In this second but final part, let’s discuss reviews again briefly. I don’t agree with leaving negative reviews. But I do at the same time.
Let me explain. If you’re going to leave a 4-star review where you more or less praise the book in question (let’s say it’s the ominous sounding Book Z from Part 1) but also pick some fault with it, then I think that’s fair enough. Perhaps even a 3-star review is respectable. If you’re still supporting the book but also highlighting areas in which you felt it fell short, then good work.
If you’re going to leave a 2 or 1-star review slating the book and saying it was a steaming pile of shit, then STOP. Think about what you’re going to do. What if you didn’t like it but thousands of others do? You leaving a bad review could stop these poor saps from buying the book. And then who’s the real poor sap? Yep. The author.
If you’re going to do this, then I’d suggest you contact the author directly and say “Look, these are my problems with Book Z… Blah blah blah.”
You’re an Indie author yourself. How much would you appreciate someone contacting you privately and letting you know their concerns? Immeasurably. That author can then go and revise his or her book, improving it for a future audience. It’s only a matter of uploading the book file to Amazon again once it’s been changed.
Let the general readers be the ones to leave snarky 1-star reviews. Don’t be a culprit yourself. Be respectful of your fellow author and let them know on the side “Hey. This is what I didn’t like…”
Like I said, if it’s going to be a mostly positive review and you’re awarding 3-stars or above, then go ahead. Otherwise, do your bit and contact him or her privately.
Selling as an Indie is hard enough as it is, remember. The big houses don’t know what to do about us, the trouble makers. But gradually we’re out-selling the big names and finding ourselves parked in front of them in the rankings.
The big houses can’t compete. But they’ll continue to try doing so if you leave shitty reviews and the book never sells a single copy.
One last point I wanted to make was about twitter lists. Got some favourite authors who you network with on twitter? Great! Why not start a list? You add all of the writer buds you’ve made on twitter to the list (let’s say you call it WRITERS) and then you access their feeds from one convenient place. And when these authors have something to tweet about, why not RT it for them?
As a British food retailer over here is fond of saying, “Every Little Helps.”

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