What I learned from publishing books: Part 1- Reviews
Writing a book was always a dream of mine. When I finally wrote my book, Mr. Shipman’s Kindergarten Chronicles, December Celebrations, I was excited and ready to see my book on the shelves of a major bookstore! And then I learned some rude lessons about the major and minor publishing companies, and I made a decision that would self-publish my book.
This decision set the course that have been on for the last two years, and I have learned so much! I did all my research on publishing a book prior to launching December Celebrations. I read books and articles, watch videos, and listened to tons of podcast. Everything I read and listen to emphasize the importance of reviews. They gave all these great ideas on how you can get reviews. Reviews can help determine your sales potential, especially on Amazon.
It really seemed like getting reviews would be a piece of cake. I had plenty of family, friends, and associates who I know would leave at least a one review. No, it hasn’t been that easy. It’s been much harder than I could ever imagine.
I sent out free print and eBook copies. I asked by email, text, messenger, and face to face. I am always reminded of the 10% rule. If I sent out 100 books, I should expect maybe 10 people to respond. It’s a harsh reality for new author to deal with. You must work hard to get reviews. And please don’t pay for reviews. People will take your money and never write a review.
I learned that everyone doesn’t have an Amazon Account. Amazon is the top book retailer. Their computer systems determine who they push towards the front which is based upon sales and reviews. If you’re going to sell books, you must go through Amazon. I also learned that Amazon will take certain reviews down. If your review doesn’t meet their criteria, they will delete your review. Amazon will delete all reviews they think are fake. They will also suspend your account.
I have asked people to review on Goodreads also. Goodreads is free. Many of the reviews on there did come from people who received the books in free giveaways I had on that site.
I also learned there are many reasons that people don’t leave reviews. I keep asking and trying to get them. They don’t have to write a dissertation. It can be as simple as “I like this book.” I thank God for the reviews that I have. Thanks goes to all the special people that have left reviews. I truly appreciate you’re act of kindness, even the one-star review.