Must. Stop. Buying. Other. People’s. Books

In Books
February 17, 2006

They told me this would happen. I’ve become obsessed with my Amazon rating.
I tell my editor at Penguin that I find the number interesting, she says:
“*oh* no. You’re not to be phoning me every five minutes asking to know what it *means*.”
I nod. *I* will never be this kind of crazy author. I will be controlled and disciplined. I may look at my rating oh, say, once every three or four months. Because of my mild interest in the matter.

I am deceiving myself. A number is a very enticing thing. It’s so simple. My ranking goes up, hooray! Everything is wonderful! It goes down, boo! It’s all over – my book sales have peaked before it was even published! It’s like Weight Watchers (very like, because a lower number is better) but without quite so much self-loathing.

This morning I looked. 2,700. Lowest evah! Decided to treat myself to some books I’d been wanting for ages – a bunch of comic books including Global Frequency. Went back to check my rating again. Oh no! Suddenly I’ve sunk to 6,453! And then I work it out. My rating goes up if my book gets bought but also if other people’s books don’t. It’s all relative. I might have caused this fluctuation myself with my comic-book spending spree! So it’s decided – no more other people’s books for me. I expect this resolution to hold for at least 20 minutes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *