My heart thumped hard against my chest as I moved towards the featureless black oblong. I licked my dry lips and peered closer. My nose hovered but inches away from the smooth mat-surface as it burst into life, filling my vision with a myriad of shifting colures and shapes.
I opened my mouth, but could only squeeze a thin rasp from my dry throat.
“My God, it’s full of stats.”
And so begun my journey into the world of self-promotion and publishing by numbers!
How closely have you looked at all the information you can gain from the internet? I have to admit to, at first, being a bit overwhelmed by the sheer amount of statistical information available from my blog, e-publishing, and various other web-sites.
‘Do I have to make sense of all this,’ I asked myself. Then I mentally shrugged and made some coffee.
Like most things I think the answer is somewhere in the middle of ‘Yes’ and ‘No’. I think it’s easy to get too wrapped up in the numbers, and you could easily spend almost as much time monitoring all this stuff as you do writing, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore them ether. I’ve learned some interesting things about my writing from watching the statistics.
For example, I’m writing in UK-English, but most of my readers are American. Most of my e-published stories are not being downloaded for the Kindle, and the vast majority of my personal web-site hits are not coming from my blog (not that my sites get much traffic anyway!).
Some of this I may have guessed, some not. Possibly the only thing that most people want to know from their starts in how much money are they making, and that’s as fine and noble a motive as any other, but you may want to take a closer look at some of those other numbers to help you top-up the important ones.
‘Know your audience.’ I’ve been told that on numerous occasions. Well, through my somewhat meandering but nonetheless fruitful use of my blog and e-publishing stats in particular, I am beginning to do this, and I think they are turning out not to be who I initially assumed them to be! That is a very good thing. I can tailor my writing, and my efforts in pushing my (still developing) web-presence, to where the relevant people are.
I’ve discovered that this writing-lark is almost as much about me as it is about my writing, and all those numbers hidden away on the various web-sites I now use can tell me a lot about who that is, or at least who it should be as far as my writing is concerned.
So, for what it’s worth, my advice would be to take some time to look at those numbers and decide which ones are relevant to you. If you haven’t paid them much head before, you may be surprised by what they can tell you!