|The Man. The Myth. The Legend.|
Steve asked me to write a few words about When Pigs Fly receiving 100 Amazon reviews. How did it happen? And (Steve is too polite to ask) so what?
It took patience and persistence. When Pigs Fly came out as a paperback in late 2006, and the first volley of reviews came from close friends from my writers’ group. Just one relative posted a review, which he only wrote because he could honestly be positive. Generally, it’s best to leave your relatives alone. For many reasons, don’t put them on the spot.
There weren’t that many reviews until the $2.99 Kindle versions came out at the beginning of 2012. KDP (Kindle Desktop Publishing) offered a great platform to distribute my three novels widely—over 100,000 e-copies, including of course a ton of freebies, assuming you can measure e-books by the ton.
But It Isn’t Enough To Publish An E-book: People need to know it’s out there. Twitter is a great tool for getting the word out about your book. The bad news is that it takes time and effort. The good news is that it’s free and reaches lots of potential readers. How to effectively use Twitter is a separate subject, but learning isn’t hard.
If you’re giving away copies, tweet about it. If you need reviews, tweet about it. Ask for honest opinions. And if you’re asking a specific person, say by email or face to face, just ask once and move on. Don’t nag. It’s not worth it. A friend of mine said she liked all of my books but wouldn’t write reviews. That’s fine. Friendships trump reviews every time.
Anyway, you should quickly get to the point where you’re leaving your friends alone. (Mostly.) You really, really want to hear from strangers, people who owe you nothing, never mind four or five stars. Two of my reviews wrote “Not worth my time” and “Big disappointment.” Another says the author must have a lot of friends and relatives to have so many reviews for such a mediocre book!
But My Favorite 1-star Review Said, “The best part of this book was putting it away for good.” Comments like that just lend credibility to the many good ones. And just so you know, 89 of the 102 reviews are at least four stars. So there, “Terrible, just terrible.”
Get used to the fact that every book has its critics. If you get a bad review that’s unfair, others will see it for what it is. Never let it ruin your day. And if it’s fair, then maybe it’s feedback you need anyway.
So Let's Wrap This Up by answering the “So what?” question. Most people don’t read through every review of a book, or even any review. If you get a good comment, use it for leverage. Here’s a Twitter example with a phrase from the latest Amazon review:
102 reviews 4.4 stars for When Pigs Fly bitly.com/bobsanchez #kindle "hysterically funny" #humor #crime Not for kids
You can use an especially nice comment for signs and posters, such as the one in the photo. Don’t let great feedback go to waste!
Let's Give It Up For Bob: 100 Amazon reader reviews is an amazing milestone to reach! Congrats Bob, thanks for stopping by, and here's to another 100 reviews. You can check out Bob's blog HERE.
Steve's Science News and Other Fun Stuff: Once again I'll be at the Blogging A to Z Challenge every first and third Thursday of each month beginning September 19th! You'll want to tune in for that as we will be covering the awesome and amazing latest and greatest in physics, science, and other fields of science.
Who: On December 9, 2013 One person will be roasted via popular vote. This someone is a constant presence, is positive, possesses integrity, is involved in the online community (participating and hosting), is supportive of others and is a major force in the blogging community.
How: Once launched, each host has seven days to review comments and the selections made via their comments and pick one. We then present our selections and the co-hosts vote from that point. The recipient (Roastee) is announced at least two weeks out and folks can join a Linky ahead of their roasting posting. Details to follow!
Author Of The Week: Yolanda Renee and her recent release Murder Madness & Love. Just click on the icon at the top of my right side bar.