Wednesday, October 5, 2011

More than Numbers

I knew it would happen. I knew that after Finding Angel released I would become one of those authors obsessively checking Amazon and Barnes & Noble for reviews. I knew that I'd be plagued with worry over what people think of the novel. I am generally not someone who worries about what people think of me, but this is my book. This is my baby. And what people think matters when it comes to books. Because books that don't get thought of well don't get read.

I also knew that I would be disappointed. Most people don't leave reviews on websites. Think about a book you know everyone has heard of. A book that you know has sold millions of copies. Go look it up on Amazon. You may find a few thousand reviews. I did that just now. The Hunger Games has just over 3,000. Twilight just over 5,000. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone also just over 5,000. That is a drop in the bucket. A few thousand out of millions upon millions of readers. If you see a book with a few hundred reviews, it has most likely sold hundreds of thousands.

That still doesn't help me feel better. Yes, I know my book has been out all of one month. Yes, I know it's through a small press. But, still.

OK, I am not here to whine. I am here to tell you what does help. Something that happened today. A girl who was taking a homeschool class with my daughter told me she loved Finding Angel. Face to face with genuine excitement in her eyes. Followed by sincere disappointment when I told her it is likely going to be a full year before the sequel is published.

That is what helps, because I see that I wasn't just shooting in the dark. I hit the mark, the target audience I intended, and those readers are truly enjoying what I wrote. Will I ever get to the point where I have thousands of reviews? Likely not. But when I see real joy in the eyes of someone who has read my novel, I know it's not really the number that counts.

Of course, I won't be at all upset if next time I check Amazon that number goes up ;).


Tamara D Hanson said...
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Kat Heckenbach said...
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