The Numbers That Really Matter

I’m getting ready to roll out a new book and already obsessing about numbers. I’m wondering how many copies to order in my first print run. Should I dream big or be practical? How many books can I really sell in, say, the first three months?

I’m concerned about raising my numbers of social media followers before this book comes out, so my posts will have the biggest impact.

I’m taking a daily assessment of my expenses verses my hoped-for income.

I’m wondering how many award contests I should pay to enter (and how many awards I might actually win, if any).

And I’m worrying about how to ensure I get as many reviews on my Amazon page as possible after the book hits the shelves.

Numbers are taking over my life. Or I should say, I’ve been allowing numbers to take over my life. It’s time for a reminder about what numbers really matter:

  • The 22 kids and their teacher who sent me a hand-made thank you poster to show their gratitude for my author visit to their classroom.
  • The 6 book club members who recently read my novel, Remember Wake, and invited me to join them while they discussed it.
  • The 84 people who have stepped up over the years to provide classroom sets of my books to teachers in need because they believe in the stories I’m telling and the history I’m preserving.
  • The 3 people who sent me e-mails this week alone to tell me how much they love the cover of my upcoming book Bursts of Brilliance for a Creative Life.
  • The 1 dad who took the time to tell me his young son never finishes books, but he couldn’t put my book down.
  • The 10 women who shared their personal stories with me and allowed me to tell them in my book, Dancing in Combat Boots.
  • The 70 friends who showed up to my book launch party to help me celebrate my last book, War on a Sunday Morning.
  • The 3 children I raised who are proud of their mom for creating a new book and starting a new business around it.
  • The 1 husband who has stood by me and my crazy ideas for 28 years.

And most importantly, the 1 person whose face looks back at me in the mirror every day and tells me to keep going because the numbers of sales and claps and pats on the back don’t matter. What matters is that you do what you are called to do, every day, and you do it with love and integrity and faith.

1 new book, 1 new business, 1 day at a time. Let’s go.

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