Wednesday, July 6, 2016

I Can't Stop Myself! - An IWSG Post


My first Insecure Writer’s Support Group post in almost a year. Wow! I can’t believe how much I’ve missed everyone. It’s good to be back and with my self-help book, Steps Along My Shore, recently published too.

And boy has this book consumed me. I thought once it was published that was it. I’d be done. Ready to move on. I mean I should be done with it, right? Right. 

I decided not to do a blog tour because the book is targeted to a very specific audience: those affected by Relational Trauma caused by sex addiction, so why tour Blogger? I have my book being recommended by someone at Candeo Behavior Change. I’d say that’s good marketing, right? Right. Why would I be giving my book more than a thought here or there?

But.

There’s always a but isn’t there?

I can’t seem to help myself from looking up the stats. Every. Single. Day. Sure the first few days I was busy fixing my screw ups. I didn’t have time. But now? Now I’m checking.

How many free downloads did I give away? 51. Is that good? I don’t know. I guess. I didn’t think to give them away on Blogger until a day after my original post went up. Hello learning curve.

I’m looking to see if I’ve made any sales. One day I’ll sell nothing. Another I’ll sell one. Then, I’ll go a string of days with zero sales again only to be surprised that two books sold. That leaves me wondering how they found me. Was it Candeo? Blogger? Another reader?

Then there’s the wonderful world of KENP. I pretend like I understand it completely, but I don’t. Not yet. Yes, I know it’s people who borrow the book from the lending library or who have Kindle Unlimited.

However, what I really want to know is what they're thinking as they’re making progress through the book. And then I don’t. Because if they think it sucks, then perhaps ignorance is bliss. So maybe too much information isn’t all that great. 

Why do I keep checking? Is it because I’m an addict and that’s my compulsive side coming out stemming from my low self-esteem? Or is it normal morbid curiosity? 

And why do I keep looking for reviews when I’m petrified I may find one that says the book was a total disappointment and didn’t help the person at all? Maybe it’s because I enjoy reading the three already there that say the book was good. It gives my fragile ego the boost it needs to write my next self-help book.

So, yeah. That’s where I’m at this month. Insecure. Curious. But also proud. I know this will pass. The need to constantly check on my baby to make sure she’s doing all right without me. Sure, I’ll still stop by, offer words of encouragement, (free promos and such), but now it’s time to move on to the next baby that needs me. Because lemme tell ya, that project needs some major work! My next self-help book is turning out to be a big undertaking.

And, to answer the question of the month, the best thing someone said about my writing regarding the book: "It's like sitting beside a family member while you read it. I felt that comfortable." That was awesome to hear.

How about you? Were you this obsessive about checking on your treasured release? If you haven’t released your baby out into the world yet, do you think you’ll be the same as me?

  

This has been a post for the Insecure Writer's Support Group. It's a time to talk about our fears and doubts, or inspire others by sharing our success and happiness.  We’ve got a great bunch of people in this group and we’d love to have you join in on the fun too.  A big thank you to it's creator, Alex J. Cavanaugh.

Don’t forget to stop by and say hello to our fantastic co-hosts:  Yolanda Renee, Tyrean Martinson, Madeline Mora-Summonte , LK Hill, Rachna Chhabria, and JA Scott! 


55 comments:

  1. I can't imagine something you wrote from the heart not helping someone.
    When my books were selling really well, I admit I checked my rankings often.

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    1. I really hope it helps. I'm glad I'm not the only one who checks the stats. I'm not as bad as I was last week, or the week before, so it is getting better with each passing day. Pretty soon, I won't be checking at all.

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  2. I checked once or twice a day just to see what is or isn't selling, reviews I rarely check though, as with 100 that takes too long lol I look on Author Central once in a while at them. We all have days where magically some sell out of the blue. Advertise one and another sells, sure gets a wtf look from me haha

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    1. I can't even begin to imagine what it would be like try to and track more than a handful of books. By than, I'd hope I wouldn't care. And thanks a lot, cat. Now I have a whole new thing to worry about: Author Central...what the heck is that? *sigh* Time for a homework assignment.

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  3. LOL. I was like that at first. The answer is to get working on your next project. Being busy with other things really helps with the obsession most days.

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    1. You're so right, Crystal. Being busy with my second self-help book has been a good distraction..most of the time. I still can't seem to help myself. But I am getting better with each passing day. :)

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  4. What Crystal said. The secret to selling more books is to produce more books.

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    1. I just want to stop being so obsessed. Sales are nice, don't get me wrong, but wondering what people think, if it's selling, where the sales are coming from, etc. drives me crazy! :)

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  5. Delighted for you Elsie, here's to more and more sales!

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    1. Thanks, Fran. I'm hoping it helps some folks.

