Thursday, April 4, 2013


So, Widespot's gone live, and I can see why so many talented people in this world are satisfied with amateur publication.

It's all about immediate feedback. Sullivan's been on sale for over a month and I have no idea if anybody, anywhere, has bought it. I'll find out when the publisher sends me accounting information, and publishers are traditionally very laggard in this matter. Even modern e-book retailers send you an accounting at most every month or so, and traditional publishers send out biannual statements summarizing transactions for the six-month period previous to the six-month period just ending. Fanmail is likely to be sent to the publisher, where it will sit till someone has an idle half hour to collect up accumulated fanmail and shove it into an envelope. I've gotten letters written in class by elementary school students who are in middle school by the time their questions reach me.

But if I look at the download page for Widespot, right there at the top I can see all kinds of statistics. Since 11:44 AM yesterday, I can see that the download has been looked at (as of right now this minute)1,276 times. Wow! I can even see, if I click a link, who is commenting, and what kind of comment it is - who is "favoriting" me, who is "thanking" me by hitting a convenient button (equivalent to Facebook's "like" button), and even (because Mod the Sims has a feature that tracks numbers of posts and uploads and changes how your username is presented accordingly) how many of the people doing those things are people of high status in the community. And of course I can see how many downloads I have.

It's a lot like counting Facebook friends and pageviews, or (as writers so often do) the Amazon ranking for your book; except I don't know anyone who really understands Amazon rankings, and these, like those of most blog/fanfic/whatever publishing communities are pretty self-explanatory.


But most writers, in my experience, are also depressives, and no matter how hopped up you get, the numbers are always spinnable in a depressing direction. 1,276 people (roughly; I don't think I've accessed the thread more than half a dozen times since noon yesterday, so call it an even 1,270) were interested enough to view the description of Widespot. Yay. But only 96 of them have downloaded it. That means that, since yesterday, my work has been rejected 1,174 times! AAAAGH! And only 56 people have thanked me. So have the other 40 tried it and not liked it? And only six people have "favorited" me, some of whom are my known friends and probably are only doing it to be nice. Oh, the insecurity!

Don't do this to yourself, people. Insist on fair accounting from your publisher, do a better job of self-promotion than I do, participate in whatever little pond you find yourself a big fish in - and let it go.

'Cause counting your pageviews will only make you crazy in the end.


  1. But did you subtract the previous downloads at the old host from the pageviews at MTS? Because you know all of us are going to want to read your upload post who already have Widespot.

    I didn't even know MTS has a favorite function. Learn something new every day. And if only half of the people on MTS are as bad as I am about remembering to hit the thanks button . . . last time I redid my downloads and redownloaded all Fakepeeps7's stuff (for the Widespot kids, no less) I realized that even though I've downloaded it all five or seven times before, I'd still missed hitting thanks on more than half the threads.

  2. Yeah, there's nothing like having your own work out there to make you more likely to remember to thank the people whose work you enjoy!

    And no, I didn't subtract previous downloaders from the pageviews because I was already laughing at myself too hard to do any more math. But I did go to a simblr I read (I keep hoping she'll return to her Build a City Challenge) and see my sims there, so that was a rush, and now I'm resisting getting a tumblr account just so I can stalk myself.

    Another insidious thing is the ability to compare yourself with others. The other downloads put up at the same time as me have fewer than half as many views and comments, and if I went to their download pages I could compare their ratio of views to downloads to mine. Thank goodness that sounds like work, but I know people who would do it.

    Ego gratification is not something any of us will cop to as a reason to publish; but it sure is a reward we enjoy when we get it! I figure I'm allowed to bask a little here, just as I hug a new book and go back to look at it and open it up and smell the pages etc., for a day or two after my author copies arrive; but after that it's just self-indulgent, and when you start finding reasons to make yourself miserable in it, that's toxic and it's time to take a walk or do housework or - better yet - start the next project.

  3. Muhahahahaha! This reminds me of the Official Exchange! Back when the Exchange was still online, it's easy to get disappointed when your ratings go down, but over time, you get used to it, and it's not so bad anymore. Stories never get culled, but lots and Sims do when the ratings do not reach a certain level. Fortunately for me, I had this one Sim I uploaded with a custom dress. The Sim was inspired by another member, and when that other member found out, she was quite impressed with my work and gave me 5 stars. Then there were my lots. I don't think I have ever gotten a lot culled before. Maybe it's because I only had the base game, and more people could download the item, giving me higher ratings and downloads. I had a couple of lots with more than 1000 downloads and near 5 star ratings, and I really didn't do much advertising either. I pretty much ignored it, and allowed the system to do the work on its own.