Saturday, 1 April 2017

If I don't want to do PDA, it's not that I have something against you.—Coco Chanel

Some people are comfortable with public displays of affection, some believe such behaviour is too personal to share. Keev and I walk hand-in-hand, we lightly plant kisses, and we sit at the theatre with my hand nested snugly in his on his lap. So, moderate PDA on our part, but we are not offended by more effusive displays. I’ve seen anger erupt in public, and that is far more disturbing than any PDA will ever be.

My YA novel has been out in the wild for five weeks. I have no idea how sales are going and will not know until my royalty cheque, based on percentage of sales, comes in. The first quarter ended yesterday, but it will not be telling since it has not been out in the universe very long. From what I understand, third party payments (e.g. Amazon, Chapters, etc.) take time to come in, so will probably not make this first cheque. Not that any of that matters, but sales are part of the equation of writing for me now and I look at ways to increase them. Which has me pondering book reviews, which are proven to boost sales.

As of this morning, Cutting to the Chase has only been reviewed by one person on Amazon.com, one person on Amazon.ca and no one at Chapters-Indigo. The insecure writer in me would panic were it not for the emails and messages people have taken the time to write. Without those, I would be in a fetal position sucking my thumb. So, thank you for the wonderful words of support, for sharing your favourite parts, quotes, and real-life stories that connect to the novel’s content.

I have tried to encourage review writing, not to individuals as that is presumptuous and invasive, but by sharing how the algorithms work on the online book sites. I certainly did not know how it worked before getting into this process, only finding out about it a year or so ago. I read a fair bit and it didn’t cross my mind that what I had to say might be important to an author. I now make the effort to do so—and it is effort. Most of us spend too much time online as it is. Heading off to a book site to leave a review is one more thing to do in busy lives. It is why I cannot urge individuals to do it. What right do I have to impinge on their time? I mean, they’ve already put out money to buy the book and taken the time to read it.  Without a doubt, that is enough.

Yet I continue to ponder sales and reviews and how to generate both. In reflecting on reviews I have written, I realize that I have a caveat. I will only review books I absolutely enjoyed. There is nothing wrong with a three or four-star rating, absolutely nothing—good and very good. Despite knowing that, if I can’t give it a five star, I tend not to review it at all.


This all-or-nothing mentality is what led me to thinking of PDA, and how it’s such an individual, personal choice. I’m comfortable publicly showing affection for books I love, but am much more reserved when it comes to books I liked. And that’s okay. Okay for me and okay for my readers.

6 comments:

  1. Off to review, Rose. I did on Goodreads, but I'll add to Amazon, too. ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks, Zan Marie. Much appreciated!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Rose,

    Thank you for the general encouragement to review books. I never used to do this online in the past, simply because I didn't want that Amazon would not only know what books I bought but also how I liked them. I didn't want them to collect even more data about me. However, since your encouragement, I've taken to review books I loved. Like you, I only write a review when it's a 5 star review. Tastes differ, after all, and I don't want to spend my time writing bad reviews.
    So, thanks for the encouragement, and I hope it pays off for you too - literally ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Nicole!

      I'm with you about individual appeal. I refuse to write a negative interview. It would merely be reflective of my personal taste and would be so disheartening for the writer. It's the old "If you don't have anything nice to say..." However, I need to push myself to write the ones for those books that may not make my heart sing but are still really good books. There is nothing wrong with a four. I believe Amazon says that means "I like it" which truly describes a lot of books I read. :0)

      Delete
  4. Nicole, I should add a big thank you to you for one of the reviews on Germany's Amazon. Thank you for taking the time to do it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You don't have to mention that, Rose. It was completely my pleasure and the least I could do for you. I haven't heard back from my professor, to whom I recommended the book, but she was only the first one ;) Are you under contract with Mags's story already (if so, I guess it's with Evernight Teens too) or do you have to go through the whole pitching business again? I'm already looking forward to reading her story.

      Delete