Authors: how do you measure success? If you believe that your success is directly correlated to the size of your social media following or your monthly sales and downloads, I challenge you to change your perspective and when you do, I believe you will achieve true life success.
Let’s talk about sales and downloads. Whether you use Amazon or Smashwords or any others, your personal dashboard is like a beacon, beckoning you to check it. I see that dashboard in a similar light to a bathroom scale. I always seem to have five stubborn pounds that I’d like to lose, but even if I diet and increase my exercise, stepping onto that bathroom scale every day is counter productive. Pounds go up; pounds go down. It’s much better to check once a week and reevaluate your course.
The same is true for book sales. If you go onto your dashboard every day, chances are the results aren’t as phenomenal as you had hoped for a 24-hour period. You don’t want that knowledge to affect your desire to write because that’s the only thing that will ever increase your sales. More books means readers have more choices. You’re more likely to find a new audience and then, the sales will follow.
The same is true for social media. Do you feel happy or sad with every follower gained or lost? Just like those pounds, people come and people go. What you have to focus on is developing your core message so that when you blog or post, you will connect with like-minded people. Once you do that, you’re more likely to increase your following. There’s truly no point in getting upset when looking at a fellow author’s page who has triple the following. It could mean that they’ve been pursuing this effort longer, in which case, you’ll one day catch up.
As authors, we have a tendency to segment our writing life into followers and sales. But that is not our entire life and it shouldn’t be a measure of our success. Authors are also parents. We are friends. We are even the children to our own parents. So when you go to evaluate your life. Look at the people around you. That is the measure of your success.