Bookshelf | Reports | Community | KDP Select

Home » Amazon KDP Support » Ask the Community » General Questions

Thread: Is my work just not good enough?


Reply to this Thread Reply to this Thread Search Forum Search Forum Back to Thread List Back to Thread List

Permlink Replies: 53 - Pages: 4 [ Previous | 1 2 3 4 | Next ] - Last Post: Dec 25, 2017 7:33 PM Last Post By: olga
Cynthia E. Gould

Posts: 93
Registered: 03/14/17
Re: Is my work just not good enough?
Posted: Dec 23, 2017 9:12 AM   in response to: Kathryn Grey in response to: Kathryn Grey
Click to report abuse...   Click to reply to this thread Reply
I've enjoyed hundreds, likely thousands of books. I've reviewed around 10.

It's just something people don't think to do.

At the end of my short stories, and with my book, I'm going to add a line, "If you liked this, please help an author out and review this on Amazon!".
Doubt it will do anything, but worth a shot.
Dave Casey

Posts: 382
Registered: 03/03/16
Re: Is my work just not good enough?
Posted: Dec 23, 2017 10:35 AM   in response to: Cynthia E. Gould in response to: Cynthia E. Gould
Click to report abuse...   Click to reply to this thread Reply
Cynthia E. Gould wrote:
At the end of my short stories, and with my book, I'm going to add a line, "If you liked this, please help an author out and review this on Amazon!".
Doubt it will do anything, but worth a shot.

I've already included a short paragraph to this effect on the last page of my books. It hasn't really done much of anything.
John

Posts: 15
Registered: 11/24/17
Re: Is my work just not good enough?
Posted: Dec 23, 2017 11:48 AM   in response to: Kathryn Grey in response to: Kathryn Grey
Click to report abuse...   Click to reply to this thread Reply
Why you lucky *#%@!! You've sold 800 copies from one title, that's just about as good as it gets for any newby or first timer on here. Sooner or later you'll garner reviews it takes time to acquire if the book is good. What you need to do is promote those sales asap and get the word out there. What's your secret, do share.
Ralph E Vaughan

Posts: 3,418
Registered: 12/01/12
Re: Is my work just not good enough?
Posted: Dec 23, 2017 1:22 PM   in response to: Kathryn Grey in response to: Kathryn Grey
Click to report abuse...   Click to reply to this thread Reply
If you've sold 800 copies (never include freebies in sales), you've done fairly well compared to most, though you need to deduct costs from your gross to really deter*mine how well your book has done. Given that, on the average, you can expect one review per each 100-200 copies sold, your total of four is not bad, though it's troubling that one is biased and two result from "begging."

Under the best circumstances, only about 0.4% of readers post reviews and there's nothing you can do about that. Even though all Kindle customers are taken to a rating/review page immediately after finishing the book, most will not post a review, and, as you discovered from your other review, sometimes you're better off without them. Readers may enjoy your book, but it may not resonate with them enough to compel them to leave a review. Romance readers read voraciously, perhaps more than any other genre-motivated demographic, but unless your book rises out of the middle of the pack (for better or worse) a reader may not be motivated to do more than move on to the next book.

Is your work good enough? The real question is how good are you at marketing and self-promotion? You didn't specify, but I got the impression you did not do much marketing beyond your initial investment, then abandoned it as you moved on. Marketing requires constant effort; the moment you stop, the book sinks out of sight. Here, you have to be both author and publisher. Of the two, publishing is harder.

Several hundred writers succeed here, their books either supporting them or providing the majority of their income. At the same time, many hundreds of thousands fail, sometimes miserably, more often with mere hundreds of sales annually. Good writers don't fail because their work isn't "good enough," but because they are lousy publishers. They either can't master the skills needed to market effectively or, more common, I think, just can't step outside their comfort zones enough to sell themselves.

I've been doing this a long time, but I really don't have any advice but what's obvious to anyone:
  • Master writing and storytelling skills, always looking at your work objectively and improving.
  • Don't publish anything before it's ready to be published.
  • Study the markets and market trends.
  • If you want to make money, write what people want to read, not what you want to write.
  • Educate yourself regarding the publishing and bookselling industries.
  • Become proficient in all aspects of book production, from graphic design to proofreading.
  • Spend a year establishing a significant social media presence, then work daily to maintain it.
  • Analyze the efficacy of marketing strategies and tools before publishing.
  • Treat writing as a business (or a job) and not a hobby or indulgence.
  • Don't obsess over reviews; they are useful for marketing, but bad reviews don't make a good book worse, nor good reviews a bad book better.
As you no doubt have realized by now (I hope) when you post a question in the forum you get opinions, and this is just another. Not every strategy works for every writer or every book. Sometimes we fail despite all our best efforts; often we succeed in spite of ourselves. Just keep moving forward. If a shark does not keep moving forward, he sinks to the bottom and dies. We are all sharks.
Wilai Lattimore

Posts: 525
Registered: 01/15/14
Re: Is my work just not good enough?
Posted: Dec 23, 2017 1:38 PM   in response to: Kathryn Grey in response to: Kathryn Grey
Click to report abuse...   Click to reply to this thread Reply
10 Great points from Ralph, but IMO he left the most important one out.

