I’ve had my freebie up on amazon for awhile now. It is a complication of the free stories on my site and/or ones from previous blogs. Each one has had their own reviews from blog readers as they came out and I was glad to put them together in a more user-friendly way. But, now even with well over 200 downloads I have no reviews. It's solidly in the top 20 in sci-fi/fantasy short reads, top 100 for Literature & Fiction Short Reads and even top 500 in all horror in the kindle store.
I know that some people ‘acquire’ reviews and honestly I have been given physical products in exchange for reviews - never fiction though - and I have seen books with reviews that give me an inkling that this has happened. But I don’t want anyone to get that kind of inkling from my works.
I dont have the budget to back any big marketing push or anything right now, but as I look forward and think about querying my novel I would love to get some reviews up. Ugh. If however you would be up for thoughtful review trades I would be up for that and I don’t see that as being an issue for Amazon. Feel free to comment or email me if your hook book is in the same situation as mine. Or if you have the magic secret of kindle reviews and are willing to share it, drop that in the comments too?
Anyway, shameless self promotion link here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07MTSQ4QQ
We all need beta readers. Obviously for your own work to get it through revisions, but I also think we should all BE beta readers too. All writers read a lot, and in doing that it is easy to forget that every published, well reviewed story was once a first draft (and a 2nd and 3rd and 5th). And those drafts often don't look anything like what comes out in the end. There are plot holes, underdeveloped characters, typos, and the list goes on.
Taking on the role of a beta reader you get to see those early drafts. Often they have had some sort of preliminary edits done, but they are still fresh. They're not perfectly polished yet and they are an excellent reminder that every manuscript starts somewhere.
Offer to trade beta reads, or if you don't have something ready but have some time just make the offer to read. It will give you a whole new outlook on the process and you will see that while everyone writes differently everyone has stages of imperfection. That will probably allow you to give your work the time and space to improve. You will see that you are not special in you (perceived) awfulness. (No offense to anyone - but haven't we all put out a terrible sentence at least once?)
Looking behind the curtain is a great way to understand that you are not alone. Plus you get to help a fellow writer and I guarantee that you will take back something to your own manuscript too. So go forth and find some writing buddies!
As The Shine Box is going out for beta reading I have been playing with cover designs. This one has had so many yet after a break I am never happy with them. They haven't been something that would make me want to pull the book off the shelf. This round though I think that my vision and abilities have lined up. I think that I have one this time!
Now my only issue is that the one I like better is the one that fits a little less. I like them both and they both work well enough. I know that I should choose the one that really fits the story AND is plenty eye catching. I just have a soft spot for the artistic appeal of the other one.
Without saying more that would give away my preference, here are the two covers:
I have also sent them out to the betas so that they can give me their impression once they have read the story. But of course your opinion matters too! Which do you prefer? Teal/Black or Blue/Orange?