeking in – my mood matching whether it was up or down – and that reminded me why I do not do this – I hate to think I am that fragile – a strong kickarse woman letting her moods be defined by some rankings on Amazon.”
Bill Allen, author of the popular Journals of Myrth series, says, “OK, I will admit to checking my rank more often that I should. Individual book rankings on amazon don’t mean much. A single sale can send the number flying, so I just glance at my overall author ranking. I think reading reviews is important. If one person says there’s a duck on your head, you may or may not, but if a lot of people are telling you there’s a duck on your head, you probably have a duck on your head.”
Deb Stover (latest release, Maid Marian and the Lawman) has this to say: “Amazon rankings can shoot up and down so fast they are totally unreliable as a barometer of how well our books are doing or not doing. I try not to look, but I do check reviews – sigh.
Multi-published author Elizabeth Sinclair (latest book, Winter Magic) adds: “I just looked at my author rankings at Author Central and it appears I’ve had a severe cardiac episode. LOL.”
Prolific author Pam McCutcheon, writing as Parker Blue, doesn’t watch rankings, but reads her reviews. “Since I write a series (The Demon Underground) it’s a good way to find what readers like and dislike with what’s going on with the characters. However, I don’t obsess over bad ones, or people who don’t get me. They’re entitled to their opinion and that’s all it is – one person’s opinion.
L.B. Hayden (Magick Rising), has a creative solution. She says, “Friends don’t let friends read reviews. Designate a friend to watch your reviews and to give you only the highlights.”
Best selling author Anne Stuart (Never Marry a Viscount – Sept. 2014) adds the following words of wisdom, “Now, I only check my rankings if there’s a special promotion up like a Kindle Daily Deal. And, I only read rave reviews! It’s taken me a long time but I’m finally choosing a soupcon of mental health over despair.”
Okay, if they can do it, so can I. Starting today, I will strive to be that kickarse woman described by Kathryn Magendie. I will choose a soupcon of mental health over despair and I will acknowledge the duck on my head only if I hear multiple quacks. If my rankings look like a severe cardiac event, I will laugh it off and be grateful it’s not the real thing. How’s that for a brand new plan?