So this is not really going to be a tirade, but I wanted to use the cat because he/she/it makes me chuckle.
My mailing list has two groups, regular readers who have downloaded one of my sample books, and reviewers. The main body is the same, but the reviewers get reminders and review links.
Of the two, the reviewer group has the lower open rate. Much lower. With no new reviews coming in I decided to merge the two.
I had a good email conversation with the owner of one of the review platform that I had used, inquiring about the typical review rates of the participants. He was forthright about it and said it usually runs between 5-10%.
So, that’s what I have been experiencing, and I’m glad he was honest. I put my participation on hold, while I re-thought my strategy. I decided that the rate was too low because it means that 90% of readers who receive a free book from me do it for the free book.
Authors want a ROI (return on investment) on their marketing budget which I wrote about here:
Book Marketing: Spend money, make money? and here:
Amazon Ads: Here, Mr. Bezos, take my money and run.
When if comes to free books, whether short sample copies or review copies, getting the book into the hands of new readers is good exposure, if – and it’s a big if, they write a review, tell someone else, share their opinion on social media, or in the case of sample copies, buy the full book.
I stated in my review expectations, the I was hoping for a 4 week time frame, and always appreciated when reviewers informed me that they were done, needed more time, or decided that they were not going to leave a review.
On the plus-side, I cut down how much I have to write each week.
Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of four books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and Pictures, Journeys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar, The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories, and The View from Here, his first science fiction novella.