Amazon Reviews

Amazon reviews – could it be Karma?

My husband religiously reviews every book he reads. He is reluctant to leave anything below a 2 star because he understands how debilitating that can be for an author, but when he reaches that final page he sits back, pulls out the laptop and writes a review.
I have written very few reviews in my life even though I am a prolific reader, for some reason it’s never been something that I felt a need to do. Because, after all, who wants my opinion? Surely you should read it for yourself and make up your own mind? So for many years I have read copious amounts, thoroughly enjoyed countless books and found new authors to follow but left only a handful of reviews.
Then I began writing and suddenly my attitude changed because of course I want your opinion! Of course it matters! I can only hang my head in shame and apologise profusely to all the writers who did such a wonderful job entertaining me so magnificently and who I then ignored when Amazon asked me, very politely, if I would like to leave a review. I now realise that reviews are the life blood of authors.
It’s a fact that only thing improves your sales as a writer and that is more sales. But, within the vagaries of Amazon it is undeniable that people are more likely to buy your book if it already has a number of reviews (especially if they are good reviews). And if you have more reviews then more people buy your book, which means more opportunity for people to leave reviews which leads to more sales and … I think you can see where I’m going with all of this. So I’ve learned over the last few years that Amazon reviews are actually crucial to the success of a book.
Family and friends are often unable to leave any comment on Amazon, who seem to know if you’ve ever spoken to your reader, ever liked a photo they may have posted on Facebook or even brushed past them in the street. I fully appreciate that they are trying to protect the reading public. They don’t want distant aunts and cousins several times removed who don’t own a kindle and despise reading as a hobby, populating your Amazon page with sparkling 5 star reviews. But it makes it even harder to get those first reviews when your support group is banned from giving their opinion, biased or not.
So maybe it’s Karma that I now find myself in this position. All I know is that I would ask, on behalf of ALL authors that if you enjoyed the book you’ve just read, please take a few moments to leave a review, I know I certainly will!

Julie x

Lucy Mathers Goes Back To Work

Finishing my latest book has not been an easy. In April I lost my Dad to a long fight with myeloid leukaemia and returning to my writing desk a few months later and picking up with everyday life was incredibly hard. There was more than one occasion when I thought about stopping and leaving this book for another time. But with the support of my wonderful family I kept going and despite being a long way behind schedule, my new book, Lucy Mathers Goes Back to Work is now available!

As an independent author I rely entirely on my readers to find, read and review my books and I have been amazed at the wonderful comments that have been left over the last few years. My books have done incredibly well and that’s due to the willingness of readers to try an author they’ve never heard of before and take the time to leave a review. I sincerely hope that my readers enjoy Lucy Mathers Goes Back to Work just as much and thank you all for your incredible support.

Julie x

Self Published … and proud!

When I wrote Did I Mention I won The Lottery, I published it straight onto Kindle. I didn’t submit it to a publisher or an agent because I had read so many stories of rejection, about how hard it was to find someone willing to read an unsolicited manuscript and the difficulties of finding anyone willing to take a chance on an unknown author. So I published via Kindle and felt very pleased with myself for having an eBook on Amazon. A few years later I published my second book and a few weeks ago I launched my third.

And for the longest time I have felt vaguely embarrassed at daring to call myself an author. It was almost as though I had cheated, I bypassed all the traditional methods of publishing by using the Kindle route. I would never voluntarily tell people I had written a book and if my husband announced that I was a ‘writer’ (which he frequently did) I would apologise and make sure everyone knew that my books were ‘just eBooks.’ After all I wasn’t a real writer, I didn’t have an agent, I didn’t have a contract and I didn’t have a publisher.

Shortly after my second book was released, Google Your Husband Back, something happened. I still don’t know how it came about, but suddenly I realised that people were buying my books. Not only were they buying them, but they liked them! I had long since stopped checking every night to see if I had sold a copy or received a review and after a few months of neglect, I checked my Kindle account and found to my astonishment that I had rocketing sales and fantastic reviews.

I was shocked. Delighted, but shocked. I had already started a third book but strangely the discovery that my previous two were a success made me terrified of releasing another. What if the first two were a fluke and my latest offering made everyone realise I wasn’t a real writer at all? What if I got the dreaded review, ‘Such a disappointment, this is the worst book she’s written’? Instead of being inspired to write more, I spent months unable to face the thought of exposing myself to failure and not writing a word. Eventually, I finished Did I Mention I Was Getting Married. Pressing the publish button was traumatic, far more so than previously because then I hadn’t imagined that readers in their thousands may choose my book.
The first review seemed to take forever to arrive but eventually it did – and it was a 5 star, followed by another and another and another. I started to breathe again and after a long hard think about life I had to accept that it was unlikely to be three coincidences, maybe I could actually write?

I still don’t have an agent or a publisher or a contract. But I do have a book that is currently # 1 in Contemporary Romance on Prime, #6 in Contemporary Romance in the Kindle store, # 12 in Contemporary Romance Books and #80 across the top 100 Kindle paid books whilst my latest book after only a month is already #69 in Contemporary Romance in the Kindle Store. So maybe I am a writer after all. I am self-published and in many people’s eyes that automatically makes me a lesser being than a traditionally published author. I am rubbish at self-promoting my books, shy about blowing my own trumpet, a novice at social media and need to learn how to recruit reviewers and followers. But my books are being read and enjoyed by thousands and that’s all that really matters.

So, no more wriggling with embarrassment and squirming under scrutiny. From now on, I am a writer, self-published and proud of it!

Did I Mention…A Sequel?

It’s finally happened!

After much longer than I intended to take, I finally got myself into gear and have finished, edited and published the second instalment of Rebecca’s glamorous life-after-lottery. Did I Mention I Was Getting Married is now available on amazon and is seconds away from being delivered to your kindle, ready to read! So if you’re interested in what Rebecca has been up to since she finally remembered to tell her husband she won the lottery, and how she’s been spending her millions since, why don’t you pick up a copy, grab a cup of tea and get stuck in!

 

Get On With It!

Today I found myself choosing to sort out the garden shed rather than sitting down and writing. Why? Because I’ve had such wonderful reviews and feedback from my two published books I’m actually scared to release a third in case everyone is disappointed! The story is in my head, some of it is even written but the more I think about it the more nervous I become. It’s a definite problem I need to overcome but in the meantime my house is tidier than its ever been and my screen remains blank.

But I am working on it and have two novels in  progress  – albeit  slow progress. A sequel to Did I Mention I won the Lottery and a wonderful Christmas story, which was meant to be finished and published last December! So if you are one of the wonderful readers who have read either or both of my books and left  such wonderful comments, please be patient. There is more coming.

Julie x