What I'm reading: My Sunshine, by Catherine Anderson
Don't forget my buy 1 get 1 free sale. Check the Deals and Steals tab for details.
I was talking about sales figures yesterday, and numbers and stats are stuck in my brain. A while back, I did a post on Time Management, and I illustrated it with the image you see here.
About two or three weeks ago, I noticed my blog site hits had doubled. A little digging seemed to indicate that there was a link to that blog page when people searched Google images. So I had a lot of hits, but they were simply clicking onto that page and then out again. Were they doing me any good. Not really, other than boosting my visibility on search engines for a while.
During that time, I noticed that my "Klout" score and my "Technorati authority" jumped significantly. But what do those numbers mean? I have no clue whatsoever. Nobody rang my bell, or called, or even emailed me congratulating me on having better numbers. Nobody said, "Hey, I saw your Klout and so I'm going to follow your blog, read your books, shout it from the rooftops."
And now that whatever that phenomenon was, someone else quite likely used that same image and now their blog is getting all the action. My numbers are back where they were before. Should I be depressed? Or care?
As I mentioned yesterday, being your own publisher lets you track sales figures immediately. The trick is to keep from clicking over to all the stores every half hour to see if you sold any more books. That's as bad as spending all day on Twitter or Facebook. Do you check Goodreads to see if anyone else has added one of your books to their "to read" shelf? And what if they have? I've looked at some of those lists. I can tell you, it doesn't give me warm fuzzies to know that my book is one of 15,362 on someone's list.
Is it worth your time to keep checking numbers? And there are a lot you can check. How many followers to you have on Twitter, or friends on Facebook. How many people clicked the "like" button on each of your books' Amazon pages? Or the one on this blog?
I can tell how many people clicked my Deals and Steals tab, and I can compare it with how many people actually take advantage of my sale. Is it a productive use of my time? I don't think so. And, when the ratio of clicks to actual buyers is low, it's depressing as well, which also impacts productivity.
If all these stat numbers go up, how "good" a thing is it? Of course, if it's sales figures, yes, it's a good thing because you're writing books to sell them. But those numbers will still be there an hour from now, or tomorrow. If you're writing, the best numbers to track are word counts. Because that's what's going to add another number to your "books for sale" stats.
And if anyone can explain Technorati or Klout to me, and tell me what their scores really mean in terms of my life and my writing, I'll be forever grateful.
Have a great weekend. I'm giving a talk at a local Library on Saturday. On Sunday a friend I haven't seen since high school will be coming up with her husband for a brief visit, and it's Father's Day.