Kindle Forum banner
1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,035 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So folks, I have a quandary and wanted to ask for advice/help/ideas.

The first book in my Inside Evil series has been doing relatively well and just started to gain traction in the UK, but in the past week I've had a string of bad reviews. Though I've got six unsolicited 5* reviews and a 4*, the past week has seen two 1*'s and 2* come in (thought one of the 1*'s was a simple 'not my cup of tea'. It's dragged my rating down to a 3.4 average and now the book is kind of bombing. I know that some people must like it as I have positive reviews, both on Goodreads and Amazon, and my follow through rate to the second in the series isn't bad. However, I also KNOW that, as my first ever book published, it's not my best work....which is an issue if I want people to actually go on and buy the rest of the series which, when finished, will be five books.

I'm unsure of what to do. I'm about to release the third book in the series, and I do have readers waiting for it. Good thing. But do I plough time and energy into the fourth book, or should I pull the first and get a new editor? Comments have been poor use of words, repetitiveness, and lack of editing. I do have an editor and a proof reader. However, in my naivety when entering this indie world, the book was rough......as such, I'm not sure whether these comments stem from old files or updated ones. Should I suck it up and just hope for some new 4/5* reviews to come in whilst continuing business as normal?

I also have two other stories which I'm intending on adding sequels too....should I work on these first before completing the Inside Evil tale?

I guess I'm feeling a little knocked as was riding the high wave of being in the top 100 paid listings and then, BAM, bad reviews and rating drop, and now I have the nagging urge to try and address something.

Geoff
 
G

·
There are only 100 spots in the top 100. I know this is obvious, but maybe you need to think that through. Even The Avengers eventually lost the top spot at the box office. I doubt Josh Whedon starting thinking "Gee, we aren't in the top ten anymore. Theatres are starting to pull the movie. We must have done something wrong! Let's go back and fix it!"

Books eventually hit critical mass where they have tapped their primary market and something else replaces it. The issue is not "Why is my book's sales dropping off?" The issue is "Why has the second book not replaced it in terms of success?"
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
986 Posts
I don't know if amazon erased them or people changed their minds or if amazon.uk is different than the .com but I don't see anything lower than a 3 star on any of your books on amazon.com if that helps anyway
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,035 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Bards and Sages (Julie) said:
There are only 100 spots in the top 100. I know this is obvious, but maybe you need to think that through. Even The Avengers eventually lost the top spot at the box office. I doubt Josh Whedon starting thinking "Gee, we aren't in the top ten anymore. Theatres are starting to pull the movie. We must have done something wrong! Let's go back and fix it!"

Books eventually hit critical mass where they have tapped their primary market and something else replaces it. The issue is not "Why is my book's sales dropping off?" The issue is "Why has the second book not replaced it in terms of success?"
I completely agree, Julie....at some point I'm going to fall out of the Top 100. That's know really my issue though. I wonder if a lower star rating results in fewer sales, which will then have a knock-on effect for the rest of the series. My quandary really was whether to try and fix the first book with more editing, to continue the series as normal or to start working on other series.

dkgould said:
I don't know if amazon erased them or people changed their minds or if amazon.uk is different than the .com but I don't see anything lower than a 3 star on any of your books on amazon.com if that helps anyway
Hey, dkgould...yes, .co.uk is different. US reviewers seem to be far less harsh than us Brits, or more receptive to my work!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,642 Posts
I think there is another way to look at this.

As you were rising, you were getting readers who were searching out books for their taste, and found yours. You got the 5 stars.

As you got more visible, you got more readers who were getting it due to popularity even though they don't normally read that stuff, and in finding they couldn't complain about story or other elements, started nitpicking to justify their rating.

Yes, get it edited, but leave it up while its there. Replace the file when it's ready and move on.

Rule by Jay Crownover got blasted for typos and yet...USA Today bestseller for weeks.

In the end, always work on the book you are passionate about.
 
