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Thread: Learned the hard way...


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Permlink Replies: 21 - Pages: 2 [ 1 2 | Next ] - Last Post: Jul 18, 2012 11:34 PM Last Post By: ablake29
suzydubot

Posts: 209
Registered: 12/12/11
Learned the hard way...
Posted: Jul 1, 2012 8:59 AM
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One free short story has taught me not to give away my work!

First of all, I have to say that I have to write and that money is not the incentive. I basically like to see the pleasant reviews I sometimes get by people saying they'll look for more by me. That is my top recompense.

However, the one free story on Amazon that was a price match to elsewhere, has spoiled my day. 2 people have read it for free and then picked it apart because my punctuation was outside of quotes instead of inside or because I used too many commas. They ended by saying they were glad they hadn't paid for it and given me 2 stars!

On Barnes & Noble I have 15 reviews and not one mentions punctuation. I have one 3 star and the rest are above.

I suppose those against free books will say it serves me right. I'm sorry to have to agree now. Any price on the book would have had those people filtered out because they wouldn't have liked the sample or they were just out to get free books. $0.99 on the story would have spared me upset and I wouldn't have been any poorer.

So - that is learning the lesson the hard way. No more free stories for me!

ps Will be removing it from everywhere for free...

Message was edited by: suzydubot

Message was edited by: suzydubot

writeranne

Posts: 540
Registered: 05/09/12
Re: Learned the hard way...
Posted: Jul 1, 2012 9:11 AM   in response to: suzydubot in response to: suzydubot
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Sorry for your experience, but welcome to the NO MORE FREEBIES CLUB!

Many of us have begun the fight to stop the freebies. It's crazy that we should give away our work. This is the only segment of Amazon that gives things away for free. Amazon must laugh all the way to the bank because with all the free books out there, more people buy Kindles from them. And I'm sure they're laughing at all the writers giving away their work thinking it will help with sales.

The only thing free books does is hurt sales and usually brings negative reviews. The only negative review I ever got was the one and only time I did a free promo. Never again will I prostitute my craft by giving it away to the masses.
diamondlifestyle

Posts: 4,193
Registered: 07/02/11
Re: Learned the hard way...
Posted: Jul 1, 2012 9:13 AM   in response to: suzydubot in response to: suzydubot
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okay so you've been burnt. now learn from it. if they've given you constructive feedback about the grammar and they're right then they've done you a favour. 9/10 people won't leave feedback, but if there's something that puts them off, they just won't buy any more of your books. they won't make a song and dance about it, they'll just spend their money elsewhere. so while the low reviews are galling, make the change now and you won't get any more in future :-)
jtbigtoad

Posts: 9,229
Registered: 08/01/10
Re: Learned the hard way...
Posted: Jul 1, 2012 9:19 AM   in response to: suzydubot in response to: suzydubot
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There is a Hard-core gang of nit wits that cruise the amazon boards.

They live to pick on amazon Free books because they do not have to invest any money in them.

If you really want grief try to publisize your book there!

Many of the reviews seem to violate the Amazon Terms of Service, but that doesn't matter.

Many of the posters also seem to have multiple acounts (You did say you had two reviews noting a similar defect that no one else mentions!)

JT

;)

I guess the feeling there is that if you do not value your work enough to charge for it, then it is not worth anything, and therefore Fair Game!

I have managed to avoid the wrath of these Harpies and count myself lucky!

JT

;)
bethqbrown

Posts: 179
Registered: 05/09/12
Re: Learned the hard way...
Posted: Jul 1, 2012 9:19 AM   in response to: suzydubot in response to: suzydubot
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I've been on the fence and now I'm glad I read your thread! Thx...I can envision that happening, temptation is to create more visibility but there is the increased risk of catching the type you describe! Shallow-minded readers one might call them.
elementumvita

Posts: 277
Registered: 12/07/11
Re: Learned the hard way...
Posted: Jul 1, 2012 9:26 AM   in response to: suzydubot in response to: suzydubot
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Yes I agree. I always thought the idea of giving away books was stupid. This is a business whether you are in it for the money or not. I'm sorry but I don't simply upload my writing for the fuzzy warm feeling I get knowing that someone has read my book. I upload my books to get paid...I'd like to make a living out of this someday. From amazon's perspective it's great to have talented writers giving away books and they phrase it like they are doing you a favor. "We'll let you give away your books for free as a promo." Most authors will think yeah that's a good idea, even well established authors have free promos. The difference is those are normally a limited number. When you do it any jacka$$ with a kindle can download your book for at least 24 hours. I shake my head every time someone says how many thousand downloads they got over one free promo, I shake my head. I've never seen that translate into thousands of sales of the same book and why would it? Your fan base just got what they wanted for free. I hope more people get on the bandwagon because you can't expect to sell something when the next guy is giving away. Sorry for the rant, I just hate the freebie idea.
bethqbrown

