Troubled times at Dude? HQ – I’ve developed a horrific case of Amazonitis, checking my sales ranking hourly.

Alright, alright – jeezus, what is this? – I’m lying, I’m lying… Yes, it’s much more like half-hourly.

What’s a sales ranking? You’ve probably never noticed this number – and why would you? – but it sits below the ‘Average Customer Review’ line and is well known as being ‘crack cocaine for authors’, who obsessively check it to see how their book is selling. Addiction to this lethal practice means signing up for a lifetime of pain-slash-pleasure, revelling in the glorious highs of a rise – and squirming from the punishing shame-spiral that follows a dip.

Updated hourly by the Amazon Oompa Loompas, this little number is a rare peek at whether Dude? is flying off the shelves – or being left to gather dust in a damp basement boxroom. (All publishers take yonks to get this information – don’t ask me why).

Happily, today was a good day. I had my highest ranking so far – coming in at an impressive 10,596.

Was it a computer glitch? Had my mum just placed another bulk order? Who cares! For the 60 minutes that followed this momentous news, I basked in the glory that comes with knowing that you are the 10,596th biggest-selling author on

In my excitement, I even printed out the page, in order to capture the moment on paper.

This has got to stop.

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