I know what you’re thinking. ‘Her book isn’t even out yet and she thinks she’s an expert.‘ Ah… judgemental much? You’re right, my book isn’t out yet, technically. What you might not realize though is that I’ve been working with authors by way of running a book blog, book tour company and author assisting for a couple of years now. I’ve worked for a publishing company, and I’ve done a lot of marketing for a lot of people. You also might not realize that marketing a book doesn’t start on publication day. It starts many, many months (years, preferably) before your books release day.
I know a lot of authors and I read a lot of what those authors are frustrated with, don’t understand, wish was easier, the list goes on and on. I’ve done a lot of research and studying to learn the publishing industries, that seriously change weekly. I haven’t stopped researching just because I am being published. In fact, that might have made me worse. Now MY writing career depends on knowing what the hell I’m doing.
Here is what I know.
–We don’t beg for Amazon reviews because we want to. We beg because our rankings on the bestseller lists, depend on them.
—–Author’s don’t just request readers to review their book so that nice things will be on the Amazon page. Well… we do, but that’s only part of it. Supposedly, Amazon has different ‘levels’ that your book can reach only through certain numbers of reviews. I say supposedly because there is a load of all kinds of good and bad information out there.
Here is what I’ve ‘heard‘. (which means it may or may not be true)
–10 reviews will allow Amazon to put you in the ‘other people also bought’ lists on products.
—–That’s HUGE. You want to be in those recommendation lists. I know when I search for books I go through those lists gazillion times. I’ll tell you from watching my own book before and after the 10 reviews, THIS WAS TRUE FOR ME. Maybe it’s just a fluke but sure enough, as soon as I hit 10 reviews, I started showing up on the other people bought lists.
–50 reviews will allow Amazon to feature you in its newsletters and such.
—–WHAT? So, without 50 reviews it’s basically us authors just screaming at our great-aunts to get their asses down to the senior center to pimp out our books.
Here are a few more things that I know.
–Anyone can review a book, even if you didn’t buy it.
—–So, for those of you too damn cheap to buy the book we literally spent months writing, get your little fannies over to Amazon and leave us a review. It’s seriously the least you can do. It’s pretty hard to make a ‘bestseller’ list when the readers are borrowing from their friends. Reviews will make up for that!
—–There is, of course, a ‘guideline’ for non-verified purchase reviews. Amazon has all sorts of reviewing rules that don’t fall under Monica Gellar’s ‘rules help control the fun’. In this case, Amazon is just being a pain in our ass at times by controlling how ‘close’ you can be to someone without having your review removed. Amazon’s new rule is that the reviewer has to have at least purchased $50 of some kind of merchandise via credit/debit card in order to review. And Amazon Prime doesn’t count.
–Liking reviews mean more to Amazon.
—–They for some reason consider those reviews ‘better’ than the ‘unhelpful’ ones. So, if a review was great, like it!
–$3.99 for an eBook is NOT too much (which means any price under that isn’t either).
—–Come on, you pay more than $2.99 for a cup of coffee, a pack of toilet paper, an iPhone app you’ll use once. Yet, there are STILL people out there who COMPLAIN that it’s too much! Really? Do you have any idea how much work, time and skill it takes to write a book? No? Well, I can guarantee it took a hell of a lot more than it took that 17-year-old Starbucks barista to whip up your coffee & write your name wrong on the cup. And yet, you’ll even tip them.
–Authors LOVE to hear from readers! So, send that email and tell them what you wish you could say.
—–I absolutely love seeing people posting on my Facebook page telling me they bought the book, they want to buy the book, they just received it in the post, they love this part and hate that person. I LOVE IT!
—–It’s so hard to put yourself out there for the whole world to judge you. A book is just that. Basically, I’ve given you a physical piece of me and you are allowed to tear the shit out of me for it if you feel so inclined. Don’t be one of those people who only announces the bad things. Announce the good! We love to hear it.
—–We are just regular people who sometimes need a pat on the back to remind us that what we’ve created isn’t total shit. Or if you simply need to tell us that you fell in love with a character and would like to see more, by all means, send that shit over. I’m pretty sure we could use all the ideas we can get.
