As a new author there is a struggle to become known to my would-be audience. In this day-and-age of social media a big part of exposure is related to ratings of your books and getting people to leave reviews. If you look at different statistics you find that the odds of someone taking the time to leave a review are pretty slim. Its a small item to accomplish, but for what ever reason it is difficult to follow through with.
I originally thought that most authors simply talked to their friends and family and asked them to provide the first dozen or so reviews. Turns out if you do this perfectly wrong it backfires on you. Originally, I read Amazon’s guidelines for reviews and found that they had a clause that anyone who might take a financial benefit from a review shouldn’t provide one. Well, in my house that meant that my wife shouldn’t leave a review, otherwise the rest of my family could. Nope.
Amazon noticed that a bunch of initial reviews for Rookie Privateer came from the same IP Address at the same time. Well this happened because I got a bunch of my readers together and thought it would be fun for them (okay I bribed them with food) to submit their reviews in a party setting. We sat around and joked and filled out reviews. By the end of the evening I had no less than seven stellar reviews online.
At about midnight all of these reviews disappeared.
We talked to Amazon and the word was passed down from on high that since we were all close friends it wouldn’t be fair to let these reviews be loosed on the market. Argh! Moreover they would remember that these accounts were associated with at least this book if not this author. Double Argh!
So it is time to become creative and re-double my efforts to get the word out about Rookie Privateer. I am understandably proud of the work and want to get it into as many people’s hands as possible. It is a lesson learned for me. When I read a book I like I will make sure to leave a positive review for the author. They no-doubt care.