So How's My Book Doing?

Authors like to tease each other about checking Amazon sales rankings three times a day. But it's no joke. When you're stuck alone in a chair slogging along word by painful word, and royalty statements come twice a year, it's a quick adrenaline fix to see the numbers jump on The Big Lady. If it's your first book (or your seventh), your heart might actually beat a bit faster once you realize that someone hit that 1-click button and bought your book.

Okay, so it's not the most exciting profession in the world.

But what if your Amazon rankings plummet, day in and day out, falling inexorably into the six digits and perhaps even nearing that dreaded SEVEN DIGIT number?

Well, that's when you stop by your favorite indie, where faces light up at the sight of you, your books are featured in a nice display, and they tell you that sales are brisk because of a local "fan base" (a.k.a., your faithful church buddies).

Or else you turn to Worldcat, where the libraries are, and your spirits soar when you see the words "Checked Out" beside your title.

Because it's not really about the sales, right? After all, you could wait tables at a nice joint and earn more than the average children's book advance. No, you insist, vowing to abstain from Amazon visits, it's about connecting your story to the reader. Hey, does anyone know a five-star restaurant in Boston that's hiring? (Just playin' with you, people. Really.)