In the March 18th blog, my last one, I reported that The King of Trash’s publication date was moved from April 1 to July 15, my publisher saying that more time was needed for professional book reviewers to review the book (in the blog, I listed the reviewing organizations the publisher intended to send the book). In actual fact, the paperback edition became available through Amazon on April 1 (because I ordered one), but the Kindle version of the book wasn’t available until July 15. Unfortunately, the date shown on the Amazon book website stated July 15 so no one considered that the book was available until then in either format. I expect that I lost customers because of it.
Having a stash of my own copies of the book, I offered in the blog to send a free book to anyone who would consider providing Amazon with a review. I made an error with that offer. Amazon is picky about reviews and prefers to publish reviews from readers who actually bought the book from Amazon, which means they can’t print a review before the book could have been bought. That attitude, which I only partially appreciate, nullifies my sending out my own books to solicit Amazon reviews before the available date on the website. It caused one of my reviewers to sit on his review for three months until July 15, being as, if he had to buy one, he wanted a digital version. Amazon also won’t publish book reviews from anyone who has the same last name as the author, which means that family members can’t provide reviews.
I’m sure that the Amazon rules are in place to keep unscrupulous authors from “stuffing the ballot box”, but I wish they wouldn’t work so hard at it. Of course, I’ve thought before of sending in multiple glorious reviews under different names, so I’m probably part of the problem they’re trying to prevent.
When all is said and done, my book so far has three reviews, all of which are on Amazon’s website. All are good, earning 4 or 5 stars, and I appreciate each one. I’ve seen no reviews anywhere from the formal review organizations to which my publisher sent advanced copies; they would not show up on Amazon but on organizational websites.
The reviews confirmed what I had heard about the book: it’s a creative, original, interesting story, a suspenseful thriller, and well worth reading. People have a high identity with the issues and the solutions proposed in the plot. From more than one reader, people told me of actual similar incidents.
Each of the three readers passed their copy on to someone else to read.
Last week, I hosted a “book giveaway” managed by Amazon. By paying the cost of the number of books to be given away, Amazon advertises the “giveaway” to the Amazon community and delivers the books to the “winners”. I’d not done this before, but, by today’s count, 989 people have signed up for the giveaway and 24 have visited the book’s homepage. I signed up to give away 3 books (Amazon’s suggested beginning point), so for about $70, I’ve gotten a truckload of exposure.
That’s where those reviews prove to be invaluable.
Don Willerton has been a reader all his life and yearns to write words like the authors he has read. He's working hard at it and invites others to share their experiences.