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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just wondered as I have my book "The Red Balloon" up on Smashwords for free.  I've had 24 downloads but no one has yet left a review.  Is that unusual? I was so hoping I would have one by now.
 

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Unless you specifically give away the book with the stipulation that you're looking for honest reviews (such as a giveaway on here, or you sent it to book bloggers for a review), most readers don't bother to review free books. In fact, most readers don't bother to review books at all. Sure, we all do, but we're not the average readers.

You're much more likely to get a star rating on Goodreads since it only costs the reader a click rather than spending time writing an actual review.
 

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I do, but I'm a book blogger. 

I've got a few reviews from Joe and Jane Average on Goodreads, but they work out to about two per hundred downloads.  (I think that's about average for most platforms.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks, Keryl.  I need to learn to not worry about whether I've got reviews or not, I guess.  Maybe that comes with time?  Right now I'm over anxious about this little book that isn't doing very well.
 

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I've done well with reviews on Smashwords.

My author page: http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/SWolf

Of course, most of my books were free for the first six months, so there were plenty of downloads. Here's how the downloads match up with the reviews:

Amulet: 11057 downloads, 16 reviews
The Touch of Isis: 8555 downloads, 2 reviews
Vampire Tanning: 6370 downloads, 7 reviews
Eternal: 3836 downloads, 4 reviews
Erato: 3664 downloads, 5 reviews
Remote Intimacy: 3546 downloads, 3 reviews
The Gazelle: 1342 downloads, 4 reviews
Killing Max: 1037 downloads, 2 reviews
Amulet 2: 202 downloads, 2 reviews
Sex Zombies: 20 downloads, 0 reviews

And I've used excerpts from those reviews in my Amazon descriptions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Wow Swolf!  I'm really impressed with the number of downloads you've had.  Good for you...that is wonderful!  And thank you for taking the time to show me the figures. That certainly proves that reviews are few and far between on free downloads...I won't be holding my breath anytime soon.  :)
 

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I've been fortunate enough to get quite a few reviews on Smashwords. Numbers:

Sentence of Marriage - 38
Mud and Gold - 39
Settling the Account - 28
A Second Chance - 23
All I Want [this one's much newer] - 9

To put it in perspective, I've had over 30,000 downloads of the first book (which is free), which gives you an idea of the download-to-review ratio.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Then, when I get one, I'll be very grateful.  I had no idea before this thread exactly how difficult it was to get reviews.  BTW The Ultimate Sacrifice looks great!
 

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Thank you :D
Reviews are hard to get. I sent out about 50 emails to book bloggers about 2 weeks ago. I got maybe 20 back saying "yes, but we won't get to it for 1-3 months." So, I gave away a bunch of books and hope in 3 months, I'll get more reviews. BUT, with SW, you have to buy the book from them to be able to write a review. This isn't true for Amazon or B&N. So, many people who leave reviews will go to Amazon, B&N, Goodreads, and their own blog.
Good luck!
 

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I guess I should be a little clearer - it's late and I've had a long couple days - when you give someone a SW coupon code and they redeem it, then that counts as a "purchase" even though it's free and they are able to leave a review there. If you send them a PDF or gift a book from Amazon, then they can't leave a review on SW.
I've also encountered a lot of reviewers that don't bother with Amazon and B&N. They just put the review on their blog (maybe Goodreads or LibraryThing).
 

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When I first began publishing at Smashwords, the small number of reviews was surprising to me.  Even many of the ebooks in the top 100 downloads of all time didn't have any reviews (and still don't).

In an effort to counteract that, when I published Amulet, I originally published it in five separate parts  (Wow, it will be a year ago Sunday).  The first part I gave away for free, and charged $0.99 each for parts 2-5.  I put a note in Part 1, telling the readers I would send them coupons to get the rest of the parts for free if they would promise to post a review (positive or critical) when they were done with the entire book.

I got some feedback, with about ten people emailing me and asking for the coupons.  Of those ten, three or four eventually posted reviews.  Less than I'd hoped for, but fairly good relative to other books on Smashwords.  One kind soul even bought the four parts.

It ended when Mark Coker contacted me and said they didn't want serialized books on Smashwords, and asked me to combine the five parts into one ebook, which I did, and gave it away for free for the next six months.

 
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