I spent all of last week maniacally checking my sales and re-thinking every line I ever wrote...because I had two book returns on Monday. Book returns make me crazy.
It's been a week since those two book returns sent me into a tailspin, and I can now identify all 9 stages of a condition known as Insanity Due to Incomplete Ereading -- otherwise known as INDIE.
- Denial: Clearly this is a computer error. My books are amazing. Like anyone would return them on purpose. By tomorrow all of this will be sorted out.
- Obsession: Any day now. All I have to do is watch my sales. Those returns are going to disappear. It's been five minutes -- I better check again.
- Anger: Who needs readers, anyway? You want to return my books? Obviously you're the one with the problem, not me.
- Criticism: Did I use too many metaphors? Is this because of that weird sentence in chapter 4? I knew I shouldn't have used the F word.
- Doubt: I'm a terrible writer. Maybe all these books I sold will get returned. Maybe they never even got read. Maybe I should get into something I'm qualified to do...like eating pie. Will anyone pay me to eat pie?
- Blame: What am I doing? This isn't my fault -- this is because Amazon has a BS return policy. Now I have to suffer because of their crazy window of opportunity.
- Acceptance: Okay, the books got returned. I'm going to sell more...eventually. Does anyone have any pie?
- Blame: I lied. I'm not okay, and this pie isn't helping. This is my fault. I should be a better writer, and then returns wouldn't happen.
Yes, blame happens at least twice (and sometimes there's a third stage of blaming the reader). But don't end on blame. Complete the cycle, and get yourself to the final stage.
Shrugging it Off
Returns happen even to the best authors and the most well-written books. Yes, even when the price is very low. Apparently, some people do know the value of a dollar..and they may change their minds about spending it on you.
So just shrug it off. Eat some pie and write some more. You will never please all the readers out there, but here's some good news:
There are always more readers.