Tuesday, May 21, 2013

How often should you check your sales figures?

One of the things that I notice about a lot of writers is that they are obsessive with checking their sales figures reports. And the more often that the sales figures update, the more often they check their reports. Even reports that update only once a month are checked at least once a day. And those that update every hour are stared at constantly--or so it seems.

Now, don't let me let you think that I am innocent of this behavior. I am not. I can be quite obsessed with my sales figures.

But here is the deal--the obsession with your sales figures does nothing to actually budge your sales. That's right, starring at your sales figures does not actually change what the numbers say.

My opinion is that you should never check your sales figures more often than once a week unless you are doing something that is (hopefully) going to budge the amount of book sales that you are doing. In other words, promotions and advertising campaigns are the only times that you should ever look at your sales figures more than once a week.

What should you be doing instead of checking your sales figures? Well, writing new material, of course. After all, it is the activity that gives you the most bang for the buck as a writer. Or at least, in my neck of the woods, writing is the activity that gives me the best rate of return for my investment of time and energy.

So how did I come to this conclusion? Well, I learned it while being a food service manager. I watched managers who ran a sales report every ten minutes...and it accomplished nothing other than stressing them out. I learned that it did not matter how often I ran the report, my numbers were still going to look the same at the end of the day. Unless I was doing something productive that is (prep, talking to customers, etc.); and to be productive, I had to step away from the reports and get to work.

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