Don’t Let The Numbers Distract You

In today’s world it’s easy to get bogged down with numbers. How many Twitter followers does an author have? Facebook fans? Friends on Goodreads? Reviews?

As an author I try not to focus on numbers. But I do admit there’s one type that is hard to resist: book sales. On one hand it’s important for me to know how many books I’m selling. Let’s say I changed a cover, did that bump up sales? Did a 99 cent sale work? How’s a new release doing?

On the other hand, it’s not necessary to check every hour.  When I first published I was checking my numbers way too often. Seriously, it was unhealthy. Then I developed a routine. When I log into my computer in the morning I check and jot down the numbers. For the rest of the day I try to resist the urge to peek. Most of the time I succeed, however, it’s hard to stay strong when something big is going on, like a sale or a new release.

The numbers can be depressing, but that’s not the most important issue. My time is better spent writing. Or on promotion. I have to remind myself that number of sales are like all the other numbers involved in the writing game and I shouldn’t focus on them. Keep writing. That’s more important.

Are there any aspects about writing, besides writing, that you get hung up one?

This is the second week for the book tour promoting my latest release Confessions From A Coffee Shop.

confessions (3)

Many bloggers have been kind enough to help me with the promotion. This week I’ll be featured on:

Christine Rains (updated)

Cher Green (updated)

Shannon A. Thompson (updated)

Colline’s Blog (updated)

BocaFrau (updated)

The links will be updated during the week. I would like to thank everyone for all of their support and encouragement. It means a lot!

Have a wonderful week!

About TBM

TB Markinson is an American who's recently returned to the US after a seven-year stint in the UK and Ireland. When she isn't writing, she's traveling the world, watching sports on the telly, visiting pubs in New England, or reading. Not necessarily in that order. Her novels have hit Amazon bestseller lists for lesbian fiction and lesbian romance. She cohosts the Lesbians Who Write Podcast ( with Clare Lydon. TB also runs I Heart Lesfic (, a place for authors and fans of lesfic to come together to celebrate lesbian fiction.
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34 Responses to Don’t Let The Numbers Distract You

  1. Tweaking marketing is addicting. Who knows what will tickle humans’ brain cells.
    Watching book sales numbers are sort of light watching your weight? Worrisome if you are constantly check? Like your resolve to restrain yourself….leaves more time/thoughts for writing.
    Fun read.

    • TBM says:

      Yes! I try no to stop on the scale too much either. In fact, I don’t even know where my scale is since our last move. Probably better that way.

  2. Am enjoying reading the posts on your tour, what others say, your guest posts and any reviews. Good luck with the sales numbers. And yes, do what you can, more writing, more promotion, focus on the positive and all that.

  3. Staying focused would have to be my biggest issue when it comes to writing…but I’m working on that. 🙂

    • TBM says:

      Ah yes. I’ve fallen a bit off the focus wagon myself this past summer. I just had way too much going on and I can see that in my writing. Just curious, what methods do you use to fix it?

  4. It’s just like stepping on the scales every day :). That can be kind of depressing because it takes a while to see good results. You are doing awesome – just keep writing and we will keep reading and enjoying!

    • TBM says:

      Thanks so much! Yes, losing weight and acquiring more sales does take time and checking too often is a downer and can cause more damage than good.

  5. Numbers are addictive, but sometimes it is also hard to know what exactly they mean, especially when it comes to social media numbers.

    • TBM says:

      I’ll be the first to admit that Twitter and Facebook baffle me some. I know many have been super successful because of them, but I’m more comfortable with blogging and Goodreads. However, I do have Twitter and Facebook accounts.

  6. The Guat says:

    Hope the sales are going well. And no worries about the numbers. I totally feel you on that. I used to worry about that when I first started blogging, but now I write to write. And hope to make connections or make people laugh.

    • TBM says:

      Yes, the blogging stats were addictive in the beginning. Now I never look at them. What counts to me when blogging are the relationships with all of you wonderful people.

      And you make me laugh all the time. I love checking in on your blog and see what you and your clan are up to.

  7. Pingback: Book Review: Confessions from a Coffee Shop by T.B. Markinson | Colline's Blog

  8. Margaret says:

    Yep, it’s a problem. Especially since Smashwords made a really pretty daily sales chart a feature.

  9. It can get depressing if you focus so much on numbers. Sometimes I fall down that hole, but you’re right that our time is spent much better writing. It’s wonderful to have you on my blog this week! 🙂

  10. cheriereich says:

    I try not to check my sales too often. In fact, I keep telling myself to only check once a month, yet I still find myself checking several times a day. Heh, I have no self-control.

  11. Sherry Ellis says:

    I rarely look at my numbers. I get a monthly report from my publisher, and that’s all I need.

  12. On a daily basis I check for reviews and rankings. I try not to, but I can’t resist.

  13. Hilary says:

    Every week I say I am only going to check sales / reviews once a week and every week I fail!

  14. Sherri says:

    It’s not easy is it to keep those numbers, wherever they come from, at bay and not let them distract us. It sounds as if you well disciplined though, well done! Wishing you every success with your book promotion tour…

    • TBM says:

      Not easy at all. Social media, Amazon, and many other things in our lives have reports with numbers. Many years ago I was at a job and I walked up to my boss and said, “I’ve been crunching the numbers …” As soon as the words left my mouth I had to sit down. Not once did I think when I grew up I would have a job that required me to say that, and there I was with a job and saying it.

  15. I tend to forget to look. If one of my books is doing well, I’ll check more often. Of course, I almost missed one of my books hitting the best seller chart because of my laziness!

    • TBM says:

      Oh dear! But what a lovely surprise. Was that the first book in the series that did? I recently purchased a copy of that one and I’m excited to read it.

  16. Kourtney Heintz says:

    I’ve been focusing on the end results this week and it’s been dragging me down. Instead, I’m going to focus on the day to day tasks. Writing, editing, promoting, querying. Forward movement. Knocking tasks off my to do list. I’m much happier that way. And the numbers never seem to reflect the work done. 😦

  17. bocafrau says:

    I used to check my blog numbers incessantly and then I didn’t for a while and was pleasantly surprised by the jump… I’m kinda glad I work now because it’s just not that important anymore! 🙂
    Good luck with your numbers though! Hope the new book will sell well.

  18. Pingback: How not to poach an egg… | roughseasinthemed

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