Disclaimer: Yes, I am a whinger. Yes, I tend to bitch first and apologise later. These statements are made by me and are, to the best of my knowledge, absolutely true!
If you had asked me two months ago just how hard it would be to get book sales, I would have said “Nah! It’ll be a piece of cake”.
Yeah. I’m clearly an idiot. I had no clue just how much work was involved. I whacked Salep And Ginger up on Amazon and sat back waiting on the money to roll in. It turns out I was wrong. Really, really wrong.
FYI getting sales is harder than being hit with a bucket of dried concrete.
Firstly, you need a great book. Now I think Salep And Ginger is freaking excellent, so that’s one tick in my favour.
Then you need customers to buy it. They’re a little harder to come by. It seems it all comes down to reviews… and lots of them… which is where I’ve come a little unstuck.
We all know that most people choose their books based on recommendations so leaving a review on Amazon is helping boost the book in Amazon’s magical algorithm. A book needs 25 reviews before it gets included in Amazon’s “Also Brought” and “You Might Like” lists and it takes approximately 70 reviews before the book really becomes visible to potential readers.
But leaving a review isn’t simple.
Amazon has this totally extreme requirement for adding a review. To do a review, you need to have spent a minimum of US$50 on the Amazon site.
Now I don’t want to sound like a Negative Nelly, but for those of us outside of the US, that’s kind of difficult to do. Yes, there is Amazon in the UK and Australia as well (where most of my sales originated); still, they too have the requirement of a minimum purchase (and Amazon really isn’t a thing, especially Down Under). Which sucks! So, despite the surprising number of sales over the past two months, it hasn’t equated to many reviews.
So for those of you who have purchased the book can you please try to leave a review. If you can’t can you please head over to my brand new Facebook page Jane Gundogan Author and leave a review there. Maybe pop by GoodReads as well. Loved it or hated it, every review helps.
And for those of you who have yet to purchase Salep And Ginger? Get cracking! Christmas is coming, and this book will make a great little stocking stuffer for those of you who love Istanbul and Turkey.
Oh, and to my Amazonian master. I serve no other God and am forever your humble servant. I swear!
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Yeah, I came across that review restriction on Amazon, yet I’d purchased hundreds of pounds worth of books and DVDs over the years, but nothing in the last 2, so it all counted for nothing!
My first book was published in 2013. I have 8 reviews and all 8 were 5 stars. I’ve had several sales over the years, but no other reviews. There were people wanting to leave feedback and ran into the same issues. Since 2015, as you have discovered, it seems to be close to impossible for people to leave a review. My total book sales over the years has totaled around $300.
I found a blog post from someone who had been making a living selling her romance novels on Amazon. She found that she was no longer getting the payments she had been getting and did some research. Here is an article about her difficulties:
Even long-time writers who had been with publishing companies are having problems getting published and had to become Indie writers.
Great post. It’s been a real struggle for me to get the reviews. I’ve got over 1.2K followers on the blog. Sold a LOT of books from blog referrals BUT they all came through from the link attached to my blog page. Not one review was accepted. FML!
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It seems rather like extortion to me. “Buy a certain number of books from us or you can’t leave a review.”
Are you a member of ALLI? https://www.allianceindependentauthors
I have to admit, I’m a member but don’t use it much. 🙂
No Im not but I’ll look into it today. Thanks darl
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It was very hard for me the first few years after publication, and it took a long time to come to terms with the same thing you’re facing.
Writers need to help other writers. 🙂