Monday, 17 November 2014

Taking a Rain Check...

Like many bloggers, I obsessively check my statistics. I can tell you how many people have looked at my blog each day, every week, every month, or indeed ever! I know which of my posts are the most popular ones. Interviews are usually high on the list. My interviews with illustrator turned author Curtis Jobling and Bodicia from 'A Woman's Wisdom' have been fighting it out for top spot for months and were way ahead of anything else. Until now.

The piece I posted just three weeks ago about Publishing Lessons has attracted a huge number of hits, and will very soon be outstripping anything else. I don't put that down to my sparkling prose or witty presentation of the subject, so much as a thirst in all authors for the formula to success. How do we chart our way through the literary world, especially at a time when that world is itself in flux? I don't think I have the answers any more than anyone else, but hopefully my thoughts help to fuel the debate and push us a little further along the search.

I was hoping to post a follow-up to the article today. But I'm still tied up in my rather protracted book launch, which at six weeks long is threatening to eclipse the celebrations for my last 'big' birthday - and that went on for a couple of months! Today, I'm hosting a launch party in my home town. I have real copies of the actual book sitting on the table looking at me - and if there's anything that clinches the argument of ebooks versus physical stock, for me it was the moment when I got the first copy in my hand from those wonderful people at Hedgerow Print last week. A Kindle just doesn't feel the same!

And there's a little matter of NaNoWriMo. I'm a couple of days behind, but am over the 20K mark and am determined to win this year. Apart from anything else, it's one of the things I promised my writing buddies I would do, when we met in Swanwick last August. So I'll take a rain check on Publishing Lessons Part 2 if that's okay.

One final reminder: it's National Short Story Week from today. all my anthologies will be free to download over the next five days, so keep an eye out for those offers. But more importantly, do try to read some short stories this week. There are some wonderful examples out there in magazines, charity anthologies and collections by individual writers. Some of the best authors around have written, or are writing short stories: Katherine Mansfield, William Trevor, Hilary Mantel, Margaret Drabble. It's time we got this Cinderella of the literary world in her coach and on the way to the ball. 


  1. Do you really check your stats every day? I hardly ever do - in fact I only found out which were my most viewed posts when I did a top ten post the other week! I do keep a vague look at it, so I can see what sort of posts attract the most views, but that's all. And yes - anything 'how to' about writing always attracts huge numbers!!! You're so right about the reason, too.

    Do you also look at your book sales and Amazon ratings every day? I used to - I used to communicate a lot with another author who was very competitive, until I realised that if I had a 'bad' weekend it made me feel depressed - so I stopped looking. Now, I just look at the end of each month. It's much better, and I get some nice surprises :)

    Masses of luck and fun for the book signing today! Gorgito's launch sounds a bit like (Proofreader) Julia's 50th - I remember some time, about a month later, her chap saying "can it stop being your birthday soon, please?" Ha ha!!!!

    1. Hi Terry

      Yes, I do check all my stats at least daily (I guess it's the residual scientist in me). I try to analyse what works well and what's not bringing me any readers. The 'how to' articles are certainly very popular. It worries me sometimes that writers tend to talk to author writers all the time, but I guess writers are readers too!

      And yes, I know I should look at the book sales less often - and when I have as many books as you, I will hopefully be at that stage, but for now, I get excited every time I sell one copy.My husband frequently tells me 'the pig never got fat by weighing it!' but I still check first thing each morning and last thing at night!

      The book launch was great fun. We had taped Russian music, a group of singers from town who learned The Volga Boatmen especially for the evening, blinis with caviar, and vodka.

      Elizabeth x

  2. Ah yes - the person I knew who was competitive about it was a former salesperson! For you, the stats, and analysis! The book launch sounds great - blog post??!!

    I know what you mean re your posts mostly getting read by other writers!!! (It's why I have a self-publishing blog and an 'other' one!!!) But yes, I agree, we're readers too, and I've bought loads of books via blog posts, which I shall review if I like, so it's all good too. Yes, though, it's the endless problem - how to reach the people who just read books... I was reading an article earlier about why zombie books are so popular on Kindle. People just put 'zombie' into the search and download the lot...! :)