Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Great Expectations

How do you deal with friends and relatives when your books are released? Do you give them free copies? If so, do you expect reviews? Do you get them?

When I started writing, I had three short stories published in the
CUP OF COMFORT anthologies. Needless to say I was excited and thrilled to be a paid writer. In addition, the publisher provided one free copy and the option to buy more at a discount in the event I wanted to sell them myself. I bought more copies but I didn't sell them. I gave them to family and friends because I was newly published, looking for exposure and hoping for a few favorable reviews on Amazon.

Everyone loved the stories - at least that's what they told me. Every day I checked Amazon and every day there were no reviews. Finally, I resorted to asking for reviews, then begging, cajoling and finally demanding. My husband, kids and a few friends finally posted their comments - uniformly good, and hopefully honest.

But what was the problem? I gave them a free book. Did I expect too much just because I provided a copy? If they really liked the story, why were they hesitant to review it? Are people just too busy these days to think about giving a friend a review? Or do they think writers get umpteen free copies to distribute?

What do you think?


JP said...

I'm so excited about the buzz of your new book that I'll buy it, read it, and review it, without any prodding!

Riley Quinn said...

I don't think people realize how important it is to us to see validation that someone really likes our writing. If you plan to hand them out to friends and family in the future, maybe tell them the cost of the book is a timely review. Sorry you had to prod them.

Gale Stanley said...

You're so right about wanting validation. People don't realize how much we pour into our work.

Rachel Lynne said...

I'm not there yet but the issue will arise, probably this year, so thanks for bringing it up!
I would also wonder about e-books. Do authors get free download?

Julia Barrett said...

I love to leave reviews for authors. I think some people are nervous about technology or how to upload a review or how to enter a review without using their real name or maybe they are just busy. I have noticed that people who do not like a book seem to have no hesitation in posting a review!

Merlyssa Cormack said...

I'm a huge reader but I never think about posting reviews. If I do think to do a review, I sometimes have trouble formulating what I liked about the book. Saying I loved it, sounds so cheesy so I don't do it. This sounds horrible coming from a writer, imagine someone who doesn't write. Its not really easy for everyone to do.

I would imagine that unless you say as your handing it to someone, "hey, please do a review on amazon or your favorite book site, help me get my name out there. I'd really appreciate it," they're not going to do it. Its just not something that average person will thing of unless their really into reviewing.

Gale Stanley said...

Now that you mention it... Yes it does seem like people are more likely to leave bad reviews. I'll take it as a compliment then. lol
Not sure about the e-books Rachel, I find out in June.

Riley Quinn said...

Rachel, it depends on your publisher. I get 5 free ebooks and then I believe I get a discount if I want more.