G

·
GWakeling said:
I completely agree, *****....at some point I'm going to fall out of the Top 100. That's know really my issue though. I wonder if a lower star rating results in fewer sales, which will then have a knock-on effect for the rest of the series. My quandary really was whether to try and fix the first book with more editing, to continue the series as normal or to start working on other series.
Move forward. Avoid moving backwards. Or else you risk becoming like George Lucas and all your fans will hate you because you added Jar Jar and Hayden Christensen to their beloved mythos :eek: (or maybe that is just the really hardcore fangirls like me). Unless the reviews are from people who's opinions you value, they are just customer reviewers. Not beta readers. Not content editors. Customers. And I love my customers. But if I dropped everything and rushed off to "fix" something based on one or two comments, I would never get anything done. I don't get a lot of Amazon reviews, but I get a lot of email. And I'll have reader A complain about something and reader B cooing about how much they loved what reader A didn't like. You can't play whack-a-mole and try to appease everyone. You can only take their comments into consideration as you move forward.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,035 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
TexasGirl said:
I think there is another way to look at this.

As you were rising, you were getting readers who were searching out books for their taste, and found yours. You got the 5 stars.

As you got more visible, you got more readers who were getting it due to popularity even though they don't normally read that stuff, and in finding they couldn't complain about story or other elements, started nitpicking to justify their rating.

Yes, get it edited, but leave it up while its there. Replace the file when it's ready and move on.

Rule by Jay Crownover got blasted for typos and yet...USA Today bestseller for weeks.

In the end, always work on the book you are passionate about.
That is a good point regarding the popularity stakes. It's true....even the 2* said he liked the setting and story. My sister's so tired of me complaining, so I thought I'd post here where people actually understand. Lol. Thanks for giving me some perspective on the situation.

Bards and Sages (Julie) said:
Move forward. Avoid moving backwards. Or else you risk becoming like George Lucas and all your fans will hate you because you added Jar Jar and Hayden Christensen to their beloved mythos :eek: (or maybe that is just the really hardcore fangirls like me). Unless the reviews are from people who's opinions you value, they are just customer reviewers. Not beta readers. Not content editors. Customers. And I love my customers. But if I dropped everything and rushed off to "fix" something based on one or two comments, I would never get anything done. I don't get a lot of Amazon reviews, but I get a lot of email. And I'll have reader A complain about something and reader B cooing about how much they loved what reader A didn't like. You can't play whack-a-mole and try to appease everyone. You can only take their comments into consideration as you move forward.
Thanks, Julie, I DO NOT want to be a Lucas. Oh, Jar Jar....do you think Episode 7 could have a historical scene to the past where that gungan meets some horrendous death?! Please Disney, please!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
962 Posts
The more people get to download your book, the more change you have at getting people to post any review they want, especially when they paid for it. you can probably see it in your sales. The thing is to continue with your series and do not pull anything until its completely finished and then perhaps repair or address some of the issues in part one later.

Perhaps you will get a knock on effect of good reviews that will up your rating later on when people buy your book. Bad reviews are not always bad, they make the book look realistic, and if someone just put down "Not my cup of tea" chances are the people ready to buy the book will think that individual is a complete idiot and ignore it.

Once you start something you always should finish it, especially when you got fans.

Shane
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,035 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks Shane and Katja,

I'm normally pretty upbeat....I guess I'm having a bad few days! My BSG 'Razor' DVD just arrived, so I think I'll bury myself in SF tonight and start with life again tomorrow!  8)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
703 Posts
I'm neurotic. My second story went up and its third or fourth review was a 1-star. So I pulled it for two months, worked on it, and put it back up a few days ago. I probably shouldn't have done it, but I couldn't help worrying about the reader's complaint and I made a few changes.
I find the reviews hard to take. I got a 1-star today! I'm on a free promo and a thousand people downloaded the book because it was free. Someone said 'not my cup of tea'. I don't know what the answer is with reviews. I think, just keep writing, do your best.
Even your favorite writers will have lots of 1-star reviews. I love Cormac McCarthy and he gets tons of them.
Good luck whatever you decide to do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,035 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Ardin said:
I'm neurotic.
THIS.

