Today we are in for a treat as we are privileged to have Jackie Weger stop by and tell us what it has been like as a first year Indie author.
A Year and a Day as an Indie Author
by Jackie Weger
There is something wonderful and magical about stepping into the indie author universe. There are thousands upon thousands of us—all trying to sell our books to the reading public—mostly on Amazon which sells to 65% of the reading public worldwide. You can dispute that that—if you have the facts.
I’ve learned a few things over the past year. I’ve learned who I can trust, who can help me, who won’t and who is all talk and no do. I’ve learned the best sites to promote my books, Facebook protocol, how to Tweet, how to use a hashtag and and bitly. Absolute key to success as an indie author is knowing who to listen to. l listen to Martin Crosbie, David Gaughran and Donna Fasano. All three are best-selling authors. Real ones. I’ve learned who can best edit my books, build and maintain my webpages and who can format my books. I have learned an immense amount about reviews.
Any fool can throw up a blog and tell you that reviews increase a title’s Amazon Best Seller stats. It ain’t so. Only sales lift your book stats out of sucking mud. Sales! Amazon does watch those reviews and how fast they come in—especially after a promotion. Reviews can help keep your title in the ‘also bought’ and ‘also viewed’ line beneath other books in the same genre—thus in front of book buyers. If you run a FREE promotion and achieve astronomical downloads, Amazon might place your book onto its popularity list in your genre. If that happens, you are gonna sell books. Amazon does have an algorithm that keeps tags on the number of reviews and the title’s average review rate. One and two star reviews drag the Review Average Rate down. That’s why you see authors on certain FB sites asking for ‘friends’ to go on Amazon and tag the low starred reviews as unhelpful to push them down. That is unethical and NOT the done thing and does not! Make them go away. Nor does it increase the Review Average. Here is a truth: Never chastise or argue with a reviewer. You can’t win. Two weeks ago an author hassled a reviewer for giving a book a three star review. The reviewer went on Amazon and changed the review to a one star and gave the reasons. Oops.
Here is what a top 1000 Reviews Amazon reviewer told me when she heard of that fiasco. “No legitimate reviewer will touch that book now. We stay on top of stuff like this and we don’t like our reviews being ticked as unhelpful.”
We need reviews on our books and an average review rating of at least 3.8/5.0 to get on some of the best promotion sites, such as Bookbub, Kindle Nation Daily and Kebooks. One Hundred Free Books (OHFB) will seldom promote a book with less than 100 reviews and at least a 4.5 average rate. Let me tell you! It is difficult to keep an average review rate up that high on 100 or 200 reviews or more. If you do—you have surely got a best seller! However, we are indie authors, so you must promote the book to get it in front of readers and buyers.
I can just about hear you yelling over the cyberwaves right now: “Forget 100 reviews! I just want the first dozen or the first twenty!” Okay. I’m gonna help you out. Go to The Indie View. The page this links you to has a list of 340 Reviewers who review indie books. Check it out.
I seldom do an article about indie publishing without suggesting indie authors include this little gem at the end of their book after THE END.
Thank you for taking time to read “Title of book“. If you enjoyed it, please consider telling your friends or posting a short review. Word of mouth is an author’s best friend and much appreciated. Thank you.
It works. Readers have posted more than 450 reviews on two of my indie titles since I put the gem at the foot of my books. And yes! There are some one and two star reviews. Don’t touch ‘em. I don’t. Those reviews belong to the reviewer–not the author.
If you want to read the real skinny on reviews as told by a top Amazon and Goodreads reviewer go here: Reviews, the Good , the Bad and the Ugly
‘Til next time…
Jackie Weger has been writing romance novels off and on for thirty years. Meeting her characters is like meeting and making new friends. She’s earned a little money writing and found that all of the things she’d hoped one day to own no longer appeals. What she enjoys is destination travel–going to new and strange places, meeting natives, learning their customs, their foods, how they survive good times and bad. She lived part of one winter with trappers in the Louisiana Swamps, volunteered at a sister of Mercy Mission in Colon, Panama–and had one of the most interesting conversations in her life with an old man and his dog as they sat on a bench waiting for a train in the Village of Versailles. Right this minute Jackie is sitting still to write another romance -but her passport is up to date–handy for when the travel bug nips her heels once again. Who knows? She might end up in your neighborhood one day. Jackie loves, coffee, tea, cats, gossip and all things Southern.
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