It’s August, isn’t it? Summer’s last fling, so to speak. Although, I must admit that I’d like it if it flung some cooler weather and rain our way. I am not quite ready for Fall yet, and certainly not for Winter, but some more moderate Summer days would be nice.
The Summer Sale promotion at Smashwords ended yesterday. I put the three paid books I have there on sale for the month of July. The fourth is already free, so it didn’t need the coupon code added. I got a number of downloads of the free story, and a few sales (some of the one discounted to free, so no royalty there). I wouldn’t call it a rousing success, but it wasn’t a complete failure, either. I will probably do it again when they do their Winter Sale later in the year. Now, if I could just get some of those people to write a review!
Because, the thing is, reviews do help. And not just the five star, glowing praise reviews. A lot of people are suspicious of those. I have to admit that when I am shopping online for something, I look at the five star reviews, of course, but I look more closely at the three and four star reviews. Those tend to have a bit more detail to them, and often will list both good and not so good stuff about that item. And I will also look at two and one star, although I often find the one stars are kind of irrelevant. Just a made up example of what I mean:
Item: Knit gloves with extra long cuff. Size: extra small
Review: 1 star. I was very disappointed that these gloves did not fit my extra large hands. And the cuff would have been far too long if they did fit.
Huh? Reading some of those type make me wonder if some people even bother to read the description of the item they are buying, never mind the reviews!
Anyway, I digress. People do read reviews when looking at books to buy. And, from what I have heard from both writers and readers, they don’t need to see 500 five star reviews to decide to buy. A well-written, honest review can tell you a lot about whether or not you will like a book. Let’s face it- blurbs and publisher-provided descriptions are purposely meant to sell the book. And sometimes it is hard to really know if a book will be enjoyable from those blurbs. Heck, they ALL sound good! Reviews can and do narrow that down, and help people choose books they will enjoy.
Now, I know not everyone is going to like everything, and sometimes, everyone buys something they thought they would like, but don’t. And there’s where the honesty in reviewing helps. You might say it wasn’t a bad book, but I don’t really like a lot of swearing in books I read, and this one had too much for my taste. Okay, that’s fine. The next person who reads your review might think: Well, I don’t mind swearing and it looks like a good read. Okay. I’ll try it.
It’s an ongoing struggle, especially for those of us who are independently published. So, hey, here’s request. If you read a book and you like it (or even if you don’t and have good reasons for that), write a review. It doesn’t have to be long or impressive in its content. It really, really helps. Believe me. (And if you’ve read one of my books and haven’t reviewed it: Pwetty Pwease?)
(Image from livescience.com)
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