Ava Pennington

Author, Ava Pennington

Hi, all! Ava Pennington here from sunny Florida…well, mostly sunny Florida. The afternoon rainstorms have finally started, to the residents’ joy and the tourists’ chagrin!

Lately, I’ve been thinking about the relationship between words and numbers in the publishing industry. I’m a writer, not a mathematician. I love words – their structure and style, their rhythm and rhyme. I enjoy alliteration and onomatopoeia. I’m drawn to the images that words evoke. Numbers…not so much. Still, serious writers know that publishing—even Christian publishing—is a business. And business is often about the numbers.

So when One Year Alone with God: 366 Devotions on the Names of God and the children’s series, Faith Basics for Kids released within five months of each other, I spent some time learning about numbers and analytical tools. Sales numbers. Social media stats. Unique website visitors. Google analytics. Amazon’s Novel Rank.

These numbers provide tools to help measure our platforms. An author’s platform is their ability to connect with, and influence, potential customers. Publishers want to know – no, they need to know – that the authors they’ve invested in are partners in the marketing process.

If you have any doubts about the importance of numbers, check out this blog post by Michael Hyatt, Chairman of Thomas Nelson Publishers. In this post, he explained the significance of social media stats within a book proposal.

Fellow CAN member Cheri Cowell also posted on the importance of social media statistics in a recent CAN blog post.

Yes, we are writers and our passion is the creative use of words. But if we’re serious about our profession, we’ll be serious about the numbers, too.

Your turn:
How are you measuring your social media statistics?
What are you doing with the results of those measurements?

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