So, a year or two ago, I decided I’d like to publish something. Anything. Just for the sake of having something out there. Just for the sake of actually finishing something. I had a novella, We Only Come Out At Night, that I’d written years and years ago and never really done much with. I dusted it off and gave it a read. It wasn’t as bad as I’d remembered. So I polished it up, made a cover, and published it—with high hopes— on Amazon Kindle.
I didn’t know anything about promotion. About Search Engine Optimization. About Kindle algorithms or keywords or categories or advertising or any of that stuff. I just wanted to publish a book. And so I did. I sent my baby out into the world.
You can probably guess what happened next. Of course, my book quickly and unceremoniously sank to the bottom of the Kindle Sea, like a mobster wearing cement shoes. And there it stayed, drowned under millions and millions of slightly less unsuccessful books, while the giants of the sea, the Kings and Rowlings and Koontzes, swam by far overhead.
Through Kindle’s free promotions I managed to give away fifty or sixty copies; I even sold three or four. But nobody felt strongly enough about it to actually leave a review, good or bad. This left me feeling strangely neutral about my work. I mean, it’s not good enough for anybody to say good things, but at least it’s not bad enough for people to say bad things, right? After a few weeks of obsessively checking my Kindle reports, I sort of gave up and forgot about it. I moved on to other things.
I don’t think it’s a bad book, per se, or I wouldn’t have published it. But I never expected it to be a blockbuster. It doesn’t exactly fit neatly into a genre. It’s kind of a sad, tragic little story. Sort of Romeo and Juliet meets The Outsiders, but with vampires. It isn’t even 20,000 words. It’s kind of angsty teen vampire fiction, and isn’t really representative of where I’m at today as a writer. And yet, I’m pretty fond of it. It’s got a special little place in my heart. So I keep hoping that someday it’ll maybe get some traction, maybe someday I’ll find out that someone wasn’t angry that they spent ninety-nine cents to read it. Someday.
Imagine my surprise when I returned from vacation, and just for shits and giggles, took a look at my Amazon sales report. I sold a book! Not only that, but that person actually read the book! And they liked it! They liked it so much they left a good review! Oh, happy day.
Witty, adventurous, and heart-wrenching, this book hooked me and wouldn’t let go! The descriptive writing had me visualizing every pleasant and disturbing moment, and everything in between. Cant wait to see what else Kincade has in store!
Omg omg omg author boner.
I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, you sold one book. You got one good review. That’s not really much to get excited about. To you I say: Shut up. Don’t you fucking ruin this for me.
So hey, if Sydney Katzen enjoyed it, maybe you might too. It’s less than that cup of coffee you bought this morning, and you can probably read it in an afternoon. And maybe, just maybe, you might leave a review and make my day.
Of course this doesn’t apply just to me. All you aspiring authors out there probably already know this, but for the rest of you who buy ebooks, the single biggest factor that determines kindle rankings, that decides whether a book shows up in searches so people can buy it and the author can make the monies, or whether a book gets sent down to the depths of Kindle hell, is reader reviews. So if you like a book, the best thing you can do for that author is simply leave a review.