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  6. You are an amazing writer Elsie <3
    And a wonderful friend ♡♡♡♡

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  7. Wow, Elsie, that's such a lovely compliment about your book. Its great when readers connect with our stories, characters and style of writing, isn't it?

    Rachna Chhabria
    Co-host IWSG
    Rachna's Scriptorium

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    1. It was like a warm embrace when she said that. It was exactly the feeling I was going for. I didn't want to write a clinical book. I wanted to write something people could relate to. Did my heart good. Thank you for stopping by!

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  8. I get like that sometimes on Facebook if I've posted what I think is a funny status or picture. 'Do they like it? Did they laugh?' lol

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    1. It's that insecurity that you and I both suffer from. Maybe our low self-esteem? Who knows, but it stinks :)

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  9. That's a wonderful compliment! I can imagine that made you feel just great when you read it. Bravo!

    I did the exact same thing re: checking on everything until I realized I just had to stop because it was making me nuts and taking all the enjoyment out of writing for me. Now even though I am eternally grateful for reviews I know it's better for me to not read any because I don't have thick enough skin for the bad ones.
    Good luck with your next project!

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    1. It gave me that warm and fuzzy feeling inside to hear that from the person. I was really hoping to strike that kind of chord within someone when I wrote the book. I'm so happy to know I'm not alone in refreshing the pages. I know it'll pass, and it is with each day, and I need to do like you...just not read the reviews...but goodness it's hard! Thank you!

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  10. I hear ya!! I'm sure I'll react very similarly once I get there. It's hard to listen to your head and NOT check things when your heart really wants some affirmation ... and is terrified of the opposite. So much risk!!!
    Love that comment - that's a true compliment!!!
    Hope you and your new baby are growing well together! :)

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    1. It took me so long to get here, I think that's why I react the way I do. I want people to love it the way I do, but of course, that's not realistic, is it? Thank you for the well wishes. Much appreciated!

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  11. Great comment. That's definitely worth remembering. Welcome back, Elsie. I used to obsess about my stats too. I finally cut them from my blog. I don't care what the numbers say. I visual what I want to happen and mostly that's what happens. This profession we chose isn't an easy one. It's about believing in yourself, listening to your inner voice, and knowing how worthy you are. Happy IWSG Day!

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    1. Thank you for the welcome back. It's great to be among the IWSG again. I've missed it. Ah, that inner voice can be so cruel though. I think when I have another book (or ten) under my belt, I'll have enough confidence not to be so worried about the numbers. Maybe. :)

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  12. I put out a book last week and I've been checking the stats the same way. But I recognize it as compulsive and unhelpful behaviour and justify it as a small indulgence. I don't berate myself if there's no sales on a particular day, and I allow myself a small satisfied smile if there are.

    And then I go back to working on the next book. :-)

    Good luck! I hope your work continues to help people.

    www.cdgallantking.ca

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    1. Good to know I'm not alone with my compulsive behavior hehe, I'll consider it a bit of a small indulgence too and be sure to stop myself before it gets too out of control. I do smile quite a bit when there is a sale. It's a pleasant surprise. And yes, getting back to work on my next book is a wise idea. Need to get on that!

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  13. I think it's normal to check your rankings frequently after a release, especially your first one. Give it some time and you'll start checking less, but you'll never stop (and you shouldn't). As far as reviews, those will come in time. If they don't, don't feel bad. I've seen bestsellers with less than 1,000 reviews (it blows my mind everytime). Then there's the idea of whether your work will actually help someone... I believe all books help someone somewhere in time. If your book is heartfelt and written to help others, the right people will be helped by it, even if they never write a review or even purchase it.

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    1. I'm surprised that bestsellers wouldn't have a ton of reviews, then again, maybe not. Do I take the time to review someone like Stephen King or Nelson DeMille? No, because I think they don't need my reviews, they're already successful so what good will my little review do them? I like your attitude on how if my book is heartfelt it's bound to help someone. Great point. Thank you.

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  14. It's totally normal to check and keep checking. The entire reason for writing is sharing and you want your baby to be admired, well, at least read! :)
    Great compliment!

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    1. Very true, Yolanda, I want it to be read and admired. I'm sure by this time next month I'll have moved on to something else to be consumed with :)

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  15. My friend, I totally get it. I'm with you, checking my numbers all the time. It's a whole new world, this publication thing. It's a whole ongoing journey too. You'll rock it. You already are. Love you.

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    1. I'm glad you do it too, Robyn because you've got some books under your belt. That makes me feel a whole lot better! Thank you, my dear friend, love you!

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  16. My family actually started telling me not to check my sales because I was so addicted, and it was affecting my mood. Books sold - happy! Zero sales for several days - unhappy. So, I try to check once or twice a week at most. And, I only check for reviews every three months. Those are dangerous to read, sometimes.
    Glad your book is doing well! Happy Writing!