–You are not entitled to a ‘free signed copy’ just because you once knew the author.
—–And here’s why… very few of us are with publishers big enough to send us all the books to giveaway that we’d like. Trust me, when I say, we’d love to send all of our second cousins twice removed, their own signed copy of our heart, but it just isn’t attainable. Most of us are indie or with small publishers and we have to buy the books we want to give away. So, when we buy them, sign them and then hand them over to you, we are losing money. Us asking you to spend less than $20 on us is us asking you to help us pay the electric bill, or get that new laptop we need to write.
—–Say my brother paints houses for a living and I need my house painted. Would it be OK for me to ask him to do it for free, or even for some deep discount? No. That’s his business and in order for him to feed his twenty-seven kids, he needs even the people close to him to pay and not hold a grudge.
–MOST authors are not rich just because they have a book out.
—–Yeah, there is the exception every now and then but likely the author you know, isn’t even close to rich. We are just regular Joe’s doing what we love. They call them ‘starving artists’ for a reason. Artists may be hella talented, but that doesn’t mean they’re having caviar and flame nin gon for every meal. Probably they are stocked full of Cheerios, Top Ramon, and 1 ply toilet paper.
—–If authors have nice things, it’s because they worked for them. Writing isn’t easy, if it was, everyone would have best-selling books. Cut us a break, a book out is not much different than that yearly expense report you’ve been working on all year. You might get a raise if you do well, we may write another book if ours even sells 150 copies in a year.
–We hate asking people to buy our books. And we never know if we’ve crossed the ‘we’re annoying the shit out of you’ line.
—–Imagine that in order to pay your bills you must convince the entire world to buy your homemade product. You love it, it’s well made, you spent a lot of time on it and other people should love it as much as you do. But, money is hard to come by now and people want to be SURE they’re getting a good deal. Even if your product is only .99 it’s not as easy to sell it as you’d think.
—–The last thing we want to do is annoy someone. So, we can’t just consistently post ‘please buy my book’. A lot of writers don’t even particularly like people at all, yet sitting back and avoiding life isn’t going to sell our book either. We have to be vocal and do a lot of talking. We have to be crafty with our marketing ideas so that you don’t even realize we’re marketing.
—–We want to talk about the book but questions like ‘what is your book about?’ are difficult to answer. Have you ever read a book that had ONE plot point? Probably, to your child, when they were three. Novels don’t have one thing that they are about. If we tell you the one thing we find the easiest to explain, you’ll need to know that other thing that led us there and then you’re going to ask if so and so gets their happy ending and if we tell you that then why the hell would you ever buy the book. It’s kind of similar to the old phrase ‘why buy the cow if they are giving the milk away for free?’.
—–We don’t want to say this to you out loud but we are DESPERATE for you to share our book posts, like/comment/and share our author FB page posts (so more than just the 17 people Facebook has deemed worthy enough see them), retweet our sale tweets, and tell every single person in your life that we have a book out, it’s good and where to buy it. WE DON’T WANT TO ASK, WE JUST WANT YOU TO KNOW TO DO IT.
—–I’ve done a little study since my book went on preorder (I’m seriously all about the research) and when a friend or family member, hell, even an acquaintance, makes a big deal out of their thoughts on the book, or even that they’ve received it in the mail, on social media that my sales shoot up within the hour. It could only be 2 new sales or it could be 10 new sales. But more people care when someone else mentions it.
Ok, so I’m going to leave you with this. I’d love to do more but I’ve already written an entire manuscript as it is. I’d LOVE it if you took the time to share this post (yup, I’m asking) with the share buttons ^up there, <over there, or below the comments.
Authors, what do you wish you could tell readers that you feel is not OK?
Readers, what do you wish you could say to authors?
leave your comment below! <3
Wanna pre-order my romantic comedy novel? I’ve LOVE if you did. It’s here –> Little Gray Dress — & the reviews thus far are AMAZING!