Writing this post with a fuzzy, sick brain, so bear with me.
There are certain things in publishing that you simply have no control over. Sure, you can do things to influence sales, but ultimately, unless you’ve hired so many people to buy your book, sales are at the whim of readers. That means you can’t control your rankings either. Too bad, so sad.
The thing is there are a lot of other things you can’t control either. For instance, there is currently a glitch at Goodreads. For whatever reason their software is not calculating all the ratings and reviews into their tally up top by your book title. It appears this happened early in November, which means mid-November releases…most of them look like only a few people have read them. This? Affects sales because a lot of readers look to GR for information on what people are loving. A book that looks like only 4 people have read it? Why would they bother. But it’s a glitch. You can’t control that.
There are things that happen in house at publishers, too. For instance, I recently had a last minute change of cover art. It was for the better (to match the rest of the series), but the timing of it had a ripple effect. While I can control what I present to people, and I found a GR librarian to fix the cover there… all the retailers still have the old cover up. Could this affect sales? Possibly. Probably. Especially if someone sees me advertising with the new cover then goes looking and can’t find that…because it still has the old cover.
Other things you can’t control? Whether or not your editor stays at your publisher, or even continues editing at all. What readers think when they see your cover and how that affects what they expect from your book. If another author with a very similar name will hit big and people will forever confuse the two of you. There are a million things that, as an author, you cannot control.
So, it’s wise to go into the business with the attitude that you will fix the things you can to your best advantage. But as for the rest of it…