Amazon Kindle, Book Sales, Marketing/Ads, Self-Publishing, Speaking from Experience

Constructive Criticism

Welcome back blog readers,

In author news, here’s what’s going on. I thought I’d promote on Facebook and on Twitter that I am searching for readers. Not just any readers or followers looking for a freebie, but readers that would be genuinely interested in receiving a free digital copy of my book in exchange for their honest review on Goodreads.

I have to be realistic, and I know that non-fiction/memoir isn’t for everyone, especially when the truth is about childhood sexual abuse. I understand that not everybody will be able to relate, or find my story easy or fun to read.

The purpose in seeking volunteers to read/review my book is due to the fact that Amazon won’t promote my book to their customers unless my book has 20-25 reviews from verified purchases. While I have over 40 copies sold on Amazon, only 1 person has taken a moment to leave a review. ( Thank You for your review!) No, I’m not complaining, just explaining how reviews or lack thereof affect authors.

I’ve submitted my book with Bookbub in hopes that they would offer me a deal on their platform, but they won’t touch it unless the book has 20-25 reviews either Amazon or Goodreads. Amazon is strict with their ability to leave a review and a verified purchase is required. However, on Goodreads, it’s easier as they tend to consider that not all of your books need to be purchased in one place in order to leave a review/comment.

Currently my book has one 5 star review on Amazon and I just noticed that someone left a 1 star review on Goodreads. I was curious and did check the profile of the reader of the 1 star review ( I bet most of you would do the same ) just to see if she was a harsh critic with everyone (those types do exist). Since there wasn’t a comment as to what or why she disliked my book, from her profile I noticed that her preferred genre was Fiction and Children’s Literature. My best guess is that my book just wasn’t her cup of tea, and that’s fine.

I’m not upset, but my curiousity is interested to know why or what prompted the dislike. I guess it’s best not to dwell on things I have no control over. I can’t change the events that took place, my style of writing is unique to me and I won’t change what comes naturally. I’m okay not being everyone’s cup of tea, I prefer to be an acquired taste anyway.

As it sits, I’ve have 4 volunteer readers/reviewers from Twitter that seem eager to help, and I’m grateful for that. I was offered by one volunteer to do a book exchange along with leaving a review for each other. I have accepted and will make it a priority.

I do appreciate ALL honest reviews whether they end up being 1-star, 5-star or fall in the middle. For those that feel uneasy about leaving a review here are a few suggestions that are short yet effective. Reviews are not just for the author, they are also for other readers.

  • I Liked It
  • Not My Preferred Genre
  • I Recommend It
  • I Couldn’t Relate, but the story was well written.

You get the idea. Short and to the point is better than not leaving any comment (just my opinion as a consumer that relies on reviews before making big purchases).

To be continued, once there is something to report 🙂

*** UPDATE***  November 23, 2018

I now have 8 verified volunteer reviewers, 1 pending (waiting on their email address), 1 Professional book reviewer and 2 online book promoting services to help spread awareness about my book.

What I learned last night is that if you are giving out FREE copies of your book in exchange for a review, the reviewer MUST state that in addition to their review (On Goodreads especially) but I suppose it’s good practice to make that statement up front as to not go against the terms of service.

A BIG Thank You to those Twitter followers that really stepped up to help a new author!




1 thought on “Constructive Criticism”

  1. Just an update: It’s been 5 days since this post and there are 7 volunteer readers all from Twitter that have offered to read Breaking the Cycle of Abuse: My Journey from Victim to Survivor and leave an honest review on Goodreads. So far, all 7 reviews are pending as I suspect the holiday season is keeping them busy. There isn’t a deadline, but I probably should have set December 31st as a date for my own peace of mind. What I did find interesting is that I posted the offer on Facebook and Twitter and I’ve had zero response on Facebook (people I actually know that read my book) didn’t offer to leave a review. I’ve learned that my target audience is other survivors, people that have endured a similar trauma and can relate. Just a shout out to the volunteers from the Twitterverse, THANK YOU!


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