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    1. I could see that. I was like that the first few days and had to remind myself just how targeted my book was and that I wasn't doing any kind of touring or anything so to expect sales was unrealistic. The fact that it had so many free downloads was good enough for me. I think checking for reviews quarterly is a much better idea than what I doing right now! Thank you!

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  17. I've gone months with no sales. I don't tend to think about it much, though I do usually check once a day.

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    1. I wish I could be as laid back as you, Andrew. I'd love to know how you do it. What's your secret?

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    2. To not being obsessive about it? I have too many other things to do than to spend my time focusing on what I've already done. I just go on to the next project. The data shows that the best way to sell books, overall, is to continue to write books.

      It also helps when you have catastrophes to distract you, like your hard drive failing and losing everything, including all of your new novel.

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    3. To not be obsessed and to be so laid back about things. I guess having your plate full with other things is a big help. Moving on to the next project is the right way to get my head moving in that direction and it's getting there but still, I check. It's getting better though. My mood doesn't rise and fall as it did that first week or two, for that I'm grateful.

      Ugh, so sorry to hear about your hard drive crashing but more saddened to hear about losing your latest novel. That's tough.

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  18. I remember constantly checking the stats of my first book. It's great to see people finding comfort in your words! Good job making an impact!

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    1. I truly hope people are finding comfort as they read the book. That would make me truly happy indeed! Thank you. :)

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  19. You'll keep checking forever. I have at least finally learned to stop re-reading the published books, because chances are I'll find another typo.

    Is your book signed up for the free kindle promotions? You get five days every few months to make it available for free on kindle. Sure you won't make any money, but it's a way to get your book into a lot more hands. Two of mine got really amazing reviews from someone who downloaded the free copies.

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    1. Oh my gosh, Mich, I can totally relate to this. I had to finally put the book down because I just kept finding a spelling error here, a dropped word there. My hubby was like, "release it already!" Plus, it was my way of just plain procrastinating.

      Yes, I had a free Kindle promotion the first week it was out. I gave away over fifty books. I thought that rocked. It made me very happy. I'll do it again around the holidays, I think. Awesome that you got some good reviews from it. That makes me hopeful!!

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  20. I think its normal to keep clicking and checking. We're all obsessive, to a point. We're writers, right?

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    1. So, true. As writers we are prone to our little idiosyncrasies, it's what makes us special, huh?

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  21. Congratulations on your new book, and welcome back to IWSG!

    I think it's normal to check on details related to your book. It means you're excited about getting your project out there.

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    1. Thank you! It's great to back again. I really did miss everyone. Yes, I'm excited about the book and I think I want everyone to share that excitement too.

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  22. I have not had the privilege to have my book (or anything) published yet. But I think I'd be just like you. Always worrying, always checking comments and sales. To some degree, I think it's second nature.

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    1. I agree, I think it's second nature to wonder, to worry, to be a bit curious to see what people are saying. It is rewarding to see even one book sale!

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  23. Here's hoping for lots and lots of sales. Wishing you a stress-free zone, though. All that checking and checking. Ack.

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    1. Thank you, Ivy. The initial stress and worry I had has died down, thankfully. Now it's checking just to see if a sale has been made...and it's good to see when one does happen. It's almost like recognizing I was doing it, made the obsession slowly go away :)

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  24. Congrats on the release of the book… I think publishing a book isn’t an issue in this digital word but promoting is very important to at least let know others about the book, whether they read or not. The excitement of reading encouraging message from others is a real boost and a person’s perspective on a book differ from each other, but hope it helps someone who go through the same.

    All the best

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    1. Thank you, Jeevan. It's good to have the book finished. It feels like it's been a long time in the making. I'm not very good at self-promoting. Definitely not my strong suit. I'll mention here and there on my blog and keep it on the side bar, but that's about it. I appreciate your well wishes!

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  25. I can see where looking at reviews can be a bad thing...most people oddly will concentrate on the one negative review and ignore the 30 positive reviews that they got...

    I wish you a wonderful start into the new week :)

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    1. I wonder why we do that, Keith? That whole it takes one negative to erase one hundred positive things someone has told us. At least it does for me. Enjoy your weekend!

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  26. Awesome post! We know this all too well. I guess over the years we just kind of learned to accept it. Every day we have tons of people read our posts who never comment. We've had tons of people buy and read and borrow our books and haven't heard a word from them. We just have to assume they liked it, that if they truly hated it they'd send us a nasty e-mail or leave us a terrible review. I mean, if someone pays money for your book and they hate it, you'd better believe you're going to get an earful.

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Thank you for taking the time to comment. I'm here to help any way I can.