Short 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.
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”