Recently, both Jellicle Girl and Weight of Earth were accepted to StoryCartel.com—a website that matches up readers with books in exchange for their honest reviews, posted on Amazon.com.
The only catch? I had to agree to let them give my books away free for twenty days.
Isn’t the point to sell books? Why would I give my work away for free? These books took years to write!
Yes, and without reviews, I’m not likely to sell more than a copy a week—if that. Certainly not making enough to live on, or even to continue writing.
This race is tougher than conception.
With 3500 ISBN numbers being issued daily in the United States alone, readers are at sea trying to decide what to read. Deviating from the Bestsellers list might pay off, but reading an unknown book may also leave a reader disappointed.
Will they take a chance on my book? Not if it only has four reviews.
Statistics show that a book needs at least twenty-five to thirty reviews in order to be considered “worthwhile” to read. Yeesh.
No wonder some authors pay for reviews.
I do not.
Why? Because paid reviewers often don’t read the books, and I don’t want one-line reviews referring to my “excellent vampire novel” that leave my real readers scratching their heads and wondering if they missed the vampire chapter in Jellicle Girl…
I love 2-star reviews!
Okay, no I don’t, but like a kid who’ll take negative attention over nothing, authors accept the risk of bad press to get more positive reviews. Even the one and two-star reviews teach me something about my writing, so I’ll take a negative review over no review any day.
Specifically, three and four-star reviews validate the writing. No novel is perfect. I hardly ever leave a 5-star review, and I’m actually pleased when someone leaves me a four-star, because it shows they’ve read the book, and have taken it seriously enough to critique some areas that I could improve upon.
Readers should consider leaving reviews if they want more books from their favourite authors.
If nobody buys the work, royalties go into the toilet and writers have to take day jobs. This means less writing time, and fewer books on the shelves. It also makes for miserable writers. 😛
So, give your favourite author an “any-holiday-of-the-year” gift and log on to Amazon.com to leave them an honest, heartfelt review.
Merry Christmas to all!