It seems like every time I talk to my mom, she tells me how much she loves my book. And I thank her, and brace myself for the inevitable next question.

“How many copies have you sold?” she asks.

I don’t know what she means by that question, but to me, it feels like she is trying to get some number that she can brag about to her friends. I usually don’t answer her directly. I’ll tell her that I haven’t checked lately, or that it doesn’t really matter how many copies I’ve sold at this point, that it is early in the book’s life and there’s plenty of time for the book to sell.

Sometimes I tell her that sales should pick up once I release the second book of the series, which won’t happen until after my next solo hike. Maybe before the end of the year, but no earlier than her next birthday (November).

Other times I try to look up my real time sales data and tell her the figures so she can stop asking me.

In my more charitable moments, it does occur to me that she might be asking me in order to check on whether the friends who said they would buy it have bought it or not, but I can’t tell who bought my book, just whether a copy was bought.

I have to admit that I prefer the approach of my in-laws. Every time my husband talks to his dad, it seems that he and his wife have hand sold more copies of my book, or at least shared the reading of it with some of their friends. I wish I could afford to buy a bulk of copies to send to them for direct sales.

It’s a good learning experience, writing and publishing a book. Now, if I can just get my hands on some other bit of good news to distract my mom…

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