Book sales are very important to an author. It's a nice feeling to see a book into which you've poured heart, soul and an incredible amount of time, produce healthy sales. The problem is that not all places that put up sales and author rankings are equal or tell the whole truth.
Before you have a printed book, you have a manuscript. These are different things, connected but distinct, like a butterfly and a caterpillar. Some indie authors get confused between the two. They have unrealistic expectations of their manuscript.
Dan Chaon was recently taken to task in Salon for suggesting that young writers read literary fiction. Why? Because it's "terrible." But Chaon wasn't recommending that young writers read only literary fiction. His advice was actually more specific than that.
Imagination needs to be wired through intelligence; intelligence to be wired through imagination - through the practice of creative writing at every level of education and within every field of knowledge.