I had a bad day yesterday thinking about numbers, specifically Number One. Numero Uno, El Reberoo, around whom the sun revolves, took an advance-contented sigh as he checked his Amazon Kindle Reports--then screamed as he looked at his numbers:
One sale of the just-launched book on which he'd pegged his hopes. One sale. Here I reproduce the scream to be remembered for all time:
In a funk far too black to describe here, I fired off two e-mails to writers met on Twitter, then I went home to sleep it off at roughly 6 p.m. Today, then, with my helmet on and the sniveling snot cleaned away from my nose, I booted up at Starbucks and found their replies in my Inbox. One offered warm wishes and useful general advice. The other did that, then went further: a series of e-mails chronicling his own timeline to success and providing specific links he knew I'd be able to use: to get my name around and begin gaining reviews. Unbelievably, he went still further--providing my first review and posting it on Amazon, Amazon UK and Goodreads. All of this was good and sweet. But best and sweetest of all was his advice to think a bit more upon numbers: instead of brooding upon all of the readers and colleagues who hadn't bought my masterpiece, I had to think about the ONE reader, him, who read the book and loved it and now would go to war for it. And there was a turning in my brain from woeful thoughts of just one sale....to thoughts of the Power of One.
John A A Logan, who'd sent me the series of emails, also advised me to reach out and ask for help frankly. I began with a list of just less than a dozen. And one more response has come through, from Becky Scarberry. The Power of One's been redoubled. Whatever goes down with the rest of that list, I don't intend to be depressed. I'll continue to focus on all of those loving and glorious ones. Ones as readers, ones as friends.