But this post has been on my mind a lot, and it's super important to me. It's aimed specifically at brand new authors, but it's really for every published author. This is my debut year. In this year, I've published five books. Feudlings came out in March, and from the second it went live on Amazon, I was checking its rankings.
Like, for the first few months, I was on Amazon at least four times a day. Maybe more. And as the rankings rose and fell, so did my moods. It was a roller coaster. And as each book came out, I did the same thing until Amazon was completely controlling my life--my time, my moods, my ability to write...
And then Warrior Beautiful released. It's doing fantastic now, but the first week or so, it wasn't. And the bottom dropped out of my world. I loved this book so much and I couldn't figure out how no one else shared this love. It's my best writing ever! I decided it wasn't worth it. I wasn't writing any more. I deleted all my works-in-progress. *Click* and they were gone. I cried. I moped. I didn't do anything because I was lost without my writing (I'm a tad dramatic).
Then we went to Goblin Valley State Park. I didn't have the internet. I didn't even have a computer because we didn't have electricity and my phone had no service. We were completely cut off. And I had an epiphany.
I'm not writing for the rank on Amazon. I'm not writing for anyone but me. I'm thrilled when someone loves my stories, but that isn't why I write. I write because I don't want to be a murderer (if this confuses you, go here). I can't control the rank on Amazon. I can't control whether people buy my book, and in the old days before Amazon, no one had even heard of a rank, and THEY still wrote!
So I banned myself from Amazon. I don't go on Amazon (well, I do, but not to check my rank. Girl gotta shop, yo!), I don't want to know my sales numbers, I don't look at reviews unless someone points a fabulous one out to me and then I'm all squeeing and bouncing.
The change has been phenomenal. I can write again. Before, I felt stifled. Everything I wrote, I wondered if someone else would like it. Now, I write for me. I write what makes me happy and the creativity is really opening up again. I control my moods, not Amazon. And I remember why I write in the first place.
So my plea is this--PLEASE don't let Amazon ruin your life. Don't obsess over rankings that don't make sense and don't matter anyway. In the end, if your book does well or doesn't, is it going to matter in your writing? Write because you love to write. Write because you have stories to tell. Write because you don't want to be a murderer. But don't write because you have to tell another story just to keep your rank up. Or down. Or whatever it is when it's good. It doesn't matter. It really doesn't. The book is going to do what it will do whether you're checking it every hour or not. So why do it?