Earlier this morning, I posted the following in FaceBook for my writer friends:
“Welcome to All-My-Sales-Reports-Are-Zero-Today Day! Heck, we might as well celebrate the darned thang (as we say down south). It hits us once every month! Drinks, anyone?”
Now, some of you–probably readers, not writers–are asking yourselves, “Has Linda gone over the edge?” or perhaps, “What the heck does that mean?” or even, “Who cares?” Well, let me explain this monthly torture.
All your favorite places to buy our books–Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, etc.–give us reports that accumulate on a month basis. Now, this may not seem so important to you, but let’s take a closer look at this equivalent of the rack from the dark ages.
We writers are lonely, antisocial people with voices in our heads (not a pretty picture, is it?). If you doubt that comment, check out our FaceBook pages and see how many jokes we post about ourselves. We’re positively sad, really!
We spend hours of every day hunched over a cold uncaring keyboard, whilst the voices in our heads drive our fingers into a frenzy to get them out onto the written page. It’s not unlike the pangs of childbirth, really. (Don’t doubt it, not for a single minute.) You struggle and struggle to get the darned thing out, then everyone stands back and gives you their opinion. Your editor crinkles up her nose. Your proofreaders stifles a giggle or two. Your friends laugh at your cover ideas. You rewrite and rewrite and then, suddenly…it’s out there. Out in the cold cruel world, a sitting target for anyone who wants to take a swipe at it (like a doctor hitting your new babe on it’s new little bottom, heh?) Now that it’s out there and you want opinions, the world goes quiet–did you know we can go MONTHS before seeing a review on a new work? How would you feel if everyone ignored your precious new baby or, worse yet, looked it over and gave it a 5 on a scale of ten without telling you why? Is his nose crooked, her ears too big, her toothless grin more ogreish than cute? You have no idea.
So–what do you do to find out what your public thinks of your new baby? (If you want the real truth, it’s more about what you think of us!)You watch those darned reports–daily, yes, we are OCD about watching those darned reports! And it’s not about the $$$–well, okay, not entirely! It’s about finding out how much YOU value what we do (okay, us). And every month, every tortuous month of every year, WE SEE ZEROS!
So, happy February 1st. Happy two days before the Big Sporting Event for which you bought all those chicken wings! Happy days before Grounds Hogs Day!
To writers, this is HAPPY ZERO DAY!
Have a drink to celebrate, eat some chocolate, binge out on some over-whip-creamed dessert! Whatever you have to do until those numbers begin to climb again. Remember, last month started out the same way! And, darned it next month won’t do it to you again.
Better yet…go buy a book today! Show your favorite writer how much you care! (Can’t say I didn’t try, heh?)