2. Check the reader reviews of your book on Amazon. Are there any new ones? Have the old ones at least garnered votes?
3. Have your name plus your book title be a Google Alert term. Do the same thing for Yahoo News Alerts. If you don’t get a Google Alert for a few days, worry.
4. Call the Ingram number (615-213-6803) to see how many of your book it has in stock, how many it has on order, how many have sold this week, and how many have sold last week. Try to figure out what percentage of all books sold this represents. Advanced obsession: Buy a phone card so that you can call the number at work, too.
5. Go to all the bookstores near your house. Check to see if they have your book in stock. Obsess if they don’t. Obsess even more if the chain bookstore clerk doesn’t seem to care when you tell them you are a local author, and when they airily say that anyone who wants the book could always special order it.
6. See if your library has an online database of magazines and newspapers. Search it for any mention of your book. Obsess if you don’t see many or any. Join Wall St. Journal for a free two-week trial and search their database (if you can stand it, it’s best to wait to do this until a couple of months after the book is out). Again, search their database of magazine and newspaper articles for any mention of your book. (And remember to cancel before the two weeks are up.)
7. For professional fretters only: Find a similar book that was published around the same time yours was. Check this book’s Amazon ranking, Ingram numbers, and reviews. Obsess if it seems to be doing better than yours.