Free Copies v Reviews Left - Why Not Review?
S P Oldham
Well this is interesting.
I have two books permanently free, one in the horror and supernatural genre called Wakeful Children, and one under my pseudonym Lillian White, called The Mill Owner's Son.
These books are available free across the following platforms - Instafreebie, Amazon and Draft2Digital - where they can be claimed from Scribd, Kobo, nook and Apple.
Out of interest today, I took a look at how many of these free books had been taken up by readers since November 2016. The results are as follows (approximate:)
Wakeful Children - 582 free copies claimed
The Mill Owner's Son - 1,804 copies claimed
This could indicate a number of things to me as a writer. What it does not tell me however, is why so many of those people did not review the books they read. If just 1/10th of the people who read either of those books had left a line or two as a review, Amazon algorithms would have 'picked me up' by now and hopefully I could have begun to make progress with my work. It would have resulted in around 58 reviews for Wakeful Children, and around 180 reviews for The Mill Owner's Son!
That is not to say I am not grateful to those who chose to read my work - of course I am, I appreciate it immensely and I hope that they enjoy what they read. I am simply wondering what I can do as an author to encourage people to review more often.
Of course, this is a little simplistic, I realise that. A lot of people who claim free books might never got around to reading them, especially when they are written by obscure authors like me. Even assuming that they do, people have many other reasons for not leaving a review - ranging from the simple fact that they did not like the book and would rather just leave it than leave a negative review, to the thought of writing one never even crossing their mind. I must admit that since I have tried to make a go of writing seriously, I am far more aware of the importance, even necessity, of reviews and try to leave them for others as often as I can - I am not sure I did beforehand.
So fair enough. But what other reasons are there for not leaving a review? I would be genuinely interested to hear what readers in particular have to say regarding this, but as always, everyone is welcome to leave a reply.
Looking forward to reading your answers...