How To Help A Writer


Imagine this:

You go to buy a book and although it’s been out four years, it has 25 reviews.  Now, the reviews are mostly good, but still, that’s not many.  Obviously, no one buys it, so do you?

That’s the problem I have.  I have sold or given away 4,500 copies of The Dysfunctional Affair this year.  One percent came back and bought The Dysfunctional Valentine.  That means that this year, 45 copies of The Dysfunctional Valentine has been purchased…

And yet, The Dysfunctional Affair has only 25 reviews on Amazon and The Dysfunctional Valentine has 13 reviews on Amazon.

When I run an advert for The Dysfunctional Chronicles, I have very low downloads and it’s because it has so few reviews.  Imagine if the 45 people that bought Valentine had left reviews for Affair.  The downloads when I run an ad would be much better, even if the reviews were a mix of good and bad.

I’ll give you a better example of how reviews sell books:

I ran a huge ad for Tortured Dreams when it had 56 reviews.  I got almost 4,000 downloads and thought it was fantastic.  Then I did a huge drive and got it to over 100 reviews.  I ran an advert with the same email company 8 months later and had over 12,0000 downloads.  The last time I ran with them, I had over 200 reviews and had over 20,000 downloads…

This is the other reason the Strachan Series and The Dysfunctional Chronicles do not sell well.  I can get the downloads of book 1 for both series, but since neither books 1 nor books 2 have many reviews, I can’t convince people to separate with their hard earned cash to buy the second book.  Let alone any of the others.

And as much as no one wants to admit it, people don’t shop Goodreads.  So leaving a review there is nice, but it doesn’t help sell books.  People add books to their “I want” list, but putting that into practice… well, it falls a little flat because they go to wherever they buy books, see the low number of reviews and change their minds.

I know this is part of the problem because readers tell me about it.  The most recent was this:

I loved Dark Cotillion, but when I went to buy Dark Illumination it had so few reviews that I was a little worried that it wouldn’t live up to the first.  After six months, I did eventually buy it and I loved it.  I don’t know why it doesn’t have more reviews.  Do you need to market it more?

Marketing it more doesn’t help.  I market it all the time, but I have very few downloads because I have very few reviews.  So I’m just throwing money away until I can get the reviews needed to sell it.  The Dysfunctional Affair has been liked enough by 1,200 people that they bought The Dysfunctional Valentine so it should have at least 100 Amazon reviews… and yet, it has 25.

This is why I’m talking to readers about writing reviews if they like, love, or hate a book.  It’s how I sell books.  It’s how other authors sell books.  Stephen King didn’t become a Times Bestseller by having a handful of reviews for The Stand.

The most common responses are I don’t read reviews and I don’t know how to write a review.  The problem with both of those is that reviews are necessary, unless you are going to stand next to every potential buyer and tell them how much you enjoyed the book.  I don’t read reviews and until people started figuring out my Amazon user name, I always left reviews.  Writing one is easy: I loved (hated, liked) this book because the characters were (entertaining, annoying, hard to connect with) or The plot was (fast paced, boring, confusing) and kept me (interested, disinterested, shaking my head).  Viola! Done.

Also, if you love a series, don’t review just the first book.  Review a handful of them or review the ones that were your favorite.  Or review every odd number in the series or every even numbered book in the series.

Reviews where you bought the ebook is the best way that any reader can help any author.

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4 Comments

  1. Andrea

     /  November 22, 2016

    I have read all the dysfunctional books and am waiting for the next one to be published. Same thing with your Strachan series. I feel that the Dysfunctional series is a nice counterpoint to the Strachan one, which is intense and riveting.
    Sorry that i did not realize just how review driven sales are. I shall do my duty and write some. After all, I do want you to write more.

    thanks for some truly entertaining hours spent reading your books.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  2. Okay I feel properly chastised, I will leave reviews. Lol I had been doing it word of mouth and that’s how I got my sisters hooked on your writing. I better understand how important reviews are and will make sure to go back and review more. Thanks for the explanation, although it always amazes me how people just buy what I buy. You are one of the most awesome and authentic authors out there.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

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