Write another book, and another and another. If you're good and tell a great story, success will eventually come.

Good luck and Merry Christmas
Ralph E Vaughan

Posts: 3,418
Registered: 12/01/12
Re: Is my work just not good enough?
Posted: Dec 23, 2017 1:47 PM   in response to: Wilai Lattimore in response to: Wilai Lattimore
Click to report abuse...   Click to reply to this thread Reply
Wilai Lattimore wrote:
10 Great points from Ralph, but IMO he left the most important one out.

Write another book, and another and another. If you're good and tell a great story, success will eventually come.

Good luck and Merry Christmas


Good point. And I might also have added the suggestion to develop a series -- series books feed off of and support each other, and well-developed char*acters provide opportunities for spin offs.
peterws

Posts: 157
Registered: 02/01/17
Re: Is my work just not good enough?
Posted: Dec 23, 2017 2:31 PM   in response to: Ralph E Vaughan in response to: Ralph E Vaughan
Click to report abuse...   Click to reply to this thread Reply
I guess when you write a book, you're mostly writing for and to, yourself. Subject matter, the drive behind it, the detail which adds colour and vibrancy to the work; how much is too much? Violence, sex, psychological warfare, or lack thereof; it all impinges on the senses and we're all different in our tastes.
And this is where my opinion can differ from the masses (LOL) who might be somehow cajoled into reading it. They get to the third page, and . . . doesn't resonate. Could also be the genre, the speed, lack of detail (in my case; I don't like to read too much in others' works either) in which case a rethink will be necessary.
There are other hobbies out there, you know but writing is fun.

I'm about to discover if rewriting is . . . :)
Joe Baldizzone

Posts: 91
Registered: 03/17/17
Re: Is my work just not good enough?
Posted: Dec 23, 2017 8:46 PM   in response to: Kathryn Grey in response to: Kathryn Grey
Click to report abuse...   Click to reply to this thread Reply
I'm a musician. I'm 56 years old. There is nothing I love to do more than create and perform music, and I've been doing it since I was 6 years old.

It wasn't until last year that I started earning my living with music.

I don't have a whole lot of experience as a writer, but as I musician what I often tell others is that if they're in it for the money, get out. There are 1000s of easier, enjoyable ways to earn money. The only reason you should be making music is because you love it, and/or you have to do it. I have spent and lost far more money in music than I will probably ever make. I have put more hours work and study into it than a brain surgeon, and I have gotten beaten to a pulp by the industry, clubs, and other musicians countless times over. Every single time that happened I brushed myself off, got back up, and said, "I gotta do what I gotta do." I don't regret a single day of my musical life, and even if I weren't currently earning my living at it, I'd still be writing, and performing. I have to. I want to.

I believe if one is to be happy in any of the arts, they need to have or develop a similar attitude.

I have lots more thoughts on this topic, but don't want to ramble. I have enough to fill a book :). Hmmm...
Victoria R. Bar...

Posts: 22
Registered: 06/10/13
Re: Is my work just not good enough?
Posted: Dec 23, 2017 9:16 PM   in response to: Kathryn Grey in response to: Kathryn Grey
Click to report abuse...   Click to reply to this thread Reply
I looked for your book on Amazon but couldn't find it under your name. Would like to check it out.
Do you have a Facebook author page? Are you posting on social media, with an occasional link to your book?
Have you asked people on Facebook author groups if they'd like an Advance Reader copy to review for you? Check out #SupportIndieWriters on Facebook.

Someone I know sent out invitations to get his ebook before publication for free, he got 150 replies and sent out the copies, and got 40 reviews. That's a pretty good result, and an honest way to do it, and costs nothing.

Look into ways to promote your book and you will come up with many. I barely work at it, and have 20 reviews on my first book; I'm bad at it but many who work at it do very well.
Good luck.
acornwriter

Posts: 1,991
Registered: 07/21/10
Re: Is my work just not good enough?
Posted: Dec 23, 2017 10:18 PM   in response to: Joe Baldizzone in response to: Joe Baldizzone
Click to report abuse...   Click to reply to this thread Reply
Beautifully written.

