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Big Al's Books & Pals 2014 Readers' Choice Awards: Young Adult Nominee

A ruthless murder and a stolen shipment of gold.

At school, sixteen-year-old Nikaia Wales endures the taunts of bullies who call her a “half-breed.” At home, she worries about how her family will react if she reveals her growing feelings for the quiet boy next door.

Those are soon the least of her troubles. Nikaia discovers a hidden cache of gold, and when police find a corpse nearby, her father becomes a suspect. Worse, Elias Doyle is circling, hungry to avenge his brother’s death.

Nikaia desperately searches for clues to save her father. In her quest to find the killer, she learns about the power of family, friendship, and young love....

Author Topic: Encouraging words from Hugh Howey  (Read 3179 times)  

Offline CJAnderson

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Encouraging words from Hugh Howey
« on: February 18, 2015, 01:22:20 AM »
I found this on the kboards:

"I remember thinking I'd never see 100 reviews on any of my books. It took over two years for one of my books to get that many reviews.

Now I've got over 100 1-star reviews on a single novel!

And I now get more returns every single day than I used to see in sales per day.

The best thing I ever did for my writing, my sanity, my free time, my relationship, was to stop looking at my KDP dashboard. And I didn't stop doing this once I was making tons of money. I stopped when I realized I was wasting time with something that had zero positive impact on my career. If anything, it was having a negative impact. Seeing good numbers go up made for a slightly happier day, but seeing those numbers go down made for a very sad day. The little ups aren't worth the big downs. Check your statement at the end of the month. That's my suggestion."  - Hugh Howey

Offline loriann

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Re: Encouraging words from Hugh Howey
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2015, 01:30:07 AM »
I love this. And how timely for me. I made a decision to stop checking last weekend. Thanks for posting!


Offline Lydniz

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Re: Encouraging words from Hugh Howey
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2015, 01:36:36 AM »
I can't stop checking until mid-March. That will be my 2-year self-publishing anniversary and I'm also heading towards an important sales milestone. It's going to be a close thing but I'm hoping to squeak past the milestone before that date. ;D

Offline Alex D

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Re: Encouraging words from Hugh Howey
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2015, 01:45:51 AM »
That's so nice to read, thank you for posting!!
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Re: Encouraging words from Hugh Howey
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2015, 01:46:11 AM »
Everyone for themselves of course, but I wouldn't dream of stopping to check. I'd like to keep tabs on how promos are going and whether I'll bother going back to whatever site for another ad.

Check once a day if you feel the need to restrict yourself.

Offline EC

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Re: Encouraging words from Hugh Howey
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2015, 02:00:48 AM »
It's the reviews - I wish I could find a way to check on book rank without seeing the reviews.  Not being contradictory - I appreciate the reviews, even the bad one's that critique - I would rather sit down once every couple of months and read/learn from them.

And I do learn from them - I just don't want to know every day. As for the financial stuff - I couldn't care less. It's only pocket money, it's great having a hobby that brings in thousands a month.

Offline PaulineMRoss

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Re: Encouraging words from Hugh Howey
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2015, 02:46:56 AM »
It's the reviews - I wish I could find a way to check on book rank without seeing the reviews.

You could try EBook Tracker. http://tracker.kindlenationdaily.com/index It's US-only, but you can watch the sales ranks of your own and everyone else's books.  :P There are links to the Amazon book page, but you don't have to go there. It just shows the number of reviews (and out of date, at that). Or for all Amazon sites, there's NovelRank.

Quote
As for the financial stuff - I couldn't care less. It's only pocket money, it's great having a hobby that brings in thousands a month.

{Sigh} That must be lovely...
   

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Offline Matthew Stott

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Re: Encouraging words from Hugh Howey
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2015, 03:03:26 AM »
It's the reviews - I wish I could find a way to check on book rank without seeing the reviews.  Not being contradictory - I appreciate the reviews, even the bad one's that critique - I would rather sit down once every couple of months and read/learn from them.

And I do learn from them - I just don't want to know every day. As for the financial stuff - I couldn't care less. It's only pocket money, it's great having a hobby that brings in thousands a month.
Thousands is pocket money?! Holy moly! :)

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Offline Marilyn Peake

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Re: Encouraging words from Hugh Howey
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2015, 03:50:14 AM »
Great advice! I find the less I check my KDP dashboard, the more I concentrate on writing.

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Offline stevenremington

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Re: Encouraging words from Hugh Howey
« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2015, 04:28:18 AM »
Definitely sound advice. Maybe I could put that into practice some day  :P

Actually when I am writing, I tend to block out the world and I realized once that a week had gone by before I checked in to the KDP dashboard. It felt good. It's like walking over to your TV, powering it off, and then reaching down and unplugging the thing. At first your like hmmm, that was such a crazy move haha, but then after a few days you begin to realize you can actually think clearer without the thing yappin' at ya.

I like getting advice from those who have had success stories. It's uplifting!

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Offline Adrian Howell

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Re: Encouraging words from Hugh Howey
« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2015, 04:38:19 AM »
Everyone for themselves of course, but I wouldn't dream of stopping to check. I'd like to keep tabs on how promos are going and whether I'll bother going back to whatever site for another ad.

