Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The Numbers Game

Here's what I posted over at String of Pearls today, copied and pasted for your convenience:

Well, I just realized that I missed a national holiday yesterday.
I'm sure you were all whooping it up like crazy, making and eating infinite amounts of pie--because what better way to celebrate a number that stretches on into infinity than by finding a dessert with the same name?

Truth be told, I've never been good at math and I don't really "get" pi.  (But then again, I don't really get pie, either, when there's a much better option: cake!)

But in honor of Pi Day, I thought I'd play the numbers game a little here and share my Amazon stats with you.  I just happened to check my author ranking on Saturday (something I rarely ever do, because it's not as if it's a huge confidence-booster or anything!).  Well, my friends, I say move over Nicholas Sparks, John Grisham, J.K. Rowling, et. al., because [drumroll please!], as of a few days ago,
Yeah, baby, that's right: my author rank on Saturday was #64,146.  Read that number and weep!  (Just for grins, I checked again today, and I've already moved down the list to #79,477.  Yikes, it doesn't take long to have 15,331 authors pull ahead of you!)

After checking my author rank, I decided to check out the sales ranks for each of my novels, and this is what I learned: Finding Grace was ranked #269,893; and Erin's Ring was ranked #148,276.

So needless to say, my books won't appear on the New York Times bestseller list anytime soon...or ever.  But I did look up another number, which makes me feel a tad better about my rankings: the Amazon website lists 32.8 million book titles (when you add up everything they carry--hardcover, paperback, Kindle, audio, and children's board books); so in light of that number, my rankings don't seem quite so dismal.

I know that my novels, written with the specific purpose of inspiring young readers and hopefully helping them to grow in knowledge of and love for the Catholic Faith, won't make me rich or famous, and I'm 100% okay with that.  I also know that without the help of the Internet and generous eFriends (some of whom I've never even "met") who promote these books on their blogs and websites, I would have trouble getting copies of Finding Grace and Erin's Ring into the hands of the readers for whom I wrote them.

Case in point: not long ago, I was informed by my online friend Nancy Carabio Belanger (a talented and successful Catholic author) that my books had been mentioned in a recent blog post over at Shower of Roses.  Jessica, a homeschooling mother of seven, wrote that she had put together stacks of books for each of her children this past Christmas, and look what her 12-year-old daughter's stack included:
I want to thank Jessica from the bottom of my heart for her support.  And I absolutely mean it when I say that if my novels touch even one reader--her 12-year old, for instance--then my mission has been accomplished.

It doesn't matter what the numbers say about my books, because when all is said and done, chasing worldly success is a game with no meaningful score. There is only one literary critic I've ever worried about pleasing anyway.  And I think you know the Guy I'm talking about.

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