Author Topic: I'll never learn - Stop asking for reviews!  (Read 865 times)  

Offline Rod Little

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I'll never learn - Stop asking for reviews!
« on: June 27, 2020, 09:23:45 pm »
For some reason I decided to revisit a few review clubs and put my latest book out there for a couple of reviews. Why? Insanity is doing something again and again expecting a different result. EVERY review I've asked for (begged for, let's face it) was bad. And usually starts with "... this is why I hate horror..." or "...this is why I never read this genre..."  WHY in the hell would you agree to review a book in a genre you never normally read. For some reason, people like to take free books and say "thank you" by peeing all over it. What's wrong with people? Just say "No thank you, I don't read that genre."

95% of my reviews from people who bought the books at full price are good.
50% of reviews after a .99 sale are good / half are bad.
0% from Free giveaways or review clubs are good. None.

Lesson: Just be patient. If someone likes this genre and liked the blurb enough to pay full price (6.99 or 7.99) then the review is likely to be good (or at least honest). At least it's in their pool, in their wheelhouse.

My perfect record of 5-star reviews on Goodreads (12) was ruined by me! haha. I'm my own worst enemy. I asked two reviewers to review it and they trashed it. One even misspelled the name of the town 3 times and was so "off" I think he didn't read the book (after all it had only been 1 day since the request). I suppose you can read a book in a day, but he didn't. He glanced at it.

Anyway, I never cared about reviews. I don't read them before I buy a book. But apparently others need permission from strangers to spend the price of a coffee. Not sure why.

So: the lesson is PATIENCE. Don't rush it. Stop asking for reviews! Just let them come by actual paying readers.

That's my daily rant. I learn things slowly.  :D  (I know I'll get tomatoes thrown at me now by those who LOVE reviews and LOVE the review clubs to death) Let the tomatoes begin!  ;D

Sci-Fi, Horror, Post-apocalyptic, Alien Invasion
Rod Little | website | Book Trailer | Twitter | FB

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    Offline Kathy Dee

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    Re: I'll never learn - Stop asking for reviews!
    « Reply #1 on: June 27, 2020, 10:09:12 pm »
    My perfect record of 5-star reviews on Goodreads (12) was ruined by me! haha.

    When you have a perfect record, there is only one way to go, so at least you got that out of the way. But I completely agree with what you have said about reviews. As I have a habit of making my books free, periodically, in amongst the majority of good reviews, I get a small amount of similar nonsensical reviews too. What can you say? At least it's character building.

    Offline Rod Little

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    Re: I'll never learn - Stop asking for reviews!
    « Reply #2 on: June 27, 2020, 10:16:31 pm »
    When you have a perfect record, there is only one way to go, so at least you got that out of the way.

    Haha, I never thought of that. Good point! 


    Sci-Fi, Horror, Post-apocalyptic, Alien Invasion
    Rod Little | website | Book Trailer | Twitter | FB

    Offline MaxDaemon

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    Re: I'll never learn - Stop asking for reviews!
    « Reply #3 on: June 28, 2020, 03:35:32 am »
    Haha, I never thought of that. Good point!

    It's like getting that first door ding in your new car. It gets it over with.

    Of course, I'd rather it be a single ding than the whole side of the car smashed ..



    V.R. Tapscott | Electrik Ink

    Offline jb1111

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    Re: I'll never learn - Stop asking for reviews!
    « Reply #4 on: June 28, 2020, 04:06:21 am »
    Reviews are always a mixed bag. Sometimes you get the odd reviewer that wants to play literary critic -- but, for the most part, they mean well. And other readers probably pick up on that when that happens.

    The short crash and burn reviews can hurt, but in my case they haven't really affected sales negatively. It's a wash.

    Offline notjohn

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    Re: I'll never learn - Stop asking for reviews!
    « Reply #5 on: June 28, 2020, 06:23:48 am »
    >95% of my reviews from people who bought the books at full price are good.
    >50% of reviews after a .99 sale are good / half are bad.
    >0% from Free giveaways or review clubs are good. None.

    A bit overstated, perhaps, but it certainly confirms my experience. I think freebies and 99-centers are folly.

    Since I review for pay, let me add that there is a bias in newspaper and magazine reviews toward favorable reviews. I've had the experience -- most recently, a couple weeks ago -- of savaging a book I was assigned. I was duly paid my $400 (down from $1000 as recently as 2007) but the review as delicately modified so that it came out as praise! Perhaps the assignment and the unspoken instruction had come down from on high, but I don't think so. I've seen this too often to be entirely random.
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    Offline ShayneRutherford

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    Re: I'll never learn - Stop asking for reviews!
    « Reply #6 on: June 28, 2020, 01:56:00 pm »
    Since I review for pay, let me add that there is a bias in newspaper and magazine reviews toward favorable reviews. I've had the experience -- most recently, a couple weeks ago -- of savaging a book I was assigned. I was duly paid my $400 (down from $1000 as recently as 2007) but the review as delicately modified so that it came out as praise! Perhaps the assignment and the unspoken instruction had come down from on high, but I don't think so. I've seen this too often to be entirely random.

