Watching my author rank, but not too closely 2014
Not sure I ever got a screen shot or noted my Amazon author rank numbers during my first year as a published author, but before it rolls off the chart, here's my second and much of my third:
It fluctuates a lot—do not base your self esteem on this number—but it's clear that having two books out helps a lot. It'll be very interesting to see what happens when I add a third to the mix, which I hope to do next year.
I suspect that the few dramatic drops in 2014 (one of which was on my birthday, which I find rather uncivil) relate not so much to my books' performance, but rather to dramatically good performance of one or more other books in their category. That July downturn correlates well to a lot of social media chatter, for instance, about Jeffrey Morgenthaler's Bar Book, and I'm guessing many purchases of that excellent tome.
Wonderful light 2014
sunset view of the Golden Gate Bridge as we approached Fort Mason from the east
Taken on July 27, 2014 at 12:59PM
Uploaded to Flickr on July 28, 2014 at 10:02PM: http://flic.kr/p/oxgWgX
bought an audiobook 2014
Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
Beware the UPS Store (or Mailboxes Etc or similar) mailbox 2014
Warning: If you sign up for a mailbox at a non-USPS location, you will not ever be able to file a change of address for it with the postal service.
Also, it's probably a franchise, meaning UPS (with their potentially-consumer-benefiting concerns about maintaining their brand) has no control over pricing, meaning the store might decide to double the fee for that mailbox at some point and leave you with a tough choice.
CRMAs are required to offer mail forwarding services for six months, but they can (and do) charge for them. So far as I am aware UPS Stores do not offer forwarding for a closed box for longer than that six month minimum.
Yes, it's nice to have a non-home-address to use for business or other purposes, but be aware that there are serious flexibility issues with signing up for CRMA (Commercial Mail Receiving Agency) services.
Update July 25, 2014: Just spent 51 minutes on the phone with USPS. The person I spoke with said her supervisor told her that you can put in a change of address from a CRMA address to a street address or USPS P.O. box. I'm going to try that and hope it works.
My particular UPS Store, while not bending on their pricing which is now 4x the cost a USPS box, did say that it is their policy to hold mail from terminated boxes for a little while and to turn it over to the former box owner if they check in, after which they return it to the postal service. It is unclear what would happen to that mail then. It's already been delivered, but maybe a change of address could kick in.
But no. After trying to submit the change of address, I got this on the USPS website:
"Mail addressed to an addressee at commercial mail receiving agency (CMRA) is not forwarded through the USPS. The CMRA customer may make special arrangements for the CMRA operator to re-mail the mail with payment of new postage. A CMRA must accept and re-mail mail to former customers for at least 6 months after termination of the agency relationship. After the 6-month period, the CMRA may refuse mail addressed to a former customer. The Application for Delivery of Mail through Agent (PS Form 1583) requires an addressee and agent to comply with all applicable postal rules and regulations relative to delivery of mail through an agent. For more information on mail forwarding regulations, contact your local Postmaster."
I have not been offered any mail forwarding service from the UPS Store and it sounds as though they would immediately put in a termination notice with USPS for accepting my mail. Not sure what that means would happen to any of my mail, but seems as if it would be destroyed or returned to sender.