It’s another recruitment day for RRBC, in fact the last one for this year, so, as this is also a ‘Pay It Forward’ profiling week and I’m also planning on doing some personal profiling for my 2 fellow Book of the Month Honorees in the latter half of this month I thought I’d do something a bit different with spreading the word about RRBC. And it’s something I don’t actually do a lot of these days (well, not ever,
really)… hard stats on the sharp end of being a writer – my sales. Skip to the end now if you don’t want to read the padding in between, although the inforgraphic’s pretty spiffy! 😉
Now – I don’t have to rely on selling my books for an income, which is just as well really since I’ve written a book, Milele Safari that’s hard to pin down to a genre – so I went by default to ‘Literary Fiction’ which should ordinarily not be attempted by indie authors, as most readers don’t actually BUY ‘highbrow’ books unless it’s by a literary lion, or it’s a pressie, or they can borrow it from their local library – or a mate with more money than sense… This is not to denigrate Literary Fiction as such, as there’s some blistering reads, but there’s also an undeniable drag factor from being seen as ‘heavy-going’ too – you get the picture anyway.
So, unsurprisingly I haven’t sold too many, but I have managed to cover the costs of publication by doing everything myself, or on the cheap (I did a reciprocal editing/typesetting swap with a trusted writer friend, so I wasn’t cutting corners, just ‘skills-pooling’).
Now, before you ask what has this got to do with RRBC, I’ll tell you! 😀 If you want/intend to sell a lot of books online, and, for most intents and purposes you want to do this globally, then Amazon is your first port of call if you have two brain cells to rub together. So, having people to review your book is vital to selling on Amazon, because the more reviews you have, the better it looks for you on your ratings, so the more Amazon ‘recommends’ it, and the more people are going to notice it – and so on. So, as I also like reading, joining a REVIEW book club was kind of obvious because I’m quite happy to blather on about other people’s books and hope they’ll do the same for me.
And this, by and large, is what’s happened since I joined RRBC in late Spring 2014. I’ve bought over 150 books since I joined and I’ve read and reviewed about 70% – my To-Be-Read list is scary to look at, but I will get to reviewing most of them, provided I can finish them and feel I can recommend them. We do honest reviews at RRBC you see. If I can give a book three stars or more, then I can honestly say I enjoyed the experience – if I can’t give it three stars then, to be brutally honest, how can I recommend it? So unless it’s irredeemably stinky or offensively or morally reprehensible in some way I’m not going to bother to review it because quite frankly it’s doing the author more harm than good and it’s not doing readers any practical favours either. IF I think there’s some merit in the story or subject matter, and the reasons I found the book to be poor are ‘fixable’ – like getting it edited properly or giving a proper, constructive critique, then I might contact the author to say why I’m not reviewing and why. In one instance I’ve provided an editorial service to a writer with a poorly-written but otherwise absorbing story, and the book’s done much better for being polished up and having the sloppy bits firmed up. And I hope other people read and review Milele in the same spirit, especially if they’re RRBC people.
Here’s the stats bit!
Milele Safari Reviews attributable to RRBC members (past or current members)
5 STARS – 8
4 STARS – 5
5 STARS – 7
4 STARS – 2
3 STARS – 1
So well over 50% of the reviews have come from RRBC people – who likely wouldn’t have reviewed it at all if I hadn’t joined up!
Since the 1st of November 2015 I’ve had 6 paid sales from Kindle as a result of being Book of the Month (and may well have had Kindle Unlimited ‘freebies’ snapped up as well) and so far two 5 and two 4 star reviews with more still to come in as people battle with their own TBR lists.
I’m not making too much at this, but I am getting recognition and I’m rising up the rankings too. I’m very happy I joined RRBC and it’s mostly NOT because of the reviews, it’s because of the support, encouragement and camaraderie I get from the other members – not to mention all the things I’m learning about networking and marketing on social media – something I simply wouldn’t go near before I joined up.
Whether you write, or just enjoy reading – do yourself a favour and have a look-see at RRBC sometime soon – the least that can happen is you’ll find some great indie booksto read there! 😀