THE BLOG
01/18/2011 04:20 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

The Confessions of a Rankings Junkie

It is confession time. How many of you checked the analytic stats of unique visitors and watched your google ranking when you first built your website? Be honest! It was exciting at first, right? Did you find yourself checking it dozens of times a week, or even per day?

If you are a published author, that inquisitive nature (okay, obsessiveness) was probably redirected to sales and rankings once your book was released and launched. Were you checking Amazon and Barnes and Noble every hour?

The paperback edition of my book, The SoulMate Secret was just released and I have been temporarily transformed into a ranking junkie.

When my book launch began more than 200 email list owners committed to sending out announcement/sales emails for me, which equated to about 3 million individual names. They were scheduled to go out over three days but you never really know if they all go out as planned, especially with the holidays. Meanwhile Twitter and Facebook status updates were being posted, retweeted and shared all over the place.

This was all very exciting and nerve racking at the same time. I ended up falling into the trap that I never wanted to be in - checking my rankings every hour. How is the book doing? Are there new reviews? Is it selling and what does that really mean? What are people saying on Twitter and Facebook? Are people retweeting...

I watched the rankings start on Amazon at over a million when it was first available in December and then it quickly made it to # 17 on the first day of my book launch campaign. It fluctuates back and forth and has settled at 30 for a while. I was #1 in seven categories on Amazon, including Love and Romance, Self-help New Age, Movers and Shakers, etc.

There was a point during the first few days where I was checking the ranking in the middle of the night if I happened to be awake. It felt like a contest - but for what and against whom? I continue to remind myself that I don't want to be an author who focuses on rankings over everything else. At the same time it is exciting to know that it's selling and it is getting into the reader's hands who want to bring great love into their life.

The truth is of course I want The SoulMate Secret to be on the New York Times list but I don't want to make that my entire focus. I'd rather be the kind of author who gets hundreds or thousands of book sales every month, year after year. I want longevity and at the end of the day the bookstores order the books that consistently sell.

So while I can't claim I am a NY Times bestselling author, I can claim that I am an author who has a very happy publisher. I always earn out my advances and I make them money. I have a career, which to me is more important than somebody who gets on once and then they never get another deal because they didn't sell enough books outside of the big push.

Arielle Ford has launched the careers of many NY Times bestselling authors including Deepak Chopra, Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Neale Donald Walsch & Debbie Ford. She is a former book publicist, literary agent and the author of seven books. To learn how to get started writing a book please visit: www.HowToWriteMyBook.com