Taking stock

I slept like shit last night, but for once, it wasn't unpleasant to do so.  My brain was churning with excitement and anticipation, more than anything.  Apparently I'll be repeating the process tonight, given that it's currently 2 AM and I'm still not even in bed. 

Tonight, I spent a good part of the night sprucing up my web site, registering with Amazon Associates, dinking around on my Facebook page, and preparing some of my "phase 2" marketing plans.  And let's not forget the obligatory second-guessing of the entire process, the constant analysis of the numbers, and the refreshing of the Kindle Direct Publishing dashboard every five minutes. 

I knew I was going to be crazy obsessive-compulsive about checking on the sales, but seriously... I had no idea.

In the interest of full disclosure and in the hopes that chronicling this evening of wildly swinging moods may lend strength to some temperamental, self-publishing Kindle author in the future, here are the stats.

In my first 24 hours live I sold 18 e-books and garnered 5 reviews on Amazon.  Now, while parsing this information it's worth noting a few things:
1) I deliberately did not try to push for sales as hard as possible.
2) I am in a "Phase 1" of the plan, which involves getting the amazon posting for Alex to the point that any given shopper won't feel like they're going to be the first one to buy the book.
3) I do have quite a few elements to my phase 2, and I can be hopeful that those elements will result in a boost in sales.  (That is, after all, their goal)

When all these things are considered, I can't help feeling like the first 24 hours went pretty well.  My goal is 15-20 reviews posted on Amazon before starting phase 2, and in the first 24 hours, I'm 25% of the way there (or 33%, depending on how you look at it).  That's pretty badass, right?  Plus, while the actual figure of 18 books feels feeble, it was amazing to watch my sales position climb from 60,000th (LOL) to 8,134th!  (And then, subsequently sink back to 11,000th, but honestly, what's a few thousand sales positions in the first 24 hours?)

So yeah, I'm feeling good.  Until I start thinking too hard, second-guessing everything, convincing myself that from here, it goes nowhere, and generally beating myself up for no good reason.

The term "dizzying highs and dismal lows" has never felt more accurate to describe one 24-hour period.  Talk about your mercurial artist type.

As I so often do when doubting my ability to pull this off, tonight I went out and looked at how some other first-time authors who are e-publishing did things.  I saw some web sites that I felt put mine to shame, I saw You Tube previews (and thought, "Hey, I could do that" - but haven't yet), I saw pre-orders and 300+ likes on Facebook and a whole host of other things that made me think I have gone about this the wrong way.

But I also read sample chapters.  After I read them, I read my sample on Amazon again. 

When I finished, I felt more pride in my work than I ever have before. 

It's out there.  People can buy it.  And it's good.  The rest will happen, or it won't, but I am damned proud of what I've done so far. 

....You know.  For at least the next five minutes.