Crunching the Numbers

Writers and numbers don’t always go together, but I’m going to try anyway. At the Blue Ridge writers conference, I learned some numbers that have encouraged me but also baffled me. First, I found out that my book is above average. That’s because the national average for a published book is to sell 500 copies. (Isn’t that pitiful?) While that’s good news, I still have a long way to go to break even.

Another number is one that professionals use. They figure that 1,000 people read a book or watch a movie for every 1 person who takes the time to write a fan note to an author, actor, or politician. Just for kicks, I counted all the correspondence I’ve received about We Wait You. Some are handwritten notes but most are emails, and they are all treasured words to me. I’ve saved them in a notebook – to read over them when I get discouraged (often!) and wonder if all this work was worth it.

I counted 136 notes. Can it really mean 136,000 people have read my book?  Maybe I added too many zeroes and the ratio is really 100 to 1. That still puts the total at 13,600, way more than the sales reflect. OK, so lots of people tell me they’ve loaned their copy out to 4 or 5 others, but still. (If that’s you, it really is OK to buy another copy.  I won’t mind at all if you do.)

Guess my readers are just especially encouraging and verbal. So to all you wonderful people who have been touched by my book, please keep the buzz going by expressing your thoughts about We Wait You on,, or While you’re there, check out the other comments. My rating is 5 stars at each site.

And I’ll remind myself that I didn’t write this book to make a lot of sales or money. I wrote it because I knew it’s what God was asking me to do. I wanted to record some of the awesome things I witnessed in a particular time and place in history, hoping to encourage people to step out and trust Him to do some awesome things in their lives. That’s way more important than numbers.

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