One of the last things I predicted, on becoming a published author for the first time, was that I would become obsessed with sales figures and other random statistics. Now, of course, I have clocked on to the obvious truth that this is a trait common to most writers because a) sales = royalties and b) the better your sales, the greater your chances of being published next time.
Still, back then in the heady days of 2012 when The Last Telegram had just hit the streets, supermarkets, airports, bookstores and the great online world out there, I was astonished to discover that it was in the Amazon Kindle top 100, and had become one of their ‘movers and shakers’. I took to logging on several times a day just to watch it rise in the fiction charts and, even more encouragingly, in the ‘historical fiction’ chart where it reached the dizzy heights of the top ten.
But as with all things in life what goes up must come down, and after a month or two it slithered inexorably off the top 100 and into the unnumbered ‘others’. Now I have to rely on updates from my publisher to find out how the sales are going – which are pretty good, thanks to you wonderful readers out there. Of course I also click regularly onto the Amazon review site, and other book review sites, to see what people think. To date, 143 lovely people have kindly reviewed The Last Telegram, and I thank you all for taking the trouble and for your (mostly) four star ratings.
Meantime, my latest obsession is with the clicks on this website, and where they come from. So far, it has been visited by people in UK, USA, France, Germany, Australia, Canada, Ireland, Switzerland, Belgium, Sri Lanka, Italy, Poland, Kyrgyzstan, Denmark, Austria, Norway, India, Thailand, New Zealand, Netherlands, Russian Federation, Spain, Mexico, Isle of Man, South Africa, Jersey, Turkey, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, Portugal, Slovenia, Hungary, Bulgaria and Greece.
Now that’s a pretty impressive list for a novel that’s only (so far) been published in English (German edition out in July). But if I am to achieve my ambition of covering the world by the end of the year I still have a long way to go, especially in South America and Africa, in the Far and Middle East, the Baltic States and the far north (Sweden, Iceland, Greenland).
So if you know anyone who lives in these places, please drop them a line with my website address to encourage them to log on and say hello. You will make a stats-obsessed author very happy!