I wrote the other day that book sales have come to a crawl for me personally; it has made me re-think my business plan moving forward. It came to such a crawl at the worst time--just as I approached 10,000 book sales lifetime.
Let me allow you access to the dusty mind of an author: We are an obsessive bunch, especially about our book sales. For those of us who hail from the indie variety, we center our lives around checking our book sales on Amazon, Nook, Smashwords, and Kobo (I throw in CreateSpace and ACX for paperbacks and audiobooks, too). Write a paragraph in the new WIP? Check the sales. Finish a page of prose? Check the sales. Wake up at 2 in the morning to use the bathroom? Bring your smartphone along and check the sales. Lather, rinse, repeat.
So it won't surprise you to learn that over the course of June I did all of this; a few months ago, while checking my spreadsheet and noticing the dip and figuring out my averages, I had figured that I would hit 10,000 by the end of June. I had ended May at 9,938 sales before the Apple iBooks update came through on Smashwords--when it finally came, I was at 9,945, which I believe came down to my bookstore site 404ing earlier in the month. Add in June's sales coming into the last week, I neared 9,990 (I was at 9,986 when I penned my change of business plan blog on June 25). That weekend, I was away from my laptop for a majority of it, so posting book links on Twitter was out, but I still sold a few books--just not enough to eclipse 10,000.
Then Monday, with me at 9,991 and one sale already in the tally books after writing the release blog for The Long Crimson Line, I took a nap. I woke up at about noon to a message from a high school classmate of mine who said that she had bought nine books.
"I love your writing," she said.
So there you have it. I've crossed 10,000 book sales, doing so in slightly less than six years. There are so many different reasons why it took me so long. I'm not going to analyze them here. I can tell you that there were no tears this time, unlike when I crossed 1,000 back in February 2011. I just gave a bit of a fist pump and went on with my day.
But I do hope that with the aforementioned change in my business model, and with constantly improving writing, that the second 10,000 will come much sooner than the first.