I’ve been writing and self publishing for about 15 months now, and there’s one thing I’ve noticed. Self published books will remain in obscurity, without consistent reviews. I’ve been watching hundreds of books as they go live. Some, like mine, will garner a handful of reviews and then stall. Others though, will gain hundreds to thousands of reviews, and are consistently at the top of all the charts. Is it because those books are better? According to the reviews themselves, I cannot say for certain.
All of my published books hold a 4.1 or greater average, with most of them above 4.7. That is great, right? Well, not so fast. I have at most, 39 reviews on any single book, but the average is far lower. I have 3 reviews on my Anthology (average of 4.7) and 39 on Linear Shift, Part 1 (average of 4.1) My other books vary somewhere in between. Comparatively, some other authors boast many more reviews – I mean a lot. Certainly in the hundreds and sometimes in the thousands. And their averages? Most of the time, they drop below the 4.0 mark, and many have an average of 3.5 or lower. But, they remain at the top of the lists. Are they better? Worse? Who knows.
To date, I have sold a meager 850 books, and have given away more than 12,000 in promotions, across all of my books. I have a total of 90 reviews on Amazon – again, across all my books. That is .7% review ratio. Not seven percent, but POINT seven percent. That’s 7 tenths of one percent. Don’t get me wrong – I’m grateful for those reviews. Beyond grateful.
From what I’ve gathered from various writer-type forums around the internet, the sales to review ratio ranges far and wide. I am below the low, but not by too much. The reported lows I’ve been seeing is 1%. If I had 1%, I’d be in the neighborhood of 130 reviews – I would LOVE to have 40 more reviews! The high average was 4%, and that would put me around 500 reviews. That is a dream number for me right now, but I can hope, right?
Let me get this straight – I am NOT complaining. Ok, I’m complaining a little. I would just like a better way to get my books into the eyes of the reader.
So … I have a new plan! For the near and foreseeable future, I will give away my ebooks. Any ebook you like, if you promise to give me a review. If you follow through with posting a review, just shoot me an email, and I will send you another ebook of your choice. Review it, email me, and I’ll send you another. This is a great deal for you and for me. You could potentially read all of my books for free, and I can get more reviews in the mean time.
What is prompting this sudden desire for more reviews is this. I have the omnibus of Linear Shift coming out in early 2015, and shortly behind that, I will be publishing 7 new “episodes” of Borrowed Souls. I would like to get as much attention to those two series’ by the time they go live.
So? What do you say? Do you want a free ebook?