Posts: 179
Registered: 05/09/12
Re: Learned the hard way...
Posted: Jul 1, 2012 9:53 AM   in response to: elementumvita in response to: elementumvita
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Have you opted out of KDP Select then? I see that as the only real perk. I'm thinking I may not choose Select for next book. I will have more freedom. Ideas? Am I on the mark? This is a new industry for me so I want to make the best choices for me as an author! Thx
andresanthomas

Posts: 4,935
Registered: 01/01/12
Re: Learned the hard way...
Posted: Jul 1, 2012 10:03 AM   in response to: suzydubot in response to: suzydubot
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What you should learn is that your book has technical problems that need fixing. That's not the fault of a free day. That's what happens when your book gets in front of someone who knows better. That could have happened at 1000 paid sales or at 100 free sales. Either way, the fault is yours, not Amazon or the free day.
thetimucuan

Posts: 5,125
Registered: 09/14/10
Re: Learned the hard way...
Posted: Jul 1, 2012 10:08 AM   in response to: andresanthomas in response to: andresanthomas
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Well, it depends on whether the reviewers are correct about their complaints. They often are not correct. I have to assume in this case they are, since the author did not say as much in her OP. It seems to be the way they complained that bothers the author in this case.
suzydubot

Posts: 209
Registered: 12/12/11
Re: Learned the hard way...
Posted: Jul 1, 2012 10:15 AM   in response to: diamondlifestyle in response to: diamondlifestyle
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I have learned from their criticism. I have just bought Strunk & White "The Elements of Style" in an effort to try and improve.
However, I have been straddling two countries. I usually write British English having left the United States forty years ago. However, I do slip sometimes. I hardly pay attention to where I put periods/full stops when in full typing mode. Am now going to pay more attention, needless to say. Commas are going to be harder to control, I fear. :)
suzydubot

Posts: 209
Registered: 12/12/11
Re: Learned the hard way...
Posted: Jul 1, 2012 10:27 AM   in response to: andresanthomas in response to: andresanthomas
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At least in the future, they should have to pay to pick my punctuation apart!
There I gave them the opportunity for free! :)

I suppose I shouldn't have used two exclamation marks but I do wish to express something more than a flat observation.
politeia

Posts: 1,081
Registered: 07/16/11
Re: Learned the hard way...
Posted: Jul 1, 2012 10:28 AM   in response to: suzydubot in response to: suzydubot
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Don't mean to pile on, since you prolly know what to do. But your remark about "full typing mode" was kinda funny. It suggested that you just type something off, hit save and then publish it. I'm sure you don't do this. But it just sounds like what many people think writers actually do.
andresanthomas

Posts: 4,935
Registered: 01/01/12
Re: Learned the hard way...
Posted: Jul 1, 2012 10:28 AM   in response to: suzydubot in response to: suzydubot
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There is a little more leeway and "style" involved in how often commas are used (and differences between Europe and the US on that point), but where they go in terms of quotation marks is standard.
thetimucuan

Posts: 5,125
Registered: 09/14/10
Re: Learned the hard way...
Posted: Jul 1, 2012 10:36 AM   in response to: suzydubot in response to: suzydubot
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I suggest you find an accredited editor (US). It will cost you, but if you are serious about your writing, I see no way around paying for a good editor. Ninety-nine percent of writers who think they do not need an editor are kidding themselves, and the other one percent are fooling themselves. Even after you have your books edited, there will still be a few reviewers claiming your book is full of problems, but then, you will get reviews mentioning scenes that are not even in your story. Take reviews with a grain (or a pound) of salt. Some writers do not even read their reviews and certainly do not respond to them. As time goes by, I pay less and less attention to mine. That is not to say they are never accurate, but they often are so inaccurate as to be suspicious.
suzydubot

Posts: 209
Registered: 12/12/11
Re: Learned the hard way...
Posted: Jul 1, 2012 10:45 AM   in response to: politeia in response to: politeia
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Of course, I re-read and edit and even re-write but unfortunately, I have sometimes put a full stop outside a quotation ending a sentence. Just the idea in my mind that it ends the sentence on the whole and not just the quote. I will now be very careful about that.
I really am not interested in the money (unless it were enough to repair the roof of our house :) ) so I am not in a position to pay for professional editing when I have heard from other indie writers that some of them have been disappointed with editing they have paid for. Not always, but it does happen.

I have actually read printed books where the author used a name by mistake and the editors didn't catch that the person didn't exist within that story.
Nobody is perfect, me least of all.
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