Monday, December 2, 2019

Time Again for Spreadsheets

I said something yesterday about doing a post about spreadsheets over here today.  Then it occurred to me that I've probably done a similar post in years past.  So, basically, if you've heard it all before, you can skip this post.

If you've been around here long enough, you know that I'm kind of a spreadsheet geek.  (Okay, I'm a geek in other ways, too.)  I make spreadsheets for all sorts of stuff - books I acquire, weight loss, word counts, expenses...  I also do spreadsheets for work, but that's another story. 

I like being able to see the data, track the data, research the data.  Look for patterns, compare  numbers, check for errors, etc.  Whether any of this does me any good is anyone's guess.  It keeps me out of trouble.  Right now, it's the time to start working on the spreadsheets for 2020.

My two main writerly spreadsheets are for tracking book sales.  There's a small one and there's a big one.  The small one - Book Sales Data - feeds the big one - Sales Totals.

Any time I see any sales activity, I plug it into Book Sales Data.  That one has tabs for each month and on each tab, it has each book and each book has a column of dates.  It also has columns for the price it sold at and where (country-wise), pages read, etc.  So, if I sell a book today, I'd type a one in say the Dying Embers section in the $3.99 column.  Or if someone in the UK read 100 pages of Wish in One Hand, I'd put 100 in the KU UK section (which could then feed a formula in another column to give me the percent of book read).

It's all very geeky. 

Anyway, the numbers go into Book Sales Data, which then feeds the behemoth Sales Totals spreadsheet to give me yearly totals and allow me to analyze things like how many books I've sold in any given month, how much money I've made, etc.  And then compares it against previous years, etc. With things color coded by book, so I don't get lost in the data forest.
It's a rainbow! Yep, geeky.

I'm not sure I like all the colors I chose for the books, but it's there now and after all this time, changing colors would totally harsh my groove.  BOAI is brown, dammit, and it will always be brown.

I suppose this all comes from my sales/management/computer tech/data entry background.  The sales force (me) needs to know what's selling and what's not and the management (me) needs to be able to see it all at a glance, so the computer tech (me) need to put it all in a useable format so data entry (me) can input everything easily.  Umm...

I can also take all of this and be able to provide the CFO (Hubs) with answers to any questions he might ask pertaining to book sales.  He doesn't ask, but it's there if he does.  Sometimes, I just blurt out stuff like 'hey, I reached 3000 books sold this morning'.* Or I show him the graphs when compare sales by month or by year.  Because they're pretty.
Oh, to have a sales spike like May of 2015 again...

I have another spreadsheet that tracks expenses pertaining to each book, but let's not talk about that one.  It depresses me and I haven't updated it in months. I should probably do that before year end, though.  Blerg.

Now, I started doing this when I first started selling books in 2015, so it made adding to it each year relatively easy.  If you were going to do one, that's the time to do it.  If you're already years into your book sales, it can still be done, but it would be a bear to recapture all that old data if you haven't already got it.  You could start from here.  You know, if you want to be geeky like me.

And now, if you'll excuse me, I just had a geeky spreadsheet idea to fix a problem I've been having with something I do for the office.

Any questions?  Comments? 

*happened last week, but I forgot to add it to the Sunday Update.


  1. That's really cool and I'm envious! I have a loose concept of what I'm selling, but that's really it. I have a bunch of dashboards and things and haven't pulled it all together. Love the way you've set yours up!

  2. I so admire your orginazational skills. I totally suck, even though I know how to do it. I just...don't.