Photo Credit: Care and Cost
Okay guys, I’d say that more than 95% of all the writers I’ve come across on WordPress are either unpublished, self-published, or published via vanity press that accepts “submissions.” I have come across very few writers, if any, who are traditionally published. So all these writers I’m talking about likely face the same problem…getting people to review their books. Let’s discuss.
So you wrote this fantastic book that you’ve been working on for the past two years. You have your little blog set up so that you can tell the world about your release day. You wake up bright and early just to check to see if the Amazon page has updated to show your book as available rather than for pre-order. You write an excited blog post for all of your 82 followers to hopefully see and perhaps even read. You get some congratulatory comments from people you’ve never met who say that they’ll check it out. You become even more excited than you already were. Then you turn to your other social media platforms and tweet or post a status update about your book telling all of your friends and family to buy and review it for you. More congratulatory remarks. But then you check your KDP account and see one sale. You’re thinking of all the people who may have read your blog post or tweets or status update and can’t believe that a few more people didn’t just buy the damn thing for two bucks. So you figure people are just waiting a little while. You check each day for the next week and see a couple of new sales that you attribute to your parents and your siblings. Then a week has passed since your release day and still no reviews.
This is when the reality sets in. This is hard. You try your best not to spam every person you know, but you can’t help it. You NEED to know what people are thinking about your work. And then out of nowhere, a review! You read it all the way through and see that most of the points raised in the review are valid. But it’s only three stars. You figure it’s better than one or two, right? Then another review comes in raising the exact same points as the first, but this time it’s only two stars. Now you’re worrying that everyone hates your work. The first dozen reviews all say the same thing. You did this, left this question unanswered, didn’t let a character develop, blah blah blah. It doesn’t matter. If everyone is seeing the same thing, then it must be true. This is when you stop checking for new reviews altogether. They all say the same thing anyway.
That’s my little hypothetical about what I think some writers experience when it comes to reviews of their book. I’ll be honest, I think I’ve read every review of my book on Amazon. I know I have. Some were nice and others were brutal, but I wasn’t sitting on my bed crying myself to sleep because I got a one star review. Nope. I can’t really tell you why I read them, but I did. I almost feel foolish admitting that because imagine if JK Rowling or Suzanne Collins or John Green read the reviews of their books. Ha.
Tell me about your experience with the reviews of your book. Have you read them? Ignored them? Maybe a mix of the two?