Highly creative people have the ability to create something from absolutely nothing. It's amazing, if you think about it. People take it for granted. That's partly why they don't leave reviews.
blaze99

Posts: 178
Registered: 02/23/12
Re: Is my work just not good enough?
Posted: Dec 24, 2017 3:35 AM   in response to: Jonathan B in response to: Jonathan B
Click to report abuse...   Click to reply to this thread Reply
Yes, I agree. You can calculate it by looking at the author rankings by category. There are hundreds of indie writers making $50 - $100k a year, and thousands making sub $50k.
Ralph E Vaughan

Posts: 3,418
Registered: 12/01/12
Re: Is my work just not good enough?
Posted: Dec 24, 2017 7:40 AM   in response to: peterws in response to: peterws
Click to report abuse...   Click to reply to this thread Reply
peterws wrote:
I guess when you write a book, you're mostly writing for and to, yourself. Subject matter, the drive behind it, the detail which adds colour and vibrancy to the work; how much is too much? Violence, sex, psychological warfare, or lack thereof; it all impinges on the senses and we're all different in our tastes.
And this is where my opinion can differ from the masses (LOL) who might be somehow cajoled into reading it. They get to the third page, and . . . doesn't resonate. Could also be the genre, the speed, lack of detail (in my case; I don't like to read too much in others' works either) in which case a rethink will be necessary.
There are other hobbies out there, you know but writing is fun.

I'm about to discover if rewriting is . . . :)


Rewriting is never fun. The older the story, the more painful. I'm revisiting a novella I wrote in the Seventies. Ouch.
Kathryn Grey

Posts: 8
Registered: 02/20/16
Re: Is my work just not good enough?
Posted: Dec 24, 2017 8:00 AM   in response to: Kathryn Grey in response to: Kathryn Grey
Click to report abuse...   Click to reply to this thread Reply
For those who've asked, no, the 800 sales does not include the giveaway that I did, and I've never given away books for free. The giveaway was for one copy, and it was run as a promotion before the book was released. I appreciate the advice but for the most part I'm still pretty stumped as to why I can't get reviews. I've even reached out directly to reviewers of my genre on Goodreads, and I got crickets in return. Is it because I'm a newbie? Is it because this romance doesn't contain smut, like so many of the popular ones do? I really don't know. I guess I will find out more after I release my second book.

Victoria, here is a link to the book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M3NIXP2/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

To the person who said that romance is the biggest genre for fake reviews...I've always secretly wondered if that was the case. Reviews just seem too easy to come by for some authors, and almost impossible to come by for others.

Edited by: Kathryn Grey on Dec 24, 2017 8:01 AM

Edited by: Kathryn Grey on Dec 24, 2017 8:10 AM
acornwriter

Posts: 1,991
Registered: 07/21/10
Re: Is my work just not good enough?
Posted: Dec 24, 2017 10:20 AM   in response to: Ralph E Vaughan in response to: Ralph E Vaughan
Click to report abuse...   Click to reply to this thread Reply
Rewriting is never fun. The older the story, the more painful. I'm revisiting a novella I wrote in the Seventies. Ouch.

Good luck with that. I just spent weeks editing an older novel. It had enough good feed back, I thought it deserved another chance. It is still not selling. Improved the cover too. I think it's one of my better stories but it's not moving. It wasn't a waste of time but I have cancelled plans to revise three other oldies. I think I will remove them from publication.

Speaking of errors, there were so many, I'm wondering if some of them crept in when I converted the manuscript from word doc to docx.

It is that time of year when we soul search. Build on our strengths.

Merry Christmas to those who celebrate. This evening, I am celebrating Christmas with Jewish friends who have the most Christmas spirit I've seen in years. Their deceased father used to dress up as Santa Claus for the neighbor kids in Los Angeles. They have great Christmas memories. Good people to be around today, especially if you are sick of commercial Christmas. Spent it with them last year too. Laughing at Will Farrell in "The Elf." Me, my husband Jon and his friend from high school who lives with his eighty-five year old mother. Ah... the good life. Who knew?
Duane Dingle

Posts: 129
Registered: 06/04/14
Re: Is my work just not good enough?
Posted: Dec 24, 2017 10:38 AM   in response to: Kathryn Grey in response to: Kathryn Grey
Click to report abuse...   Click to reply to this thread Reply
Reading your question broke my heart -no joke.

Reviews are damn hard to come by now. Three years ago, I was seeing about one review per hundred purchases/borrows (as a questimate), but now it's got to be more than per three hundred. I won't try saying why that now is as I would only be guessing, but don't bother with what everyone else has or is getting in regards to reviews and sales, just continue writing and marketing and if it's going to happen, it will happen, I expect. A novel written with money in mind is empty compared to a novel written with heart, soul and passion, and I have to believe that someone reading it would know which was the motivation behind the book.

Keep writing and looking forward. Good luck
Legend
Helpful Answer
Correct Answer

Point your RSS reader here for a feed of the latest messages in all forums