Going Free on Amazon…and Book Reviews

In the KindleForums, I always see these HUGE numbers quoted of books being sold, and then I see my small potatoes of sells, and… I’m Happy! Thought I would say I was NOT happy? Huh? Huh? Nope.

I’m happy!

I’ve set my prices free on Smashwords, to make it free on Barnes and Noble some months back. I didn’t upload to PubIt only because I didn’t know about it until I found the KindleBoards forum, but I do like the coupon option and multiple eBook formats given by Smashwords (I might mess around with PubIt sometime later). I didn’t get any sells on my one (1) book that was not free on Smashwords (The Made). But I did get a few reviews on Barnes and Noble and a few ranks (about seven people marked the stars).

Then one of my books went free on Amazon. I didn’t do anything to get it free. The one thing I did do was connect my books with Shelfari, and as soon as I did that, one went free. Not sure if it was related, but that’s what happened (See What the Heck).

I’m small potatoes in sells, not anything that’s been listed on forums, which are hundreds of sales in days and week, but I’ve let you know that I’ve only sold about 7 books a months since this March 2011 (I’ve had the books out since 2009–things changed when I put the books for free on Smashwords/B&N earlier this year and sells trickled then to Amazon). Now that I’ve had one book Free on Amazon (my book IRID), I’ve sold 40 of my other three books. I did set two of my books to .99 for a week (The 9th Symbol and Ruby, Flesh and Heart), and that’s when it really sold. Next week, they’re going back up to 2.99…just to see what happens.

So, since IRID went free on Amazon sometime around Aug 10 or 11, 2011, I’ve had almost 8,000 downloads (over 14-15 days), and I’ve gotten three more reviews added to my one review that’s sat lonely since March 2010. I had about 3,000 downloads on my two free books on Smashwords over a period of 5 months. In the forums, people quote these numbers happen to them in just over a period of days, but mine took a week. Why is that? I don’t know. It might be the genre and my subject matter–the mixture of the two is pretty rare. However, what has happened for me for this month is better than the entire 2009 year! So, that’s why I’m

HAPPY

.

I’ve since changed the pricing on Smashword and the downloads stopped. It took almost 2 weeks for the Free status to change on Barnes & Noble. Now…I’m going to do the waiting game and see what happens.

On Amazon, it was fun being #1 in a genre for a week!! 🙂

REACH FOR THE STARS!

About Book Reviews

I’m currently writing about my new opinion on how to get readers, which includes a area about Book Reviews. It will be posted at a later date. It also includes my new opinion on not soliciting for Book Reviews. But for now, I wanted to say that because of the free books, I’ve managed to get a trickle of reviews on Amazon, as I said earlier. Then, when I registered with GoodReads, LibraryThing, and Shelfari, I saw who had it marked to read my book, who had read them, and saw a few more reviews–just little numbers:

GoodReads – 1 two-stars with a written review, 2 three-stars (1 star is “I didn’t like it” 2 stars is “OK”, 3 Stars is “I liked it”, 4 stars I really liked it and 5 stars is “Amazing”.)
Amazon – 2 two-stars and 2 five-stars (1 star is Awful, 2 stars is Poor, 3 stars Neutral, 4 stars is Good and 5 stars is Excellent).
LibraryThing – no ratings, but a few people have IRID in their queue (Star rating can include 1/2 stars, so it’s like movie ratings)
Shelfari – no ratings but 18 people have it on their shelf (1 star is “I hated it” 2 stars is “I didn’t like it”, 3 Stars is “I liked it”, 4 stars “I really liked it” and 5 stars is “I loved it”)
Barnes and Noble – about 7 ratings averaging 4 1/2 stars–no ratings on The Made (not loaded yet) and The 9th Symbol. (1 star is Poor, 2 stars is Disappointing, 3 stars is “Okay, but not great”, 4 stars is Recommended, 5 stars is “Outstanding”)

When looking at the different rating stars, you have to remember the differences. A 2-star on Goodreads is a 3-Star on Amazon.

There you have it for today. My Book Reviews without soliciting for them. So far, they are pretty neutral. I can’t wait to see more in a few months, once those who have downloaded the free versions start posting their opinions.

Negative Book Reviews

From an advice on the forums that I’ve been reading, an author should NEVER, never, never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever… comment on a negative review. Ever. I read how some authors who have commented, and things got really nasty, and really bad…really fast. Some authors just gave up and pulled all their books off the shelf, just because of this. Just remember to wear your thick skin. People are entitled to their opinions. What one reviewer might not like, another might. Some negative reviews even bring on more readers!

Example, I got two negative reviews (they at least gave me 2-stars and not 1-star), but then a 5-star came around after those and, to me, that blew the other 2-star reviews away by reading like a very thoughtful and in-depth review, in just a few short sentences! I thought, at first, that my story telling wasn’t getting across correctly, and I was discouraged and down for a few days. THEN this review came in (and my down emotions went up and skyrocketed! Thank goodness it came soon), and now I know I’ve reached at least one person on why I write what I do. I also had to remember that at the other book store, I got more 5-stars than not. See what I’m saying?

You’re going to get bad reviews. The only time to start worrying about them is if you KEEP getting bad reviews. And remember there’s different cultures and different types of readers. You’re a reader, right? There are some things you like and some things you don’t like. You might see at one store that a particular item has 5 stars and at another it just has 3 stars.

You must form your own opinion based on everything provided. Let time let you know the overall results, and don’t give up! And keep reaching for those stars!

Until next time!

2 Responses to “Going Free on Amazon…and Book Reviews”

  1. Thanks for the distinction between stars on the different websites. I will bookmark this page so I can refer to them in the future. I like your posts very much. You have an easy way of writing and explaining things.
    Good luck with your books, it’s an interesting adventure and I am also enjoying my own adventure.
    I agree about asking for reviews. They will come in their own time and they will be from readers that wanted to read my books and yours, not someone that was asked to.

    • deana72 says:

      Hi there! Thanks for stopping by!

      I just find it like a surprise gift when you don’t ask for something. Though sometime in the future, and somewhere, I know I’ll put down statements for readers like: “Hey! If you enjoyed the book, or not, feel free to comment either way. Would love to hear from you!” Book Reviews from Book Reviewers have helped many authors, but I’ve just changed my mind about asking for them. It felt the same as the query letters I’ve written years ago, which felt more like “begging,” which is a totally different feeling than “marketing and advertising”. I like to hear from readers, and especially those who can read a book for it’s enjoyment and can remove the focus on “all things technical” about a book (like those who critique a movie based on lighting, editing, acting quality and sound). Those readers who are in it for the story, for simple delight, are the ones I enjoy hearing from most. 🙂

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