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Archive for August 8th, 2017

Authors often hector their readers for reviews, which seems strange.  What?  You have no idea if I even like your work or not, and you’re asking me for my opinion?  OK…here goes!  There actually is a method to this madness.  Reviews are important to an author.  I wrote my newsletter subscribers about the importance of reviews.  I thought it important enough to post here, as well.


At the end of all my works, there’s a request for a review.  Reviews are, quite simply, your opinion as to whether you would recommend my work to another reader.  I have no doubt that there are some of you that would not recommend my work.  That’s fine–my kids don’t eat some of my cooking.

But if you do like what I have served up, please leave a review.  You don’t actually have to give your name in the Amazon system if you don’t want to.  I also won’t give you grief about your review.


Why am I asking for reviews?  Am I that desperate for an ego-stroke?  Isn’t the royalty enough?  There are very prosaic reasons that authors want reviews.
  1. Feedback Mechanism:  I need to know how my readers feel about my work. Do you want more of this and less of that?  If you don’t email me (by, for instance, replying to my newsletter) and you don’t write a review, how am I to know what you want?  Now, while I prefer that criticism is in email, and praise is in reviews, I really do want to know what you all like.
  2. Promotional Eligibility:  Many promotional services (like Book Barbarian, InstaFreebie, and others) require a work to have at least 10 reviews, and a certain average rating, in order to make the work eligible for their particular megaphone.  There are other criteria, too, but without reviews, I’m shut out of those ways of promoting my work.
  3. Industry Notice:  Industry awards are also dependent, at least in part, on reviews.  It would be nice to win an award.  I was nominated once for an award from the British Science Fiction Association, and I can’t describe the lift that gave me.

“Bill, why are you bugging us?  Why not just pay to get a bunch of click farm critters to crank out a bunch of five star reviews?”
This is going to sound corny as hell, but here it is:  I want reviews of my work to be honest feedback by my readers.  The reason for this block of text is to inform you why I want reviews, to explain their importance, and to ask you for your honest feedback.  I know other authors have a lesser punctilio in their dealings with the indie ecosphere.  Me, I want to sleep at night knowing that I did everything with honor.

“OK, then, what about ARCs?  You ask for people to read copies of your book in advance of launch in exchange for a review.  How is that not ‘paying for a review’?”
Interesting question, and one I know is on people’s mind.  It all goes back to the idea of feedback.  ARCs or ARC-like behavior is an accepted practice amongst nearly all the arts.  How many movie commercials begin with the words “Critics rave about <movie x>”?  How can those critics rave about a movie that hasn’t been released yet?  Simple–they attended an advanced screening, the movie version of a ARC.

Here’s where I differ.  I cannot  control what is in your review, or whether it appears on the book page.  Sure, you get a free book.  I don’t penalize you if you don’t write a review.  I don’t penalize you if you write a thoughtful negative review.  You are under no pressure to even write a review, although I wish you would.

I think I’ve beaten this dead horse enough, don’t you?  So, here’s a list of my works and their review links.  If you have read any of them, I am interested in your comments.  If you have not read them, please don’t write a review–that would be dishonest.


The Paradisi Chronicles Stories

God’s Sandbox 
Nuking the Noomies
Live Wire
Eye of the Needle

The Family of Grifters Stories

The Longest Con
Ownership

The Legacy Fleet Stories

Gauss

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