Tag Archives: free books

Got an Unfair Book Review after Your FREE KDP Days?


Then you are not alone. I heard this from many authors, and don’t even want to call them reviews – as these people totally ignore the rules how to write a book review – rather bashing authors and their work. Some people are hoarding free books, without checking them before, they don’t even read the “Look Inside” part on Amazon’s page and then, when it is not the right genre or a book in a series, or when it is too long or too short, they write harsh complaints, instead of writing a fair and professional review. 

Just one example:
A great novel with 91 customer reviews, almost all in the 5-star range, received these negative “reviews”, after having the book up for two days on Amazon’s KDP Select.

1-Star Review
“I really can’t complain about this since it was a free book, but it…
By the end of the book, I didn’t like any of the characters….”

3-Star Review
“This was a “borrowed” book that I was able to get for being an Amazon Prime member. In a nutshell, this book entertained me for a few days, but I would not recommend it to a friend.”

90% of this books negative reviewers had not bought the book, one reviewer borrowed it through Prime Membership, the rest got it for free at Amazon’s KDP days, obviously without even reading the books description, nor the title headline (where the series was mentioned).  These reviewers just took their frustration out via an Amazon “review”, bashing the free book they had received on their Kindle.

Another example:
A #1 bestseller book in its category, with almost 5,000 !!! reviews. From the 281 “reviewers”, who gave 1-Star, only three of them had actually bought the book! It really seems to be a pattern that people, who download the book for free are very often writing negative reviews.

5 star: (2,802)
4 star: (1,023)
3 star: (554)
2 star: (278)
1 star: (281)

Let your readers and friends decide if these negative reviews are helpful
Rating the existing book #reviews as “helpful” or “unhelpful” makes a significant impact! Voting for the most helpful reviews, your friends have the power to move them to the head of the line…

Amazon has this rarely used function: “Help other customers find the most helpful reviews” and “Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No”  

There is also another way to boost your book, in order to get more readers and reviews, which we explained in a former blog: “HIGHLIGHTS” in your book: A great tool in Amazon’s algorithm list for book popularity.

Laura Miller is a senior writer for Salon wrote: “Unless such a review is a spiteful slap-down written to gratify the un-examined resentments of the worst sort of reader, how welcome (let alone “useful”) can it really be?”  And think about it: “…it seems the more success you have, the harder some people are on you…”

Funny, negative reviews
Bestseller author Rayne Hall just blogged about negative, but funny reviews she received, some are really hilarious. Have a look at her article, sampling some of the stupidities for her highly popular novel Storm Dancer (dark epic fantasy novel):

“This book is too long. I had to spend many hours reading it. I’m busy and have other things to do.”

“The character of Queen Matilda is not believable”.    There’s no Queen Matilda in the book.

Read more here:



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No More 99cent Books! Decent Pay for Decent Work!


Gail Gentry wrote a great blog about ebook prices – I fully agree what she writes. If ALL authors would value their books – and their work – more, would band together and prize all their works at least to the level of a cappuccino… and get rid of these 99cent books.
Gail wrote: “I’ve watched the trends and read articles about how new indie authors must price their books at 99 cents. Get the sales out there – get your name recognized. Great! I can do that. Sell 100 books, make $100, right, or well, hey, close to it, right? RIGHT? My bubble is then burst when I’m told the percentage tier for sale prices on Amazon. For every book you list and sell at 99 cents, you get 35%. Wait, what? For every book I sell at 99 cents I get 35 cents? So for my brand spanking new book I only get a mere 8 cents more than a book, an old book, a used, worn book, a dated book, that I would sell as a yard sale item for a quarter?

Now, I work a full-time job and in addition I have a part-time job where I freelance as a typist for a small company. I only have to work about one minute in my part-timer to get paid 35cents. I don’t even want to do the math and add up the hours I’m spending writing my book, dreaming about my book, editing and revising; and, this doesn’t even take into account what it’s going to take to have cover art designed, or pay CreateSpace for hardbound copies, in addition to advertising. How about the countless hours of sleep I’ve lost – some nights I’m lucky to get 3 or 4 hours before I turn around and go to my day job. I figure, it’s okay. I love writing. It’s my passion, my heart.

HOWEVER, it’s not okay to get 35 cents for every book I sell. Sorry but I’m not going to accept that. It’s not even okay to sell my book for 99 cents. I look around and see not only good authors but GREAT authors selling their books for 99 cents. And, it’s not okay with them to sell their books either for 99cents but they’re having to do it to stay competitive.

I say BULL….SHIT. When did it become the norm to throw all the books written by Indie authors into the marked-down bin? Now I know I’ll probably get the comments that “if you’re a true writer, you’re not in it for the money, you’re in it for the passion.” To that I say DOUBLE BULL….SHIT.  If I wanted to just plain write, then I wouldn’t revise, I wouldn’t edit, I wouldn’t hire a cover artist, I wouldn’t have hardbound copies made, etc., etc.  Anyone who wants to tell me that they would, then go for it. Prove it. Send me your book for free, and I hope it’s okay if I in turn send you over a mailing list to all of my friends – I’ll even tweet my 6600 followers on Twitter and let them know you’re giving your books away for free from here to eternity just because it makes you happy to have your writing in someone else’s hands and you’re not looking for anything in return. No reviews, no “Likes”, no recognition, no money to cover your out-of-pocket costs.

After you send me your book just keep in mind, I didn’t say I would read your book. Change your mind? Yup, thought so. If you don’t value your work any more than that, why should I? Free books are what I get with my library card. At least I know the authors sitting on the shelves in the library believed in themselves enough to have made an investment in their writing.

My good friend, R. S. Guthrie, has said it and I agree with him 100% that it’s up to authors – both seasoned and green – to move the price market. I’m an unknown author, I have yet to prove my worth – I might even suck. Still, when I release my book this year I will be debuting it at $2.99, maybe even $4.99.

I will leave it up to the promotions to reduce the price or do a give-away. I can tell you there are just as many authors out there selling their books at $2.99 or above that I have not heard of as there are selling them at 99 cents. So what’s the difference. On my Amazon site, I plan on having an excerpt from the book or perhaps the first chapter – something for the public to read in order to be able to make an informed choice on whether or not it’s a book they would like to delve into. I believe it’s not so much the price of the book that will get me my readers but how I market my book and the quality of my book.

Shall I say that again? I believe it’s not so much the price of the book that will get me my readers but how I market my book and the quality of my book.”

Read the article in full length here: and let me know what YOU think about e-book prices from independent authors. Should they stay at the free or 99cent – level or should authors receive decent pay for their work?

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