Doing things in Real Life ™ is educational. Frustrating, tiring, confusing, and risky, but educational. Case in point: after writing a book comes the part you have much less control over, and a learning curve that you can’t postpone. (Or should have researched better, earlier).
I hit the big PUBLISH button on Amazon. OK, my part is done, right? Well, no, of course not. Now I have to publicize it, let people know it’s out there, while at the same time realizing I should have been laying the groundwork and telling a broader range of people earlier. Telling everyone here is easy. Make a post, done! But what about all those people that don’t know anything about the story, or me, and their eyeballs see it? What will make THEM buy it? Well, that’s the catch-22.
A friend of mine, an author, said the most reliable marketing tool is not simply positive reviews (though obviously those are better than negative), but numerous reviews. If you see something with three 5-star reviews, it carries less weight than a hundred 4-star reviews, because lots of them give an air of demand, respectability. It indicates it isn’t just some guy talking his parents and kid sister into reviewing it. But most people don’t do reviews, either thinking they are not good enough writers, or there are too many already, and one more won’t get read, or what they have to say has already been said. That’s OK. Say “what he said, and MORE!” It doesn’t have to be perfect, or fine writing. But there need to be enough that it looks popular, that will generate a much higher conversion rate (people that buy) among that see it.
I know I asked for reviews earlier, but I’d REALLY, REALLY be thankful if most of the people that read it, or are reading it, can post even a short review saying what they liked about THIS book in particular. Saying “awesome” is fine, but what made it awesome? The editing, ending, the twists, the Easter eggs, lack of typos, the writing, the format, the editing, a particular variation on some well-worn sci-fi theme, the relatability of the character, the accurate depiction of gun handling or science or swords-and-sandals combat, the lack of gratuitous sex scenes, or what? Doesn’t have to cover everything, just say “I really liked it because XYV” and give it 6 stars. I know a notorious problem with self-published books is editing and typos, for what that is worth.
I think it will get a few plugs this weekend, so it may have a lot of eyeballs seeing it. The Stars Came Back has
8 10 wonderful reviews now (thanks guys!). If I can get another twenty or more by the weekend, that will help tremendously. Not glowing and literary, just Larry the Cable Guy quality.
It’s a numbers game. You need enough buyers close to you, that know the product, to get it into the charts, then you need enough reviews to get enough people you don’t know interested to keep it up near the top of the charts, to write more reviews. More lessons later, as I learn them. Still finding out more about paid reviews, other avenues of promotion, etc.