How often should indie writers check their KDP sales figures? I have seen all sorts of suggestions for this, ranging from once a month to compile sales stats, daily, to sitting there and hitting refresh constantly (probably a bad idea).
I hate all the suggestions I’ve read. I hate them because they are simplistic, one size fits all answers and I hate all simplistic one size fits all answers. We are each unique individuals with unique personalities and styles.
So here is a three step solution to find your own answer. Ask yourself these three questions:
1. How often does it change?
2. How does it make me feel?
3. Is it interfering with my writing?
How often do your sales figure change? Even if you are happy with your current level of success, most writers love to see new sales. Who wouldn’t? That’s money in the bank, another step towards whatever sales goals you have, etc. Getting into your account and seeing the same numbers is disappointing. So don’t do it.
Constantly checking your account isn’t going to magically make sales happen. Writing more and promoting will. So if you have a limited number of titles out and they only sell a copy a week, check in weekly. If you are making daily sales, check in daily. If you have a book flying off the shelf, especially if it’s in the middle of a promotion, feel to free to obsess a little. It’s okay.
How does it make you feel to see your stats? If you get disappointed and frustrated because a book isn’t selling like you thought, quit checking so often. Instead push yourself to do something else, write the next book, rewrite the blurb, promote, whatever.
On the flip side, if seeing new sales makes you happy and gets you motivated to write more, don’t let the once a month crowd guilt you about checking in more often. If you are at the point in your career where every sale deserves a happy dance around the house, do your dance. That’s part of the joy of being a writer.
The real million dollar questions is how do your sales figure effect your writing. After spending much of 2014 reading and researching the marketing side of this business, I have come to the same conclusion that the authors of Right. Publish. Repeat. and indie bigwigs like Joe Konrath and Chuck Wendig have. The only guaranteed way to sell more books is to write more books. Each new book might gain you a new fan, a fan who might go back and buy your other books.
If checking your flagging or flat lined sales on an older title is depressing you, stop checking in. If seeing a handful of sales on one book makes you think, “when I get the next book out…” then it will motivate you to keep writing.
This same logic works for all of your accounts, by the way. How often you check in on social media, sales accounts, reviews, etc. should follow the same pattern. If checking goodreads for new reviews is depressing, do it less often. If it’s motivating, keep it up.