I don’t know who said that first … or it very well could be my variation on a Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers’ quote (I’d rather have drugs in times of no money than money in times of no drugs) Whatever the case, my recent post raised a world of controversy over at Reddit.com. I thought that my belief, which happens to be from my taking of the self publishing world pulse, was the accepted wisdom and norm. Apparently, some disagree.
To reiterate, I advised self published authors to – 1. Offer your book free in order to generate reviews 2. Consider doing review exchanges with others 3. Join an Indie Author group 4. Promo your books on Twitter 5. Reach out to people who regularly do reviews on Amazon of books in your genre.
The Reddit crowd shot me down like I was a duck in hunting season. The first issue I have with their (harsh, no holds barred) critique of my post was the fact that I clearly stated in the post that this was my experience and that it was somewhat limited. That said, it also seems obvious that what works for one writer won’t necessarily work for another. It’s hit and miss.
The collective crowd at reddit went on to claim that Reviews are of absolutely no value whatsoever – this goes against everything I have ever read about getting sales on Amazon but again, that may be their experience and I respect that, even if I don’t agree.
It seems to me that a book on Amazon is like that first big High School dance. Everyone is standing around, chatting and the band is playing but the dance floor is empty. Who will be the first to start dancing? Or like an standing ovation at a concert. Who ever started a standing Ovation? Or the wave at a football game. No one starts the tide but once it begins, you get caught up in it. So when someone finds your book and sees that 20 or so people have gone before them, they are more likely to buy.
This is far from a precise science. Again, better to have the reviews than not.
One critic actually mentioned that the best way to get reviews is to sell books. WOW! There’s a bit of amazing advice. Every hear of a little literary work called ‘Catch 22?’
Yet another critic of my post mentioned that you have to have a great cover – Ok, that’s a given. Then he went on to spew his two thumbs up opinion about all the Formulaic strategies for hooking a reader – Catchy first sentence, catcy first paragraph, first page etc. So the gist of it is that our entire hope of selling a book lies within the ‘sneak peak – look inside’ function of Amazon Kinde. How sad is that? Doesn’t this mean that literature will be narrowed to a single ‘one page’ format and that if you don’t get that first page dumbed down and working like a soda pop jingle or an ad campaign slogan, your hopes of selling are nil?
So in closing, to each his own. Or as we say in Mexico, every head is a world. I’ll cling to the hope that reviews are going to bring readers my way, that I am slowly creating a fan-base and that when I do hit that one great, great story that appeals to everyone, that they will go back and read my back catalogue too.
Meanwhile, my flawed methodology has brought in another review.
4.0 out of 5 stars
An Engaging Collection of Short Stories About Abused & Neglected Dogs in Mexico, September 23, 2015
Mexican Mutts, Tequila Pups, & Chili Dogs is an engaging collection of short stories. It’s a mix of true tales and fiction stories. It explores the disheartening world of abused and neglected dogs in Mexico. Although there is a lot of sadness to the stories, there are some happy endings. The stories are well written and even though I consider myself more of a cat person ( I do have a dog, too), I found them to be entertaining and informative. Because of the serious and sometimes disturbing content of animal abuse, I did have to take breaks from reading at times.
Have a Great Day.
David Gordon Burke
Find my books here.