Getting Book Reviews: Go to Your Extended Network

Reviews matter more than feedback on your writing by a factor of a billion. Squared. We can talk about feedback later, because, like I said, reviews are more important. Since this isn’t directly Resistance related I’ll be brief and vague.

Most of us have a personal network of about 150 people (look up Dunbar’s Number.) These are our strong (or relatively strong) connections.

Beyond that, we have a network of those people’s 150-person network, or approximately 22,500 weak connections.

Weak connections are fine, those people you ping once a year to say hey. That’s where virtually all the business connections and good stuff lives. The strong ties, folks you see all the time, already know your situation, perhaps share it, so if they had an answer, you’d already know it.

… more … “Getting Book Reviews: Go to Your Extended Network”

Story Cartel Just Doesn’t Add Up for Me

Story CartelShort version: unless greater benefits roll in over time, I didn’t get anything from Story Cartel which I couldn’t have done just as well myself, without spending $25.

Update: maybe it was me —> Read more

Big Ol’ Nonsense Alert

Stop the presses and hold everything. Fellow writer Libi Astaire pointed out a line in the drawing rules I’d missed:

Every reader who downloads a book gets one entry.

They are rewarded for downloading your book, whether or not they have any intent on reading it, any interest whatsoever.

This violates my primary principle of free: it is not a price, it is a strategy.

“Here, download this” is not a strategy.

The founders of Story Cartel are authors. And they may be good at marketing their service. But they have a long way to go to be good at marketing our books for us.

Long version:

Your genre or network may deliver completely different outcomes, so this isn’t a sweeping condemnation of the tool. It does what it claims to do. My book was exposed to a wider audience, and I got reviews. It just didn’t add enough value to offset the cost.

During the experiment, I got two 4-star reviews from Story Cartel readers. In the same time period I got two 4-star reviews plus one 5-star review from my own network.

Some folks responded to my email to the 23 addresses Story Cartel provided. At least a dozen, more than half, didn’t participate in any manner beyond downloading the book. No review, no response to my two emails, nothing.

One old friend tried to download, couldn’t sort it out, and bought a print version instead. There’s a sale which may have been triggered by Story Cartel, but was consummated because he’s been a friend for 20 years. (I offered him a free copy, but he graciously wanted to reward me for my effort.)

… more … “Story Cartel Just Doesn’t Add Up for Me”

The Story (Cartel) Continues

Story CartelUpdate on my Story Cartel launch. My goal is to share every detail I can so you can see what would work for you.

Last Monday we sent out a special edition of the newsletter, and posted the same content here at the blog. We had launched the download at Story Cartel on Friday so we’d have the page’s URL for the post and newsletter.

By Monday morning, 9 Story Cartel members had already downloaded the book. This was before the newsletter and post went live.

The day of our launch, 9 more people downloaded the book; 6 of them newsletter subscribers. (One of the earlier downloaders is also a fan who follows everything I do closely, but I’m still pleased they discovered my launch on their own.)

According to Story Cartel’s data for average downloads per review, the 18 downloads shouldn’t result in any reviews. … more … “The Story (Cartel) Continues”

An Offer You Can’t Refuse

Special edition post; I’ll keep it brief and direct.

Get a free digital copy of A Long, Hard Look at Story Cartel. Write a review, and you’re entered to win a print copy.

More importantly (to me) you’ll be spreading the word about my writing, and giving me honest feedback on my latest book.

Don’t say no.

Download it right here: http://storycartel.com/books/a-long-hard-look/

Katherine Hepburn: How I Went to Africa With Bogart, Bacall and Huston, and Almost Lost My Mind

Just as musicians don’t always make great actors, as any music video will show you, actors don’t always make great writers. Here’s an exception: The Making of the African Queen.

Katherine Hepburn’s account of the making of The African Queen is priceless, not just because of the story it tells, but because it is memoir done right. It doesn’t attempt to tell her life story as if it were an autobiography. It is simply a memoir of a particular event.

… more … “Katherine Hepburn: How I Went to Africa With Bogart, Bacall and Huston, and Almost Lost My Mind”