Yeah, so I’ve been beating the “Leave a review” drum in the past few posts, and I decided to go back and review some of those free books I’d read a few years back. After all, free = Indie and they were clearly self-published from the errors and editing mistakes I saw.
I pull up the first one, and its got 1200 reviews.
Okay… guess they don’t need my oar after all. They appear to be doing very well. Plus, reviewing the book to do a review would take a bit of time, and I don’t want to do that. I go on to the next author. This one definitely would need my help, his stuff was simply sloppy and needed a lot of help, and some developmental editing, and… had 900 reviews.
And the people reviewing it loved it. Not a critical review to be seen. (scene?) No mention of the homophone problems, or the amateurish content, nothing.
I guess… I don’t need to review this one, either.
And then I concluded that these people had managed to hop on wagon during the 15 minutes when free books garnered lots of readers, before they would have been subsumed into the slush-pile of barely adequate books. The free-wheeling wild west of e-books is… well, it’s changed. Used to be, you could put out a free eBook and the masses would consume it. Nowadays, your free eBook is just one of many, and it has no reviews. Why would I bother?
Another thing I concluded was that they’d done well with their sequels, which they charged for. The entry book was just the hook, and the the sequels were the money makers. This is a standard business model, but for them it worked, and I was surprised at the bare adequateness of it all. The books were not elegant examples of awesome craft. Yet, thousands of sales. Go figure.
My wife says maybe the readers are just easy, and not used to quality, and give easy 5 stars to a book because they don’t care about spelling and grammar and plot.
She might be right. If she is, can I get them to buy my books?