New indie writers and psychological dieting

Once you finally publish your book on Amazon, you eagerly wait for people to buy your book. But sometimes, the waiting becomes…too eager. You’re overwhelmed by the irresistible urge to constantly check in at Amazon to see how many sales you’ve made.

“I will not check…I WILL NOT CHECK…” your inner voice admonishes sternly. Too late! Faster than you can click kdp, your report is up on the screen.

So you set a schedule whereby you will only look at the report once a week. Then you move on to other work, pretending you don’t care an iota about sales.

“Filthy lucre…I’m above all that,” you tell yourself smugly.

As the day progresses, the thought of checking sales pops into your head – but you resist. Then the urge becomes more insistent. Eventually, all you can think about is the sales report. It’s like dieting – you swear you’re not going to eat anything until supper, but by 4 p.m. visions of potato chips, chocolate chip cookies or ice cream circle in your mind until you finally give in and gulp down some calorie-laden confection.

“I’ll just check it this once,” you say. “Then I’ll stick to the schedule.”

So you check it, and try to get back to work. But soon (oh no, not again!), the vicious cycle begins anew.

What’s the problem with constantly consulting the reports, you ask? What’s the big deal? It’s the roller coaster of resulting emotions – if sales are up, you’re elated. If they’re down (or heaven forbid, a return), you’re miserable. And it’s harder to write when you’re miserable or elated. Much better to check once a week, whereby you’re likely to see a steady average.

“Psychological dieting” may be the answer for those of us who succumb to over-checking the reports. Force yourself to look just once a week, with a steely resolve to only consider the big picture. Use a low sales report to spur yourself on to try new marketing ideas; high sales will motivate you to begin planning new writing projects.

And don’t let a bad report get you down. Come on, you have more spine than that! A good report is just around the corner. You’re in in for the long haul, remember? If need be, go back and look at a good week, re-read a positive review or remind yourself of your beta readers’ compliments.

Then get back to your writing – that’s what it’s all about, baby!


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