Friday, September 6, 2013

What's Better: More Sales or More Reactions?

I've been thinking about this for a while.

 I was looking at the stats for my posts on this blog. Two of these posts displayed a trend that was...interesting.

My What Do You Do When Life Gets in the Way? post got ten comments, some of the comments running to more than a page double-spaced. The comments were insightful, thoughtful, and the authors gave up time to put down their thoughts and discuss them. (Comments are my favorite part of blogging, seriously.)

My Interview with MarcyKate Connolly, on the other hand, got only one comment, but it had almost three dozen more views than the post I mentioned above!!! People shared this link, they were interested in it, and they read it.

This might be explained by the timing of the posts, my own venturing and commenting on other blogs, etc. and granted, big-comment posts usually have big view counts. But you'll be amazed to see that many of my lowest-commented posts are viewed more than an average SC Write post.

But which extreme is better? What will you strive for in your writing? More reactions out of people (but smaller sales) or more sales (and less reaction)? Of course, you can do both and be like Harry Potter, but that's really hard. What do you want?

I think, deep down, authors know this answer, but it's difficult to bring out, and right now, I honestly can't come up with which one I'd want more than the other.

I'd LOVE for people to talk about my book with me, discuss it, share it with others, all proof that it made a big impact on them (that'd be amazing). I want my book to make an impact. I'd be devastated if it didn't. And also, low-selling books usually aren't the ones that live on decades after, so my heard tells me that this would be the extreme I'd like.

But I'd also love knowing that many people are reading my book. My story is traveling and people, strangers, are reading it, and they heard and read my story even if they didn't outwardly react to it! Can I just trust my own story and believe that the readers are internally affected? And although I wouldn't complain, I wouldn't like my book to be famous and beloved after I die; the idea tears my mind apart right now.

So do I want a smaller but more devoted audience, or a bigger but less reactionary one?

It's really something to think about, because the answer to this question can help guide you in finding out what you want your book to be. What you want out of your writerly career. Yes. It's a big question. (And hopefully, we all can achieve the best of both these worlds/audiences!)

The big question: What do you think?


  1. Middle of the road? My books have sold well but not like six figure well and there have been a lot of reactions although the books aren't burning up Goodreads or anything. I'm happy with that.
    As for blog posts? I want reactions. I want comments because then I know someone read it. And interaction means more to me.

  2. Yeah, I'd like to know those dozens of people actually finished or at least had something to say about it. Might pull my hair out otherwise. X)

  3. I think it is both. Reactions are good. They're great. But let's face it, there are some people who will LOVE a book and not post a blog or write an Amazon review. With sales, assuming there ARE some reviews out there (meaning the person didn't just buy it "blind") then I think you can assume they liked what they read and felt that they would like it too.