I’ve been writing and self publishing for about 15 months now, and there’s one thing I’ve noticed. Self published books will remain in obscurity, without consistent reviews. I’ve been watching hundreds of books as they go live. Some, like mine, will garner a handful of reviews and then stall. Others though, will gain hundreds to thousands of reviews, and are consistently at the top of all the charts. Is it because those books are better? According to the reviews themselves, I cannot say for certain.
All of my published books hold a 4.1 or greater average, with most of them above 4.7. That is great, right? Well, not so fast. I have at most, 39 reviews on any single book, but the average is far lower. I have 3 reviews on my Anthology (average of 4.7) and 39 on Linear Shift, Part 1 (average of 4.1) My other books vary somewhere in between. Comparatively, some other authors boast many more reviews – I mean a lot. Certainly in the hundreds and sometimes in the thousands. And their averages? Most of the time, they drop below the 4.0 mark, and many have an average of 3.5 or lower. But, they remain at the top of the lists. Are they better? Worse? Who knows.
To date, I have sold a meager 850 books, and have given away more than 12,000 in promotions, across all of my books. I have a total of 90 reviews on Amazon – again, across all my books. That is .7% review ratio. Not seven percent, but POINT seven percent. That’s 7 tenths of one percent. Don’t get me wrong – I’m grateful for those reviews. Beyond grateful.
From what I’ve gathered from various writer-type forums around the internet, the sales to review ratio ranges far and wide. I am below the low, but not by too much. The reported lows I’ve been seeing is 1%. If I had 1%, I’d be in the neighborhood of 130 reviews – I would LOVE to have 40 more reviews! The high average was 4%, and that would put me around 500 reviews. That is a dream number for me right now, but I can hope, right?
Let me get this straight – I am NOT complaining. Ok, I’m complaining a little. I would just like a better way to get my books into the eyes of the reader.
So … I have a new plan! For the near and foreseeable future, I will give away my ebooks. Any ebook you like, if you promise to give me a review. If you follow through with posting a review, just shoot me an email, and I will send you another ebook of your choice. Review it, email me, and I’ll send you another. This is a great deal for you and for me. You could potentially read all of my books for free, and I can get more reviews in the mean time.
What is prompting this sudden desire for more reviews is this. I have the omnibus of Linear Shift coming out in early 2015, and shortly behind that, I will be publishing 7 new “episodes” of Borrowed Souls. I would like to get as much attention to those two series’ by the time they go live.
So? What do you say? Do you want a free ebook?Read More
Holy cow, it’s been a while since I posted on my blog! I’ve been fastidiously pounding away at the keyboard on Linear Shift, Part 3. I am SO CLOSE to sending it off for final editing, it’s crazy. Just a few more weeks, and it’s out of my hands … at least for a little while.
So, in preparation ( or celebration, if you’d like to look at it in a different light ), I have created a pre-order page on Amazon for the third installment. I am going to offer Linear Shift, Part 3 for $2.99 once published. For the pre-order period, Part 3 can be had for $1.99. It’s obviously not an enormous savings, but it’s 33%, and that’s pretty good! Also, here’s the cover reveal for Part 3.
On other things writing, I am about to surpass my initial writing goal for the year. I have several actually, and this one will come to pass one day next week! I set the goal to write 300,000 words, in either my journal on on one of my stories, by the end of the year. As of last night, I am at 296,627 words. If this weekend goes as planned ( I’m planning on finishing the final chapter of Linear Shift, Part 3! ), I should hit my goal on Monday! Can I get a Hell Yeah? My next goal will be hitting double my word count from 2013, which was 175,963. At my average daily word count to date ( for which I have not missed a writing day all year! ) of 1,163, I should hit around the end of October. My last word count goal for the year is to hit 1,000 words a day, all year. Obviously, I’ve feel short on hitting that EVERY day, but as the average goes, I’m on track to beat that. I should end up around 425,000 words by December 31st.
OK, now back to some real writing. So close … So close…Read More
There was a little snafu earlier today, but it’s been all fixed! An Anthology of Short Stories: Summer 2014 is now available!
Here is the book description:
An anthology of seven short stories by Paul B. Kohler. The stories range from just four pages long for Gold Rush to nearly 80 pages for Linear Shift, Part 1.
Amy – A toddler’s independent adventure leads to a tragic and unexpected end.
Ruined Sacrifice – Newlyweds James and Alison are on the trip of a lifetime, trekking through the jungle exploring ancient pyramids. Told that a number of interesting structures are off limits, they decide to wander off on their own … only to discover that they’re not alone — and that the ancient past has a dangerous habit of springing back to life!
Afterlife – Wilson Oliver copes with his new reality of dealing with the dead and dying.
Alone – A sleepless night forces Rob McArthur to question what is causing him to lose sleep, life, and whether he’s alone in his feelings.
Gold Rush – A futuristic glimpse of an age old era that time has forgotten.
Lookout Mountain – Depression nearly gets the best of Ian, but his mind saves him before he firmly hits the ground.
Linear Shift, Part 1 – No one said time travel would be easy.
