Thursday, February 6, 2014

Monitoring the numbers....

Starting off as an Indie Author can be a soul destroying exercise. I can only speak from my perspective so if you disagree that's fine. It's not the writing of the book, it's actually the expedition to gain the title of 'successful' that sucks at the soul..

I suppose firstly I should share my definition of 'successful', for me 'success' is being in a position to be able to choose without worry. Analysing that statement can cause sleepless nights, but its true.

Again I am taken back to Judi's warning "writing the book is only 10% of the work".

I've mentioned some of the methods and outlets I've used to build interest in Russian Redemption, and it took me a while to get any real momentum going. In all honesty there were times when I questioned the logic of what I was doing, but I think that's only natural, remembering I am not over blessed with patience.

So, in order to maintain motivation I started to look very carefully at the things that don't lie - numbers. I've got a twitter account, a facebook page, a website, a pinterest account and a book on Amazon (and now a blog), these are the places I turned to to demonstrate progress. Some of the other sites you may have visited will have advised against reading reviews that are posted, or even taken too much notice of the numbers but for me they are critical. When big royalty cheques aren't falling through the letter box, and the phones not ringing with offers, and Quentin Tarantino still hasn't called, you need to cling to little victories to keep you going.

Facebook was the first. The number of 'friends' on the page. Then when I learned more about facebook posts it was the number of people that actually saw my posts, then the 'likes' then the 'shares'. I tracked it all through 'Insights'. A visible acknowledgement of progress. The 'Reach' number became important. The 'reach' is your 'organic' base, those that want to see your posts, every post. They are your 'base'. The Facebook version of a Twitter follower.

And talking of Twitter, and 'Followers', this is also a number that I track. You always start with zero so every 'Follower' has an interest in you/your book, it's a potential customer, or at the very least a potential voice to advertise you.

Even this Blog! When I wrote the first blog I had no idea that anyone would read it, it's less than three weeks old, now I get between 60 and 80 people a day visiting. First week it was between 10 and 15 a day, second week it was 25 to 35, and them up to 60 - 80 I have had more people visit this blog site than I have my website, which has been running nearly a year.This is tangible progress. The challenge is to keep that momentum going until it gets to the point where it takes on a life of it's own, it becomes autonomous. Who knows how far down the track that is, but until I get there I'll keep taking the positives from the numbers.

One of my favourite motivational pictures on my Pinterest boards has the caption "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step". I use the same philosophy with the numbers; I can't get 100 people a day to my blog without getting to 99, I can't get to 99 until I get to 98 and so on. To have a 'goal' of being successful involves having a plan, a strategy. Progress has to be measured in achievable increments, small steps, by increasing the numbers you cannot help but achieve the goal. By knowing that the numbers are increasing, you know you're still on the right track, it's very motivational.

As a footnote I know that as I progress further down the path to my goal I'm going to have to monitor different numbers (the zero's after the digits on the royalty cheques could be one?!) but as long as the measurable number continues to increase, I'm still heading in the right direction. I'm pumped.

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