Andy Zeigert, my cover artist to Led to the Slaughter and The Dead Spend No Gold, had this comment about me not checking my rankings and sales and reviews.
"How many times I gotta tell ya. :-P
It's like stepping on the scale 20 times a day. Totally toxic."
He's been telling me this for awhile, and I mostly agree. But like I said, I don't think it was a bad thing to do...for a while.
Luckily, both sales and reviews were better than I expected, so it wasn't a discouraging thing.
And secondly, I felt like it was important to see what sorts of efforts helped sales and what sort of efforts made no difference.
As I mentioned, the takeaway was that most promotional efforts had little or no effect.
So...now I know. Now I can concentrate on writing and not worry about getting my work and my name out there on a constant basis.
One reason I wanted to stop checking is because it was a distraction.
But the biggest reason was because it was the wrong motivator for writing.
It's really important to have the right motivator. Usually, if possible, the moral high ground.
For instance, at the store, when I finally broke away from the "collector/investor" model, and just started selling product as "entertainment" the whole thing became easier to do. It was easier to buy, easier to sell, but most of all easier to justify the whole thing. I have no problem selling things for fun -- I just couldn't sell anything as a collectable or investment anymore and feel good about it.
Ultimately, the moral high ground motivator for writing is just writing for writings sake. For art, if you will. For self-exploration. For fun. Any of those things.
Writing for money or fame or whatever -- wrong motivator. Probably can't win. Besides, if I write for fun and good things happen, it's a bonus.
And more likely, I think.
2 days ago