Peter Cooper, a widowed father of two whose life is crumbling around him—until a bizarre encounter with a desperate Army general launches him on a risky mission: to go back to 1942 and change a moment in time. The repercussions will almost certainly alter the conclusion of World War II. But will the ripple effects stop there? And what kind of life will Peter return to?
Later today, I’m going to be sending out my June newsletter. What? It’s July you say? Well, yeah, I’m slacking a bit this month. Actually, the hold up for the newsletter is the completion of the free short story that’ll be included.
I had written a good portion of a different story, and totally planned on sending it out after our mid June vacation. Well, I sort of got ‘inspired’ down in Mexico and started a whole new story. Well, yada yada, blah blah, I just finished that short story last week, and it’s now edited and ready for readers!
The short story is called Ruined Sacrifice, and is around 8,700 words. Here’s the cover and blurb:
Newlyweds James and Alison are on the trip of a lifetime, trekking through the jungle exploring ancient pyramids. Told that a number of interesting structures are off limits, they decide to wander off on their own … only to discover that they’re not alone — and that the ancient past has a dangerous habit of springing back to life!Read More
Even though I have yet to complete June’s free short story, I went ahead and created the cover for the Summer 2014 Anthology. I wasn’t going to do anything with it until later next week, but there was a spot available to promote the book with a few other Indie Authors, so I moved it to the front of the line.
I had originally subtitled it Volume I but changed it today to Summer 2014. I plan on releasing another half year anthology in December, and then combining all 12 from 2014 and include a few extra bonuses and publish a real Volume I in January. I then plan on doing the same next year if I can keep up with writing both short work and novels at the same time.
Now that this cover is out, I’m back to June’s short story. I’ve got everything inline and just need to fill in the blanks. Oh, and come up with a good title and cover! My June newsletter may in fact come a few days late, and slide into July. Then I need to work on something for July’s short story, but I’ve got a few ideas already for that one!Read More
I’ve become a bit lazy with my writing. I started the year with a large goal of writing 300,000 words this year. To hit that goal, I need to average about 820 words per day. I far surpassed that in January, and again in February and March. That’s where I peaked before dropping drastically. Last month, I averaged 784 words per day, and this month I am even less, averaging just 605 words per day, through yesterday.
I think a reason (not the only reason) for my writing habits dropping lately is because of reading some of the book reviews I’ve gotten lately. First off, I’m not getting too many reviews in the first place, but when I get them from folks that do not understand what “Serial Fiction” is, I get a little depressed. Makes me question whether to continue with this dream or not.
I’ve made the decision before publishing my first book to NOT reply to any specific review – good or bad. I will continue to hold true to that decision, as there are certainly internet trolls out there just looking for a confrontation with someone. I am not going to be that guy. Granted, everyone has their right to their own opinion. And isn’t that really what a review really is?
Honestly, I am completely OK with all reviews – good or bad. It just stings a little reading the bad ones. I cheer myself up by clicking over to folks like Stephen King or James Patterson and reading some of their one star reviews. It shows me that it happens to the best as well.
So, here I sit – almost halfway through 2014, and I although I am ahead of my year goal of 300,000 words, I am struggling. I am sitting at 195,000 words through yesterday. No, not all of those words are “story” words. They are words that I take the time to write, and that is where my goal is. I am putting the time in. Because I am very new to this whole world of writing and publishing thing, am setting a good work habit now as I sharpen my skill set of being a word jockey. Next year, I’ll again set a high word count goal, but I’ll increase the “story” word count. This year, I’d bet that my published count vs. non-story words will be a bit lopsided in favor of non-story words. If I could flip that stat next year, I would be happy.
Now, with my vacation over, I must focus on a number of projects. First off, I need to finish up a short story for my June newsletter. Today is the 23rd, and I still have a few days to wrap it up. I got inspired on vacation and started a brand new story. I’m about a third through it, and hope to have it wrapped up in a few days. After that, I am back on to Linear Shift. My goal is to wrap up the entire story in a few months, which I think I am on track for. Mid July, I’ll be publishing my first 6 months of short stories in a half year anthology.
So, that’s me in a nut shell. I’ll try to update more often. Promise.Read More
Hey everyone. I’m going to be giving away 20 (TWENTY) copies of my audio book for Borrowed Souls in exchange for honest reviews of the recording. It released a few weeks ago, and I still haven’t received a single review. Interested? I hope so!
Here’s how it’s going to work: Signup for my newsletter and once you confirm your subscription, you will be given a “Top Secret” code on your confirmation screen. Simply email me that “code” at email@example.com, and I will reply with the book credit and how to use it. Plus, you get a FREE ebook of your choice, just for subscribing. If you are already a subscriber, just email me with “Been There-Done That” in the body of the email, and I’ll confirm your subscription and shoot out the audio book.
Now, here’s the restrictions: This is offered to the first 10 (TEN) respondents in the US and the first 10 (TEN) respondents in the UK. Check back here to see if all spots have been filled. I will update the list below as each FREE BOOK is sent out.
Also, if you subscribe before 5:00 p.m. today, you will receive my MAY Newsletter, with a fresh short story. The short story this month is called Afterlife,which is a short “prequel” to Borrowed Souls. Good luck!
Free Audio Books already sent out: