Quote: “I am in this for the long haul. My book and I are going the distance.”
Over the course of 21 days, I posted on Twitter, Pinterest, Goodreads, and Google+ that my book Switching Stations, Switching Stories was available for free download on storycartel.com in exchange for a review. I had hoped users either in my circles on social media and users of storycartel.com would look at my book and choose to give it a read.
I had heard great things about storcartel.com online which made it worth it to me to conquer my problems with the creation of a Mobi file. I also heard from one person online on Google+ who said it was a bust for a friend and who would not use it herself. I still chose to hope for the best, unfortunately the second scenario played out. My book is still visible on storycartel.com but only with a link to purchase from Amazon.com. I have no plans to re-list my book for review. I believe if something were to have happened it would have happened in the 21 days the book was active for downloading and reviewing.
I chose instead to go with a risky move offering the book for free in two separate giveaways. I know of two authors who have done this and it has been a success. However getting reviews in return has been mixed as has sales after a giveaway is over. Yet both authors continue to do them now and again. I also know of authors who go into Amazon.com and drop their book price to $0.99 cents or will make it free. They do this for either a limited or extended period of time. I assume and I write I do not know this for certain that they hope it will either increase sales at the reduced price or if offered free will mean reviews.
Switching Stations, Switching Stories is free on three sites: Scribl.com (free or a choice of prices on this crowd funding site from $0.29 to $9.99, Inkbok (free and paid) , and Screwpulp.com. I think because the book is offered with a free option on these three sites there is no reason for me to turn around and make Nook.com and Amazon.com free even for a short time. I do not hide the free sites nor the paid. They are mentioned in this blog post and a previous one. Also it has been mentioned several times on the social media sites I use. And anyone searching on the net for any of the websites I mentioned can find this out for themselves just by going to the sites.
From May 2nd thru May 10th I started with giving away two physical copies of Switching Stations Switching Stories on Goodreads and starting on . Over three hundred people entered for a chance to get one of two copies of my book. I also did a second promotion Booklikes.com where ten e-book files of my book were given to ten lucky winner chosen by Booklikes.com. It is my hope I may get lucky and one of these winners will do a review. It is a long shot I am willing to take and I have already heard form two of the twelve via e-mail that they want to do a review of my book. I hope so as I would really like having a good review or two to get sales going for Switching Stations Switching Stories. Then there are the other winners and the unknown question of will they really read the book and if they do will he or she tell others about the book and encourage them to find it and buy it? Or will he or she pass on their e-book file?
I was not expecting to take the course I did with book giveaways. I thought storycartel.com had a strong chance because several authors online have made use of them. I have seen the numerous posts and I have read many more authors praise the site on the social media. In independent online searches I did on storycartel, a majority of people who wrote about the website said is fantastic for authors. I feel I had to try what felt right to me after checking it all out to the best of my ability.
I have also been researching who online writes book reviews. I know to avoid paid reviewers. Why because I feel – and it has been confirmed in some blog posts – that it gives potential readers a false impression of a book. It also put a bad taste in my mouth. I would be questioning whether this paid reviewer actually truly liked the book or just chose to write something great because he or she was paid.
I believe that by finding an independent reviewer who does not accept payment is the same as if it was a reader who finds Switching Stations Switching Stories and chooses to read it and share their honest opinion if he or she so chooses. Now other people may disagree and that is fine. I have no problem with that. Each person even an author can disagree with another.
A third avenue I am considering is starting to write my own reviews of other author’s books. I have reviewed books online that I have purchased but I wouldn’t call them Nancy Corrigan of NPR worthy or even on par with the best and highest rated reviewers on Amazon.com or a like retail site. I did do two reviews on books that I didn’t purchase and read for free but they are not on my blog statictvblog.com. One is on Inkbok.com and the other is on Goodreads.com. While I decide about th third avenue I have signed up with a website called Bookvetter.com that will allow me to do reviews if I so choose and anonymously. For now I just have my own book Switching Stations Switching Stories posted for others to review on the website.. If I choose to go the review route I would have to add a category to my blog for book reviews and make time to go through book reading requests, read the books and write the reviews. For now until I can figure out how to squeeze this in after work and with the writing I do at night I am not sure it is the wisest thing to do immediately. I like hours in the evening of just watching TV or listening to music. Then there is time with family which I enjoy. I need to figure out a balance so that I am not burning myself out.
As I wrote Switching Stations Switching Stories I was not planning to self publish it. I was going to let it sit. But after I finished typing it four people who read it convinced me otherwise. And my family encouraged me to keep at it, save for a professional editor and the creation of a book cover plus the book promotion I would need. The combination has given me a drive to stick with my first book for the long haul. I have a goal in mind to earn enough to publish again and again. Of course all authors who succeed want to continue earning money on past books not just the future ones they write and publish. This is my goal too and I do not care if it takes one or two years. As long as this drive is in me and it keeps me on social media and writing for my blog then it is all I need to keep at it.
I knew it would not be easy. I never lied to myself about it. Earning money as an author is a huge, massive jungle out there and it takes a personal investment of cash and the hope that readers will come along and choose your book. Even with a cash investment, I know it is still dependent on readers and which author they will purchase from. There are tons of them who are vying for the same readers – okay maybe that is a stretch as not every reader reads every genre but it is still a pretty big pool of people. So onward I go with my author journal and hopefully I will reach my goal and that wonderful feeling of success. Then starting all over again with another published book. This is my goal.