Thanks, Arden. I've just done a free run too; it has its pros and cons. Good for visibility, but can result in people downloading and putting those 'not my cup of tea' remarks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,809 Posts
I'm going to disagree with probably everybody here, but this is what struck me in your post:

I also KNOW that, as my first ever book published, it's not my best work
Whatever a reviewer said about it, there's this voice in your head saying, "Yeah, this book could be better."

Now, you can't go endlessly chasing perfection! But thanks to the wonder that is ebooks, you can revise when you feel it's warranted. Just as you need to listen to that voice in the back of your head that says, "This could be better" as you're writing, I think you should listen when that voice says "this could be better" after you've lived with the book for awhile.

Understand that this opinion comes from a dyed-in-the-wool rewriter. When Risen came out, a reviewer complained about a certain technique I used, which he found annoying. I blew it off for a few months/years until I was re-reading the book and, sonuvagun, he was right: that technique WAS bloody annoying! So I rewrote and republished the book.

You don't want to chase every criticism and try to rewrite for everyone--that way lies madness! But if your gut is telling you that the first book in your series could be better, then I'd take the publication of Book Three as an opportunity to revisit Book One. (Besides that, I'll bet there are things in Book Two and Book Three you wish you'd foreshadowed or established!)

BTW: I wouldn't pull it. I'd just work on the revision and republish when it was ready.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,035 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Jan Strnad said:
I'm going to disagree with probably everybody here, but this is what struck me in your post:

Whatever a reviewer said about it, there's this voice in your head saying, "Yeah, this book could be better."

BTW: I wouldn't pull it. I'd just work on the revision and republish when it was ready.
Thanks Jan, you've hit the nail on the head....there is that niggling voice.

Stella Wilkinson said:
Keep working on your current project but take half an hour a day and just try to polish Book 1, then when it is done replace the existing one. That way you wont lose any sales on it.
This is a great idea, Stella. Half an hour every day, just to go through matters at my own pace and re-structure of change sentences.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
979 Posts
Ardin said:
I'm neurotic. My second story went up and its third or fourth review was a 1-star. So I pulled it for two months, worked on it, and put it back up a few days ago. I probably shouldn't have done it, but I couldn't help worrying about the reader's complaint and I made a few changes.
I find the reviews hard to take. I got a 1-star today! I'm on a free promo and a thousand people downloaded the book because it was free. Someone said 'not my cup of tea'. I don't know what the answer is with reviews. I think, just keep writing, do your best.
Even your favorite writers will have lots of 1-star reviews. I love Cormac McCarthy and he gets tons of them.
Good luck whatever you decide to do.
That 1* review made me download your book. I was like "A kid with a holy GPS? I've got to read this!"
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,081 Posts
Jan Strnad said:
I'm going to disagree with probably everybody here, but this is what struck me in your post:

Whatever a reviewer said about it, there's this voice in your head saying, "Yeah, this book could be better."

Now, you can't go endlessly chasing perfection! But thanks to the wonder that is ebooks, you can revise when you feel it's warranted. Just as you need to listen to that voice in the back of your head that says, "This could be better" as you're writing, I think you should listen when that voice says "this could be better" after you've lived with the book for awhile.

Understand that this opinion comes from a dyed-in-the-wool rewriter. When Risen came out, a reviewer complained about a certain technique I used, which he found annoying. I blew it off for a few months/years until I was re-reading the book and, sonuvagun, he was right: that technique WAS bloody annoying! So I rewrote and republished the book.

You don't want to chase every criticism and try to rewrite for everyone--that way lies madness! But if your gut is telling you that the first book in your series could be better, then I'd take the publication of Book Three as an opportunity to revisit Book One. (Besides that, I'll bet there are things in Book Two and Book Three you wish you'd foreshadowed or established!)

BTW: I wouldn't pull it. I'd just work on the revision and republish when it was ready.
Listen to Jan. He's hit it squarely on the head. I read your first chapter, and I love your writing voice. The story seems to have "good bones", to borrow a realtor term. I will send a pm.

Disclaimer: I am not looking for editing work, and would decline working on this project because I have participated in this discussion. My motives are pure. :)
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top