the state of things

 

The Month In Statistics

by Douglas Lindsay - 13:03 on 01 October 2008
The website has been up for just under twelve months. September came in third in number of hits, behind March and May. I spent a lot of time doing the whole website thing in September, so it was good that it turned out much better than dumb-assed August, which was completely useless. The question is, however, why were May, and particularly March, so good? That's one of the frustrating things about business. When you have no idea why a certain trend is happening. (Actually, I have no idea why anything in business happens.)

What was it that I did in March that was so funky it had people queuing up to look at the site? What made March so special? I looked back and examined my output for March. I wrote one blog and then buggered off on holiday to New Zealand. That wasn't exactly cutting edge website work. Man Completely Ignores Website, Readers Flock. Followed by, Man Updates Website On Regular Basis, Not Many People Notice.

Depressing, that's what it is. It would be nice to do something that has an identifiable reaction - or not - and then be able to do the same thing some more or try something different.

Like the Cadbury's gorilla advert. Apparently the next time they're going to try it with Tie A Yellow Ribbon.

Conversely, September was the highest individual month in book sales since Long Midnight Publishing started in March 2002. That's a positive. There's possibly an explanation, but I've no idea what it is. The fact that in March - that God-sent month of website hedonism, when www.douglaslindsay.com looked down from the heady heights of web superstardom, as it stood mouth-wateringly on the shoulders of giants - book sales were a third of what they were in September, seems to show that there is no direct correlation between web hits and books sales. Maybe there's a correlation between blogging and book sales. So should I not blog and see if sales drop off, or should I keep blogging and see if sales drop off. Either one might prove something. Or nothing.

What I really need to do is call in PWC or KPMG or one of those other mobs of marketing accountants/consultants, and get them to figure it out for me. That's what I'd do if I was a government department. And what would the cost of £20,000/day be to the likes of me?

Apart from financially crippling, obviously.

Long Midnight Publishing's first edition of The Long Midnight of Barney Thomson is out of print, that's another notable statistic. There may be a few retailers still with some in stock, but there are no more at the warehouse. This has happened rather more quickly than expected, catching me short without the replacement edition to hand. There will be a delay of a few weeks while I panic, but it should happen fairly quickly.

Still, running out of my bestselling book... That's just the kind of genius business planning that got me where I am today.

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