I was fascinated.
“Does he tell you how all the tricks work?” I asked her.
“I don’t want to know,” she told me with a smile. “It would ruin the mystique.”
I’ll admit it, I thought she was crazy. I’m the sort of person who opens Christmas presents early and reads online spoilers to learn how this season’s Bachelorette ends even though I’m not watching the show.
But the issue bubbled to the forefront of my brain yesterday morning when several of you told me Amazon was indicating only a few copies of Making Waves remained in stock. Was it really going to sell out? What did that mean? Did I need to start photocopying pages and mailing them off to Amazon?
The short answer is no: Amazon has plenty of books to sell.
But the whole thing set off a chain of conversations between my agent, me, and various execs at Sourcebooks about how sales totals are tallied, how many books are sent to different outlets, and how many copies have actually sold so far.
And that’s the part where I found myself wanting to put my fingers in my ear and hum. As it turns out, I don’t want to know.
It was a surprising sensation, but true. At this point, I can’t do much to control whether Amazon decides to ship the book two weeks early or how that might impact my first-week sales stats. I can’t control what the reviewers are saying. When presented with numbers about how many books have been printed or sold, all I can do is bite my nails and fret.
You may be surprised to know biting and fretting isn’t very productive.
The way I figure it, I already have plenty of things to worry about in my day-to-day life. There’s not much sense adding to the list with stuff I can’t do a damn thing about right now. I guess that’s why I find myself whimpering, “don’t tell me anything.” While ignorance may not be bliss, it at least keeps me from lying awake all night wondering if one more blog post about hurking in my underwear might’ve made the difference between my book becoming a bestseller or fading into oblivion.
How do you feel about surprises? Would you want to know how the magic tricks are done or how your book stats look once it’s out of your hands? Please share.
Oh, and if you know any good magic tricks, share those as well. I should have another skill to fall back on in case this writing thing doesn’t pan out.