For the last two weeks I have been obsessed (and I do not use that word lightly) with top ten lists. My latest ebook release, Serengeti Heat, a sexy shape-shifter novella, released just thirteen short days ago. And ever since that fateful Tuesday, I have been haunting my publisher's sales site (and a handful of other ebook retailers) looking for any clues as to how my little shifter story might be doing.
Were people reading it? Were they liking it? The agony of not knowing had me in a frenzy. I latched onto anything that might give me some hint how my baby was being received.
And then it happened. The Top Ten List Obsession. Serengeti Heat hit number one on the My Bookstore & More Best Sellers List. Then (gasp!) it crawled up to be the number two bestselling shape-shifter ebook on the All Romance eBooks site. When it became the All Romance eBooks top reader rated shape-shapeshifter story... well, that's when the obsession really spiraled out of control.
I web-stalked those sites, visiting them constantly (even though I knew they didn't update their information more than once a day), waiting with dread in my poor lil heart for the time when my sales would plummet and Serengeti Heat would fall from its precarious perch atop those lists. (Which it did, of course, in epubbing that first week phenomenon is quickly replaced by next week's first week phenomenon.)
Do these lists mean anything? Honestly? It just means that I sold at least one book more than the person at number two over a rolling seven day period. It's all relative. That could mean I only sold a half dozen books, or it could mean a thousand. Who knows? But one thing's for sure: the New York Times list it ain't. Buying my own private island will have to wait a couple more years. Still, in my little minnow pond, it's pretty fun to be the big fish for a week or two.
And now that I'm done bragging... I give you the result of my Top Ten List obsession:
The Top Ten Coolest Things About Being a Writer (according to me).
10. Going to writing conferences, meeting your favorite authors, basking in their genius and being given free books. LOTS of free books.
9. Meeting other people who use phrases like "fully-actualized character arc" and "jarring POV shift" in everyday conversation.
8. Visiting blogs, social networking sites & yahoo loops all count as "name-building" and "promo time".
7. Reading is research.
6. Movies, TV shows, plays, anything with a plot, or just sitting in a park people-watching - ALL RESEARCH.
5. Taking vengeance on people who annoy you by putting them in your books. The obnoxious girl who gets murdered in the second act? Total authorial catharsis, baby.
4. Talking in public about ways to murder people, blow things up or perform battlefield triage after the undead apocalypse = totally acceptable. (Though no guarantees that the civilians around you won't give you very strange looks while you're discussing the relative symptoms of arsenic vs. cyanide.)
3. You are God (or at the very least a god) of your own stories. You control the universe and everything always turns out exactly as you wanted it to.
2. Working in your pajamas.
1. Getting an email from someone you've never met, totally out of the blue, telling you that they loved your story and thanking you for writing it. (Yep, I cried. I'm just a big ole softie.)
That's my list. So what are the top ten most kick-ass things about your job? What's on your Top Ten List?