I read a blog this week by an author who has 3 books on Amazon, two self-published in April 2011, and one in January 2012. She said she doesn't spend much time on promotrion, apart from writing a few blogs and guests blogs, and sending the book out to a few reviewers.
I checked the reviews:
For the first book, she has 49 reviews: 33 five star, 7 four star, 3 three star and 6 two star. The two star reviews criticise the book as being slow, and the heroine maudlin; one criticised lack of depth and bad punctuation, two said the book was shallow and poorly written, one criticised the ‘historical’ content, and the final one said it was probably aimed at 13 year olds! Okay, she has 33 ‘good’ reviews to balance out these criticisms, several of which compared it to Little House on the Prairie.
Her second book (released the same date, remember?) got 14 reviews, 13 of which were 5 star. Her third book, released last January, has 5 five star reviews so far.
What made me gasp, however, was her statement that she’s sold 8,686 books in just the first half of this month!
While I was pondering all this, I opened my writers' magazine today, and found an article about a ‘Kindle bestseller’. His first book, self-published in January 2011, became a Number 1 bestseller on Amazon. His second book was published 3 days later, and his third book in November 2011.
There were 9 reviews for the first book (4 of which were 5 star), only 1 review for the second (5 stars), and none yet for the third. I mention, in passing, the one-star review for the first book- “It struck me as something that might have been produced in a creative writing class by a well-meaning but not highly talented amateur.”
Again it was this author’s comment about marketing which caught my eye. He simply said he did very little, apart from linking it to his Twitter account, but he’s actually sold 300,000 copies, and has had an agent contacting him, talking about foreign rights and film rights!
All this leaves me totally baffled. Two huge success stories, despite some very poor reviews, and, allegedly, very little promotion by the authors. Makes me wonder what the rest of us are doing wrong!