    Well of course. People don't want to pay $400 a pop for a review that they can't use because the reviewer savaged their book.
             

    Offline robert eggleton

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    Re: I'll never learn - Stop asking for reviews!
    « Reply #7 on: June 28, 2020, 02:35:26 pm »
    My favorite review of my debut novel just showed up one day. It was one that apparently Amazon picked from the U.K. Living in WV, I have no idea who the person was, but if I did I would prob make an error in judgement by telling him "thanks!" If you want check out a great review, this one is the only one from AmazonUK to make it on Amazon. com on the bottom right of the reviews that Amazon chose to post. I sure have made a lot of mistakes by requesting reviews, but most often they were mistakes with good results.
    Robert Eggleton
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    Offline unkownwriter

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    Re: I'll never learn - Stop asking for reviews!
    « Reply #8 on: June 29, 2020, 01:45:08 pm »
    Quote
    people like to take free books and say "thank you" by peeing all over it

    There's a reason most of those who've been around for a while advise people about free books. While they have their place, getting reviews tends to not be part of it.

    Also, NJ, "recent" hardly describes something from thirteen years ago.

    Online Gareth K Pengelly

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    Re: I'll never learn - Stop asking for reviews!
    « Reply #9 on: June 29, 2020, 02:02:41 pm »
    It's weird that 'free' sales are often seen as garnering worse reviews. My first in series has 170 reviews now, all of them from free downloads, and it's at 4.5 average.

    You get the odd person raging and giving a 1star who clearly hasn't read it or gets offended at something if they do (like swearing, even though there's a warning in the blurb that's it's thoroughly British in its use of swearing), but most of them seem nice and reasonably well-balanced.

    I think it depends more on the genre than whether it's free or not. I write humorous fantasy, so people aren't expecting high brow. Which is good. I don't do high brow, haha.

    I'd imagine in something like, I dunno, military scifi, you'll have more frothing lunatics who absolutely INSIST that the Lieutenant has the exact right amount of stripes on his shoulder, and that the carrier starship HAS to have the right complement of destroyers, frigates and refuelling vessels, otherwise they'll 1star bomb it into oblivion.

    Online EmberKent

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    Re: I'll never learn - Stop asking for reviews!
    « Reply #10 on: June 29, 2020, 02:23:31 pm »
    It's weird that 'free' sales are often seen as garnering worse reviews.

    Free allows people who normally don't read a certain genre or style of writing to take a chance without feeling like they wasted their money. Because of that, there's also a pretty big risk you'll get a bad review.

    Targeted free promotions likely suffer from this less; for example, if you advertise an urban fantasy freebie to an urban fantasy list. Then the people have signed up for exactly what you're offering. But a broader freebie campaign without targeting will inevitably get folks who aren't your target audience reading your book, and that comes with the expected pitfalls.

    Online Gareth K Pengelly

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    Re: I'll never learn - Stop asking for reviews!
    « Reply #11 on: June 29, 2020, 02:34:26 pm »
    Free allows people who normally don't read a certain genre or style of writing to take a chance without feeling like they wasted their money. Because of that, there's also a pretty big risk you'll get a bad review.

    Targeted free promotions likely suffer from this less; for example, if you advertise an urban fantasy freebie to an urban fantasy list. Then the people have signed up for exactly what you're offering. But a broader freebie campaign without targeting will inevitably get folks who aren't your target audience reading your book, and that comes with the expected pitfalls.

    That's probably it, yeah. I've only done targetted - ENT and Freebooksy have separate lists for each genre. As does Bookbub, so hopefully I won't ruin my decent record with a slew of bad reviews in a couple weeks, haha.

    Online SirenaW

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    Re: I'll never learn - Stop asking for reviews!
    « Reply #12 on: June 29, 2020, 03:04:13 pm »

    I have noticed that when a friend or relative of mine receives a free airline upgrade, a free hotel upgrade, a free meal, etc etc, they are most likely to complain about it, saying it wasn't all that great, not worth the actual value.  Yet, they will always accept them.  As Jim Morrison once said, "People are strange."

    Online Gareth K Pengelly

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    Re: I'll never learn - Stop asking for reviews!
    « Reply #13 on: June 29, 2020, 03:08:48 pm »
    I have noticed that when a friend or relative of mine receives a free airline upgrade, a free hotel upgrade, a free meal, etc etc, they are most likely to complain about it, saying it wasn't all that great, not worth the actual value.  Yet, they will always accept them.  As Jim Morrison once said, "People are strange."

    Talk about looking a gift horse in the mouth, eh?

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