There are times when it feels like this. In the past, I’ve given away my novels free. A lot of people pick up on the offer, and I suspect a lot of people never get around to reading them. An author hopes for reviews from those that read them, but why is it that the only people who leave reviews are those that hated it?
If I saw a free book on offer, my first port of call would be the blurb, and if that took my fancy, the ‘look inside’ on Amazon, where I can determine very quickly whether or not it’s something I’m likely to enjoy. You get ten percent of the novel, so it’s a good gauge.
If on downloading it, I still didn’t like it, I’d delete it and move on – after all it was free and not all books will be to my taste. If I loved it, I would review it and recommend it. If I can’t give a book five stars, I won’t review. Novels are subjective and authors need encouragement not destroying – we are fragile beings.
There is that element of readers who seem to find pleasure in leaving one-star reviews for free books. Do they grab them without reading the blurb etc and then complain when it isn’t to their taste? Probably. Anyway, having just given away four of my books for free, I am now awaiting the inevitable splurge of one-star reviews and the odd troll who jumps on the bandwagon and hasn’t even read the book. Yes that happens. (I once had a one-star, a two-star, and a one-star rating – no review – on the three books in a trilogy. Who but a complete moron would read all three books if they hated the first so much?) It would be funny if it didn’t have such a detrimental effect on ratings.
I am bracing myself for insults, despite the trigger-warning on one of my novels, and the drop in my ratings that will affect future sales, and sometimes I wonder if it’s all worth it. But there are other readers who love what I write, and sometimes, just occasionally, they will leave a review that makes it all worthwhile. Usually, these are readers who have bought the book and have presumably read the blurb and the ‘look inside’ before venturing their hard-earned cash.
I am well aware that all books can’t please everyone, but, if a reader downloads a free book without reading the blurb or the ‘look inside’, is it the author’s fault that they didn’t like it?
I love giving away my books to engage more readers, and I don’t want to stop doing it, but well, it seems ‘no good turn goes unpunished’.
http://author.to/RebeccaBryn where my books are still less than the price of a coffee.