Wednesday 24 September 2008

Paranoia on the Amazon Roller coaster

I have discovered a wonderful new game that feeds both my paranoia and my ego as a writer in a dizzying succession of highs and lows – it is called “The Amazon Roller coaster”. My addiction to chart-watching no longer satisfied with the weekly fixes provided by publications like The Bookseller and The Sunday Times, (more or less identical charts with a few minor adjustments by the ST to try to level the playing fields when television heavyweights and the Highway Code come on to play), I can now get fresh highs and lows every few hours by logging on to Amazon and looking up “The Overnight Fame of Steffi McBride” or any number of other titles.

Like all drugs you take your first hit out of curiosity, thinking that you can handle it. You see that your ‘sales rank’ is pleasantly high – let’s say you are at number 1,000. Thinking this is a good omen you go back the next day to see if you have climbed any higher – you have, you are now down to three figures. Now they’ve got you.

The next time you tune in you have plummeted, maybe in the space of just a few hours, to number 150,000. How can this be? You are filled with angst. Has your publisher failed to send them a new order? Has a bad review appeared somewhere and halted sales in their tracks? Or are you simply doomed to a future of abject failure?

You tentatively go back in a few hours later and, miracle of miracles, you are back in three figures. You are high again, thrilled with yourself and the world. Now you are Amazon’s slave. It will now only be a matter of time before you are unable to stop yourself from checking in almost every hour. It will become a new distraction from the job of writing as irresistible as making another cup of coffee (each cup a little stronger than the last, but that’s another story).

To purchase a copy of The Overnight Fame of Steffi McBride for a discounted price of £6.00 (inc p&p) please call John Blake Publishing on 0207 381 0666.

1 comment:

Lynne Barrett-Lee said...

Come now, Andrew - only just discovered? What, with all those titles under your belt? If so, beware - it is little short of a disease. Though my suspicion is that your admission is simply a cunning ploy to get more coverage for your new novel (which looks very entertaining, I must say) I shall give you the benefit of the doubt and simply pass on the advice that it is a slippery slope to insanity. I have seven books out there (plus a couple of Quick Reads) and I am an addict. I check mine at least hourly when I'm at my desk - it's the modern equivalent of a fag break but with the potential to transport me to either paradise or despair. Plus - and this is NOT good - they now also have a facility to tell the populace that 'after viewing this item, X percent of people went on to buy it', which means every time you succumb to your craving, you are actually harming your stats. Arrgh!! You know, I've actually signed up to blogger just so I could comment on your post. How sad is that? Now I shall have to blog a bit, I guess. But it's good in another way, because you're a ghostwriter, and, as I've just ghostwritten my first memoir, I can hopefully harangue you for tips. I also see you have a book out on the subject, so perhaps I should stump up and buy it...