I could be even happier if I had more reviews for my books. Like every other author, I want more because the more reviews an author gets, good or bad, the more copies of the book she sells. This is a double edged-sword.
My first book, Dr No Commitment, has been out for six months longer than my second, and so when Losing Patients burst onto the market, the first had plenty of reviews, mainly good-ish, 3 – 5 stars. I’m guessing that buyers don’t look at the dates of publication while they’re choosing reading matter because after my second book was published I sold a heap more copies of my first.
With each scrap of publicity for my second book, I sold even more of my first. And so my second book languishes, or it did for six months. People couldn’t know they wouldn’t like a story they hadn't read, so I couldn't see a reason for the low sales. I know it’s a witty, light-hearted story about two people who are madly in love but can't see a future together. The official reviewers thought the second was better than the first and still the buyers kept choosing the first. I am happy to sell lots of copies of the first . . . but writers grow. If their second isn’t better, the first was a fluke.
Losing Patients is now finally selling well and again I have to guess why. I’m thinking that the people who liked Dr No Commitment are now willing to try the next. I look at my ratings on Goodreads, which are interesting. My first book is mainly rated well, which is pretty nice for a first book. 32 people want to read it. I say ‘go ahead, it won’t take long.’ My second has more people wanting to read it than have reviewed it. Again I say ‘don’t wait, because the third will be published while you dally.’
The interesting numbers are the 21 who want to read the print copy of Dr No, which is called All My Love. They’ve pretty well missed out and should stop adding the book to their list. They probably won’t find a copy in a bookstore now. Wanting to read a print book is only a short time possibility. Harlequins’ for instance, are only available for a month. Berkley, which mine is, sell for about six months. Maybe those waiting to read AML are expecting to find it second-hand.
Anyway, the reviews for Losing Patients are mainly 4 – 5 stars, better than for Dr No Commitment. Although, like any other author, I love 5 star reviews, I think readers don’t trust perfect scores because they think they are ‘friend’ reviews. Often you can work out which reviews are. You will see the same first name reviewers with each of an author’s books the moment they’re released. I don’t have any of those, though I would love some.
What I do have, which is awesome, is two 2 star reviews for Dr No. These are my very favourites because apparently both reviewers, who don’t have a face and only have a first name on Goodreads, don’t read romance. Just for me, each gave my romance a 2 star rating. One has never read any other book, let alone a romance. The other has read a couple but never a romance. I am so flattered that two people went to the trouble of taking out a Goodreads page just to give me a 2 star rating. I think I’m on the way up.
And I don’t even have to cut off my ear and die, first.