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Discussion in 'Indie Writing, Publishing & Marketing Discussion' started by PaulineCreeden, Jan 11, 2012.
Wrote a new article on my blog today!
I've been checking on Amazon and Barnes and Noble nearly every week since my first book came out in October. I haven't had any reviews yet, 3-star or otherwise. I'm wondering whether that means nobody has bought my book, whether nobody liked it, or whether nobody could be bothered posting any reviews... Has anybody had similar occurrences?
two of my books came out in October, one in Dec, and one in Jan. The two in October have 5 reviews and 7 reviews. The one with 5 reviews has had approx 5000 downloads (most free) and the one with 7 reviews has nearly 10,000 downloads (almost all free) yet with the thousands of people who may or may not have read the book, only 12 reviewed it. And of those 12, I personally know about 7 of the reviewers. (and I also have 3 reviews on goodreads - from people I do not know). On BN.com - I've only had one rating, no reviews. And on iBook, I've had about 10 ratings, but no review.
SO here's my advice - if you have a few friends (even internet/facebook friends) who are willing to read and leave a review, give them a book. Ask anyone who did a beta read for you to leave a review. Look at Amazon's top reviewers who like to read work in your genre and give them a free copy of your book after confirming they are willing to read and review.
You can't leave reviewing to chance at first - you must solicit a bit in the start.
Pauline, you didn't mention in your post that even following all those directions and going throug every editing proceedure imaginable, there can still be errors. And it's not just self-published, traditional publishers are cutting back on proofreaders and editors so numerous errors are found in traditionally published books also.
Where the e-book is concerned, some formatting programs are problematic and throw in extra letters or subsitute words in the upload document, while a file can be corrupted in the download process depending upon the device. Amazon has recalled many of the Kindle Fire for reported problems. None of which the author is aware of after uploading a perferctly formatted and edited document, but the reader sees and naturally assumed it's all the author's fault. I wrote a recent post of this widespread problem. http://allonbooks-thekingdomofallon.blogspot.com/2011/12/pervasive-e-book-conversion-problems.html
I have offered free books on Facebook and Twitter to those who agree to write a review. Not a lot of people have taken me up on it but a few have. They left some decent reviews too.
Hi ShawnLamb - you are right! No matter how many filters you have for your book, some particles of error will make it through!
Also I failed to mention that NO MATTER WHAT YOU DO - you're still going to get the occasional 3 star and below review. It should be your goal to make them rare, right?
For example - I got a 2 star review on Goodreads - then looked at what other reviews the guy did and he gave 2 stars to Mere Christianity by CS Lewis. and 5 stars to Twilight and the Shack. Needless to say, I didn't feel so bad about the company I was rated in.
LOL, Pauline. Reviews are so subjective there is no rhyme or reason to them, which is why I don't seek them. After my 1st and only blog tour arranged by a publicist in early 2010, I let the reviews come naturally, so I don't have many. If people what to write them, fine. Actually, I have more reviews and ratings on Goodreads for my books than Amazon. My dilemna is I write in 2 genres, YA fantasy and Christian historical fiction. Kids don't write reviews, while the prevailing attitude that authors must have reviews can become a vicious cycle for an author seeking to fulfill a fickle demand.
I've found that reviews are definitely hard to come by, even when solicited, and honestly, I am a little soured on reviews, because I feel like the star rating process has lost its meaning. To me, it seems to me the world fails to reserve the 5 star rating for items that are truly exceptional, and the stigma of getting anything under 4 stars has narrowed the range people actually use. A lot of this has to do with the way Amazon tends to sort products due to ratings--authors are in a position of soliciting an avalanche of insincere 5 star reviews so their products don't get buried.
My two books only have just over a dozen reviews between them, and I'm glad people have enjoyed my work and taken the time to say so. However, it feels weird to me for my ratings to be equivalent to works in my genre I know are far better and more sophisticated than my work.
Reviews are subjective. Even if your book is perfect, there will still be someone who doesn't like it. So far, I've only had one 3 star review, but it was from someone who doesn't like fantasy. She agreed to read and review my book, but doesn't like the genre. :blink: So, I just shrugged and said, "At least she read it." LOL.
*** Doing a blog tour is how I was able to get so many reviews. It costs if you have to send out the books, but I knew that would be the case. I have to keep a budget for publicity and advertising. I made sure to record how much I spent on each book plus the mailing.***
***Also, I made sure to ask the bloggers to post their reviews not only on their blogs but on Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble.com, Goodreads.com, and Shelfari.com. About 1/4 did so, but at least some did!***
M.C., yes, the first blog tour cost, but when my latest book The Huguenot Sword was released in November 2011, I networked with other authors so during November each day was filled with promotion on either a blog, twitter, website, forum post, etc.. This was done by barter - to return the favor and host others when their book was/is released. I didn't spend a dime. It wasn't a true "blog tour" in the sense I visited each place I was mentioned everday during the whole month to interact, but not a day went by where I wasn't on at least one outlet. November turned out to be my best month of sales.
What a great idea, Shawn! I'm contacting some bloggers with high traffic and asking if they want to do an interview with a contest.
Looked at your profile. I'm in to help you! In fact, if you visit my website http://www.allonbooks.com you'll see we have much in common. I write YA allegorical fantasy, and responded to the request of homeschool parents to create a Parent Study Guide for my series. I have around 185 followers, approximately 2,000 + visitors a month.
Oh! That would be great! My personal email is firstname.lastname@example.org. We can chat about stuff. :lol:
Touch base Monday!