Analytics

So, I performed a bit of an experiment over the weekend, offering up The Invisible Crown ebook for free through Amazon.  If we’re measuring success by the number of downloads, it was fairly successful (for me; for other authors, these numbers would be abysmal [side note: I always misspell “abysmal,” because I always assume it should have two “s”s in it, like “abyss.”  But it does not]).  Anyway, I thought I’d share the results and a couple of thoughts I’ve had about them.

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Oooh, but that “sales” ranking though.

First of all, totals: Over the course of the three days it was available for free, the book moved a total of 111 units.  Considering the first month and a half it was available under Royal James, it only sold a total of 9 copies, I’d say those numbers are pretty good.

But I noticed something: the drop off after the first day was steep.  On Friday, the first day the book was available for free, it was downloaded 76 times.  Saturday?  22.  By Sunday, it was barely doing double digits (13).

I’ve seen this before.  Back in the before times, when I was first self-publishing and had no idea what I was doing, I did a couple of free weekends, and they usually went the same way: lots of folks jump on it Friday, then the steep drop off through the weekend.  What it tells me is that Friday is probably the best day to do these.

It’s also made me think a bit about my price point.  When I resubmitted the book to Amazon through Kindle Direct, I left the book price where Royal James had set it.  Now, I wondering if maybe dropping it a dollar or two might be beneficial and cause more people to take a chance on it.

More than anything, I’m realizing I still need to do lots of marketing and get lots more reviews.  Maybe a couple of the folks who downloaded the book this weekend will come through?  Time will tell.

Imposter!

Like so many other creative-types, I suffer from something called imposter syndrome.

It’s not a real, DSM-V disorder, mind you.  It’s just this feeling that many authors, musicians, artists, and creators have, this sense that you don’t deserve any respect or admiration for the things you create.  It’s this belief that folks are going to figure out you have no idea what you’re doing, that you’re a fraud only pretending like you know how to do this thing you’re doing.  And when they find out…well, they’ll expose you and decry you and exile you from society.

It’s a very frustrating, debilitating sensation.  It can cause you to hesitate, to consider yourself worthless (or at least worth less than you actually are), make you feel like you don’t have anything worthwhile to contribute.  It can stop you from doing the things you want to do, prevent you from putting yourself out there for fear of rejection and disgust from your audience.

Rejection may not even be the worst of it.  People hating something you’ve created is at least a reaction.  What feels worse in a way is the absence of any reaction: silence.  No one reacting one way or the other.  Feeling like you’re shouting out into an empty void, with only the echo of your own voice returning in response.  It’s a different type of rejection, one that’s harder to deal with in many ways.

I’ll probably always feel a bit like an imposter, no matter how successful I end up being in my endeavors.  It’s part of who I am.  In a way, it’s not a completely bad thing.  It pushes me to be better than I am, to work harder at my craft and learn from my mistakes.  It keeps me from becoming too complacent.  I just have to remind myself that these things I do – my writing, my songs, my comics – are for me.  The fact that some other people may also like them?  That’s just frosting on the cake.