I am making a rather radical New Years resolution. For all of 2015, I intend not to keep track of my sales figures not to look at the reviews my books get.
There are really a few reasons for this. The first is simply that it can become a real time waster. I spend probably an hour or more a week doing this and at the moment the news isn’t particularly good. I average about 2 paid ebook sales per day and an audiobook sale every 3 days.
I rarely get new reviews and when I do they are sometimes so ridiculous that I wonder if the person even read the book. One review for my novel Educating Autumn lists the main character as Amber. The main character is Autumn as the title suggests. This is a 60k word novel so it isn’t as if I think there is any reason the reader shouldn’t have known the main characters name.
My goal at this point is to get more books out there and to improve my writing with practice.
I also plan to halt making any new audiobooks until 2016. It takes so much time and effort and I think I just want to concentrate on my stories.
I currently have 1 novel that is on the third edit and that I plan to submit to agents and traditional publishers this year to see if anyone wants it. I have the third book in my series After the Explosion which also is on the third edit and will need probably two more before it is ready to be self published. I have two different books in new genres that I am writing first drafts for. I also have a first draft I just finished and will need to make improvements to.
So, even though it is probably not the best business decision to ignore my sales figures and customer reviews, I think it will give me a chance to step back and focus on the storytelling again which is what I most value in my work to begin with. For me, 2015 is going to be about my art. I want to get reconnected with the reason I started writing in the first place.
As a self publishing writer it is so easy to feel frustrated by low sales and discouraged when people don’t enjoy your vision.
There is a song that I wish I could remember the artist or title of (and if you know please leave it in a comment). The song says “I’ve learned my lesson well. See, you can’t please everyone so you gotta please yourself.” Well, I think that is what I am going to do.
Have any other writers out there decided to take similar breaks? How did it go?