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Don’t tell me how good I am!

StarsIt’s SO hard to write this article without sounding ungrateful, so I want to stress, right from the beginning, that I am extremely grateful for all the support and positive feedback from my readers. It keeps me going and encourages me to write more.

Almost every day I get messages from readers praising my writing, telling me how much they enjoyed reading my work and, usually, urging me to write the next book, reveal the next chapter or let them know how the story will go in future. It’s lovely, and great for my ego, but fundamentally they are telling the wrong person!

Most authors feel like they are shouting into the void. We announce new works and hardly anyone reads them. We ask for feedback and only a tiny (but hugely valuable!) percentage reply. We want to be read but there are SO many other authors expecting the same that we just get lost in the crowd. It’s hard for readers to pick out the works worth reading when the good stuff is buried amongst the stuff that still needs work.

If every compliment that arrived in my inbox was, instead, a recommendation sent to a friend, a review posted on Amazon or a positive comment posted on social media, I would be able to spend a lot less time promoting my work and more time actually writing.

If you want to see more Astronomicon books, if you want to see the next one launched sooner rather than later, then don’t tell me about it – Tell everyone else!


How to Get the Best #Indie Books on Amazon

KindleAnyone who has ever browsed independently published ebooks on Amazon will know the daunting, overpoweringly vast range of books available.  Every so often you stumble across an excellent book, a true treasure, but we’ve all wasted lots of time wading through a great many poor books too. With so much out there, it’s hard to find the good stuff.

Some indy authors do very well but the vast majority, including some excellent authors, remain completely undiscovered by almost all readers. If only there was some reliable way to sort the good stuff from the bad stuff!

The thing is, there IS a way to solve this and it’s very effective. Most authors find only around 1% of readers leave a review/rating on Amazon. Everyone knows that the first 3-5 people who review a novel are probably friends and relatives of the author, so we all ignore those. The problem for authors who only have a few dozen readers is that no-one trusts the very few (if any) reviews they have.

If every reader left a review for every single indy book they read – even just a sentence will do – then all indy authors would get many, many more reviews and suddenly review scores would be statistically vastly more accurate. Those great authors with very few readers would begin to properly stand out from the crowd and all readers would benefit from reliable opinions.

It only takes a few seconds to leave a review and it is one of the best ways to say thank you to an author. Telling him/her how good his/her novel is is a very nice thing to do, but leaving a review on Amazon is a much more powerful way to say thank you.

If a book has hundreds of reviews, you can be much more sure that the average score is a more accurate measure of the book’s quality.


Good reviews are hard to get

Astronomicon: Icarus front cover imageSince I published the first Astronomicon novel about three years ago, I’ve consistently found it difficult to get any genuine readers to leave reviews on sites like Amazon and GoodReads.com. Admittedly it’s a mixed blessing as, while no reviews means no good reviews, ┬áit means no bad reviews either.

 

Icarus has had a variety of reviews, so far all very positive:

 

I enjoyed it and easily recommend it to anyone who enjoys SF.”
4/5 stars by Marva on GoodReads.com. (Read full review)

 

 

Overall I enjoyed this book. I recommend it to readers seeking a layered thriller or realistic science-fiction.
by Dave Higgins on Davetopia. (Read full review)

 

 

The last half of the book I read in one sitting as I couldn’t wait to find out how it ended.
5/5 stars by Avid Reader on Amazon.com. (Read full review)

 

 

Obviously I’m still looking to get more reviews, as many as possible in fact, so if you’re interested in reading it and publishing a review, please let me know.