Review Thoughts

Okay. So, I have an idea, and a complaint. The idea, I can do something about. The complaint… well, it may just be the way things are.

But first, the idea.

I think that one of the biggest challenges is getting reviews. It’s this circular scenario where, to get a sale, you need a review. To get a review, you need a sale. Sure, you can twist some people’s arms and get them to read your book ahead of release, and then hopefully get some more reviews after release, but it’s still a tricky thing. I only got reviews from about 25 percent of my early readers, and thankfully have added a few more since then, but there needs to be more for this to work.

But life is busy and tricky, and when I’m asking someone to read my book, I’m competing with busy social, professional, and family lives for my potential reader’s attention. You’d either have to be an egomaniac or an idiot (or both) to expect people to give up that much time. Honestly, it’s totally awesome whenever anybody does it. I mean, if they read your story, they’re choosing that as entertainment over many, many, MANY other options.

So, I’ve had an idea. It seems to me that part of the problem is that people’s time is limited. However, people far cleverer than I have had ideas about how to get rid of that problem–multitasking. And the best way to multitask while “reading” is to not read at all. Nope! Instead, listen to an audiobook!

Now, I tried doing a professional reading of Home to Roost back before I’d even released the print/ebook edition. But I dropped the project. I have the materials available to do it (I think), but I’m not entirely positive that it would be high enough quality for Audible, and right now don’t want to go through the hassle of figuring out if it is or not.

But my epiphany was Hey! Why not do a good-enough audiobook? Not one to sell, necessarily, but one for my early readers? Maybe, just maybe, that would help expand the number of early readers that I have, and hopefully by quite a bit. Then (again, hopefully) I’d be able to get more reviews early on, and have more success with selling to other potential readers.

The nice thing about it is that I already do an out-loud reading as my final read-through before publication. All I need to do is setup a microphone and do some editing afterwards.

Anyways, that’s my plan. We’ll see how it goes.

My complaint is this: I got my first one-star review. It sucks. The reviewer warned all potential readers not to “waste their time” on Home to Roost.

Oh well. I knew that not everybody would love my work. Still stinks, though. She said it was too weird and dark. Of course, based on her Goodreads lists, it was the first time in her life she’d ever picked up a horror book. Unfortunately, my book was the one where she discovered that she didn’t like a genre.

The other thing is that Amazon gives me reports on how far people are reading in my books. It’s not that detailed of a report, but it gives me a solid idea. I know that my one-star-reviewer didn’t finish Home to Roost, and that’s perhaps the most upsetting bit. She read 75 percent of it in 3 days, which is way faster than I read most books–and especially faster than I read books that I don’t even like. But, then she stopped reading and warned others to do the same.

And that’s just lame. It’s like walking away from a joke before the punchline, and then telling people that the joke wasn’t funny. It’s like watching a biography of Ulysses S. Grant, then shutting it off halfway through and saying, “Yeah, that guy was totally lame. He showed promise early on, but then after the Mexican-American War was just a drunk and a failed businessman.”

Bah! And, by the way, she did say that my book showed promise early on.

Okay, complaint over. I’ll try to never do that again on here.

2 thoughts on “Review Thoughts”

  1. Yup, that’s comments for ya. Having been in a position to receive comments (some of them negative) for a few years now I can say the sting may never completely fade. You always want to make people happy and those few that don’t get it might still irk you a bit. You’ll laugh about it more as time goes on though and people who are a better fit for your work will continue to affirm your hunch that it’s actually worth publishing and not for avoiding. Chin up and keep it up!

    1. Thanks. I think one of my favorite things I’ve heard regarding negative reviews came from the author James Patterson. He said, “Thousands don’t like my work. Millions do.” Or something to that effect. I guess, so long as the positive outweighs the negative, then things are probably still okay.

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