I’m not a patient person. Amazon two day (when it works) delivery is my friend. Amazon Prime Now is my best friend.
I make a business decision and want to see the results immediately.
I place an ad in AMS (Amazon Marketing Services) and I want to see it’s impact immediately.
You see where I’m going with this. Patience, while a virtue, isn’t something I’m good at, and it often bites me.
Today’s case in point.
I published Space Rogues in August 2016. I rushed into it. It wasn’t well (at all) edited beyond me and friends. It had “developer art” for a cover. I should have waited. Over the next just over a year, I updated the manuscript (Hired an editor/proofreader), had the cover redone, etc. I track major changes, and Space Rogues is currently (And likely staying) at version 7.
Unfortunately while learning about how to not release a crappy book, I was promoting a crappy book. Sending out copies for review, running giveaways, etc.
Now, months after those ill-advised steps, I’m constantly reminded that rushing isn’t a good idea. For every four positive reviews, someone reviews a copy that’s out of date (and I can’t update) and dings me.
The problem is all those giveaways (especially the ones outside of Amazon) are a version before 7, in many cases version 3 or so. Before I paid an editor to clean it up. I can’t interact with these folks, can’t offer an updated version, etc. They have only what I gave them, and they pop in to review that version, as I’d asked.
Amazon is imperfect and only allows an author to update a book to all readers if significant issues exist. You’re at their mercy, then you’re at the mercy of the reader to actually update their file.
Folks who got the book via an email or bookfunnel giveaway, etc. have nothing.
I can sort of tell who’s who since the more positive reviews are verified purchases. People who bought from Amazon, and I hope (are reading the most current version of the story). The more critical reviews are mostly unverified, meaning they didn’t get the book from Amazon.
I’m not mad at the reviewers, it’s not their fault. I’m mad at me. Had I waited a month or two (I’d like to think it wouldn’t have taken over a year to realize my errors) and had more eyes on the book before launch, I wouldn’t have these long tail bad reviews popping in. I was excited to get two more reviews the other day (Yes, I look), then saw that I had three, but one was another long fuse grenade.
With Space Rogues 2, I’m taking my time. As much as I’ve wanted to upload it to Amazon the moment I typed “The End” I’m not. I’m letting some beta readers read it, then I’ll do all the stuff I did with the first book, but I’ll do it before I upload it. I’m sure in two years I’ll still be getting the random “bad grammar/needs an editor” review from someone who grabbed the book for free and is finally getting around to reading it.