It’s been weeks since I’ve given on update on my novel, A Woman Lost. I published it over sixty days ago and I have learned a lot. So far the journey has been a roller coaster. Some days it sells well and then other days sales drop like a lead balloon. At first I used to panic. Now, I try to curb that uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach and think positively. Luckily the novel has been in the top 100 in the lesbian romance category from the start. That has helped tremendously. But it has been all over the place, from number 3 to 91.
Today I want to talk about the biggest lesson I’ve learned so far. The thing that matters most is the most troublesome aspect about self-publishing, in my opinion.
Word of mouth is crucial to selling books. Customers like having reviews to read to help them decide if a novel is worth the time and money. I understand that. I do the same when I’m shopping on Amazon. The problem is, not everyone who likes the novel leaves a review. I know before I published I never did. I’m trying to correct that now. I won’t hop on Amazon and write a review for all the books I read. Maybe I should, but do I need to add another review for Pride and Prejudice? However, when I read another Indie author or writers who published with a small publisher I now try to remember to leave a few lines on Goodreads and Amazon. I understand how important they are to fellow authors.
And I’ve learned that even the short reviews help. I used to think that I would have to leave a well-thought out review that was paragraphs long. Nope. That’s not the case. Each time someone leaves a review on Amazon, long or short, I see a jump in sales. Just leaving a review helps authors because it influences Amazons algorithms. The ranking of a book is not based just on sales. Sales factor in of course, but so do reviews and other factors, like freebies and borrows. For more information on their process please visit this page. If you are an indie author or are thinking of self-publishing I recommend that you read it.
So if you are published and haven’t tried getting reviews, I advise you to start right now. If you are thinking of publishing soon, please start looking for reviewers. Even after you get reviews you have to keep getting reviews. It sucks. It’s time consuming. And it’s frustrating. Sometimes I feel like a door-to-door salesman. But when I see my sales increase it’s worth it.
That’s not the only positive. Hearing from your readers is fantastic. You learn what they like and what they don’t like. Not everyone is the same and not everyone has the same feedback. But each review has helped me with my writing. In order to improve you have to hear from your readers. I for one value each review I read. They do matter and I listen and hopefully learn.
By the way, I should mention that if you are looking for reviewers, check out my review policy on this blog. I have a stack of books right now. That doesn’t stop me from adding more. I do my best to get to them as quickly as possible. Now that my move is done I have more time. Slowly I’m getting caught up. Not only do I enjoy reading books, but I learn so much from reading. That’s why I’m constantly reading and reading all different types of books.
If you’re an Indie author, what lessons have you learned so far?