Thursday, March 10, 2016

Why I decided to give my book away for free

Well... not entirely free. There is a catch. you see, one of the toughest things about selling a self-published book on Amazon is getting reviews. Any reviews... good, bad, or ugly. While you can hope for good or great reviews, the hard truth is that the number of stars next to what someone says doesn't carry much weight. In fact, a book with fifty negative reviews will show up in Amazons Best Seller's ranking higher than a book with ten great reviews.

So in the end, if you want reviews to help your rankings it comes down to volume. That poses a whole new set of challenges, because it's shockingly difficult to get fiction readers to leave a review. Nonfiction, and especially self-help, don't suffer from this issue because they directly affect someone's like in some manner. People naturally feel inclined to leave a review in order to help others making a purchase decision.

But fiction doesn't have that same real-world traction. You either liked it or you didn't and once you put it down its influence on your life ends. The only trust relationship an author establishes with their readers is about time, specifically about not wasting theirs. You're promising  a good story, characters they will care about, and possibly a lesson learned in exchange for a little slice of their life. So readers will often only feel passionately enough about a book to review it if that trust was violated. There's a huge irony there, because it often gives terrible writers an undeserved leg-up in the Amazon rankings.

So in an attempt to rectify this situation I have listed my book on Story Cartel ( Story Cartel offers a unique value proposition to authors by allowing them to give their book away for free - but only to those who promise an Amazon review in return. It is my hope that For Every Action will have the same appeal to readers there as it does on Amazon, because if my reviews equaled my book sales I'd be one Amazon's front page by now.

If you're interested, the book will be available for free from today (March 10th, 2016) until March 31st 2016. You can find it on Story Cartel here -

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