Crazy for Statistics

Writing a book has made me crazy and obsessive about scrutinizing all my book stats: how many pages have been read today; how many books, if any, have been purchased today; is anyone reading my blog today; are there any new reviews; and what is my current Amazon ranking.

Although I always said that I did not set out to write my book for anyone outside my family, that all changed once I realized that strangers have taken an interest in learning the tale about what happened to my family after they moved to Russia during the 1930’s.

As someone who loves numbers, when I learned about all the statistics available to me, I have been unable to stay away from the charts and rankings. I just can’t help myself. I am able to see, at a moment’s notice, these ever-changing numbers.

I learned this week that rankings are generated in several ways. I can view my overall ranking both in the physical book (#3,348,446) and the Kindle version (227,501 —up 94,854 positions today). I feel happier when I view my rankings with similar books. In the Kindle store, my book is ranked #51 under Historical Russian Biographies, #224 under History of Russia and Former Soviet Republics, and #224 under Historical Russia Biographies. I don’t understand the difference between Historical Russian Biographies and Historical Russia Biographies, but hey, statistically it’s a difference of 173 points.

I know the paperback has been purchased in the UK and Canada, and when I offered free downloads, readers in Australia and Denmark joined my “fans” in the UK, Canada, and the good old USA. I am flattered.

While my sales are not enough to alter my lifestyle, the interest is still more than I ever dreamed. Unfortunately, I have only garnered nine reviews and nine ratings, ranging from 2 stars to 5 stars. I have to admit that I am thrilled to read the reviews, particularly those from strangers.

This has inspired me to go back and write a few more reviews of some of the books I have read.  While I try to, at a minimum, rate a book, I do not always take the time to write a review. But I have realized that it need not be a multi-paragraph review to put a smile on my face, so I assume most writers feel the same. My most recent review was short and sweet, but it was enough to make my day:

Loved this book!!! It’s incredible to think that these things could happen to anyone, let alone American citizens, and there was nowhere for them to get help!

My thanks to “Anonymous.”


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