Sales and reviews, a catch 22

Sales and reviews, catch 22

As a new author, nothing so far has been more elusive than the all mighty review. Or should that be the sale?

For my debut novel, Tied, I worked my hardest to make sure the product I was putting out into the world was the best I could make it. I let people know, created a bit of buzz beyond my immediate family and close friends, and sent out preview copies of my book to anyone who requested it.

Everyone’s different and I’m sure there will be many people who will dislike my novel. So far, I haven’t heard from them. For the most part, I haven’t heard from anyone directly, bad reviews or good. It’s always been “a friend of a friend of so-and-so read your book and really liked it” or comments from immediate family and friends. I am grateful to hear those comments, really I am, but deep down I hope a review on Amazon might bubble up as a result.

For an indie publisher, and for climbing the ranks in Amazon, both sales and reviews count. Reviews lend credibility to a product. Credibility for a product helps drive sales. They go hand in hand. My challenge is I have neither and I need both.

Amazon doesn’t help things either. I understand they will delete any review they deem to be “from someone I know”. That doesn’t leave many people on my list who can “legitimately” leave a review that won’t get nuked by Amazon.

My challenge is to try and find readers who will leave reviews. I have a few strategies in mind and will test them out in the coming months.

But my parting words are this: If you read an book from an indie publisher or self-published author, and you like it, PLEASE leave a review on Amazon stating how much you liked it (close friends and immediate family sadly excluded 🙁 ). Reviews help increase sales which increase the odds that we indie authors can quit our jobs and write more books in less time. What a wonderful world that would be.

I’m going to keep writing. Please keep reading and reviewing.

Since 1992, Lee has worked within the visual and dramatic arts landscape as a graphic designer, illustrator, visual effects artist, screenwriter and author.

Leave a comment