Check once a day if you feel the need to restrict yourself.

Same here. Especially for a permafree, I need to know how many downloads I'm getting, and how many days to the sales spike. I rarely check more than three times a day, though, even during a promo, and usually just once at the end of each day.
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Offline WasAnn

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Re: Encouraging words from Hugh Howey
« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2015, 05:26:34 AM »
New releases and ad results are my downfall when it comes to checking KDP. I wish I could stop checking it!

Offline N. Gemini Sasson

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Re: Encouraging words from Hugh Howey
« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2015, 05:29:46 AM »
Great advice! I find the less I check my KDP dashboard, the more I concentrate on writing.

Yes, this. My husband records my daily numbers. I don't look unless I have a new release or a promo going on, in which case the numbers are usually good. But in between? No. If they're not good all it does is get me anxious or bummed.

I've been so much more productive since I stopped checking every day. More importantly, I enjoy writing more, which makes my writing better and the process of writing so much more enjoyable. When you love what you're doing, that's a richness to your life that can't be achieved by racking up sales numbers.


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Re: Encouraging words from Hugh Howey
« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2015, 05:35:15 AM »
I've checked my dashboard every day since May 2011. But, I quit this past Sunday. I do feel better and more motivated.

Offline Amity Lassiter

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Re: Encouraging words from Hugh Howey
« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2015, 06:12:47 AM »
I saw where this was originally posted and it's been in the back of my mind ever since. Granted, it hasn't, so far, been able to stop me from checking multiple times per day but I hope to wean myself off it at some point.

Offline Chris Fox

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Re: Encouraging words from Hugh Howey
« Reply #15 on: February 18, 2015, 06:22:21 AM »
It's taken me four months to get to the point where I only check three times a day. Before that I was refreshing while standing in the grocery line, when I woke up, before bed, during meals and any other time the urge struck.

I think taking a longer view is hard, but Hugh's words are inspirational. It doesn't really matter how your sales do on any given day, much less a few hour period. It really matters how they do long term, and that you don't need to check nearly as often.

Thanks for posting, CJ =)

Offline Daniel Dennis

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Re: Encouraging words from Hugh Howey
« Reply #16 on: February 18, 2015, 07:16:31 AM »
It took about a year to adopt something along this way of thinking. My first book has sporadic bursts of sales that I can't explain. My second book hasn't seen more than a couple total. It got to the point where the first sale I made was a great day and the days that followed made me want to quit since it didn't feel like it was paying off. I try to only check it once a week otherwise it kills my motivation.

Offline CJAnderson

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Re: Encouraging words from Hugh Howey
« Reply #17 on: February 18, 2015, 07:22:03 AM »
Hugh has always been an inspiration. Top-notch guy  8)

Offline cinisajoy

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Re: Encouraging words from Hugh Howey
« Reply #18 on: February 18, 2015, 07:23:29 AM »
Hugh is a delightful and wonderful person.  I loved that post from  him.
http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,216185.msg3013849.html#new

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Re: Encouraging words from Hugh Howey
« Reply #19 on: February 18, 2015, 07:34:13 AM »
Thousands is pocket money?! Holy moly! :)

I wish I had those pockets!!! :)

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Offline sela

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Re: Encouraging words from Hugh Howey
« Reply #20 on: February 18, 2015, 07:35:37 AM »
I love Hugh and think he is an inspiration but it really does depend on where you are.

When I released my first series, my sales were so low that I only checked a couple of times a week and would celebrate each sale. When I released the first book in my second series and it took off, I was so amazed that I checked my sales every two hours every day from dawn to midnight. I was obsessed and moved between elation and dejection, as I kept waiting for it all to come to a crashing halt. 4 books and 6 novellas later, my sales have maintained and I only check once a day unless I have a promo running. Then I check more frequently to try to understand rank and sales #s. It feels good not to check constantly, and while I would love to only check once a week, I don't think that's wise. I worked as an assistant office manager for a restaurant while putting myself through college and we did a daily check on sales so why shouldn't I? I'm a business. This is my only income and my bottom line matters to my family's well-being.

So as with every bit of advice, to each his or her own. :)

Offline Jordan Rivet

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Re: Encouraging words from Hugh Howey
« Reply #21 on: February 18, 2015, 07:49:25 AM »
Thank you for posting this, CJ. I usually only check once in the morning because most sales happen while I'm asleep in my time zone anyway. I've been checking more frequently lately and I think it's hurting my productivity. Nice to have a reminder!

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Offline CJAnderson

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Re: Encouraging words from Hugh Howey
« Reply #22 on: February 18, 2015, 09:53:27 AM »
I think what Hugh is advising is don't become obsessed with it?

Offline nico

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Re: Encouraging words from Hugh Howey
« Reply #23 on: February 18, 2015, 10:33:09 AM »
Now he just checks everyone else's numbers via Author Earnings. :)
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Re: Encouraging words from Hugh Howey
« Reply #24 on: February 18, 2015, 11:06:53 AM »
Now he just checks everyone else's numbers via Author Earnings. :)

A few times a year rather than daily. ;)

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