Graham Writer

Musings of an author.

Amazon Free Books, Troll Reviewers and a new publicity list.

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trollLast week I amended the keywords and description for The Welsh Folly Book to improve its Amazon ranking. It worked and the book now appears regularly near the top of the Amazon search page. So far so good. I also added a link at the back of the book to some of my other books together with a request for readers to leave a review on the book’s Amazon page. Priced at 99 cents The Welsh Folly Book is a tempter to introduce readers to buy my other work but I decided to go further. I haven’t used Amazon’s KDP select service before, preferring to distribute through both Amazon and Smashwords to reach a wider audience. However Smashwords penetration in the UK is limited so I tried a different strategy. I unpublished The Welsh Folly Book from Smashwords, signed it up for Amazon’s KDP select and offered it free to see what would happen. Losing a few sales from Smashwords seemed a worthwhile gamble.
Sure enough there were plenty of free downloads of The Welsh Folly Book but reviews there were none. It seems there are tight fisted readers who like to download free books but can’t be bothered to give a review in return at least until last Friday when, at last, the book got reviewed. I say reviewed but it’s not an accurate description of the comments. The book got a written hammering together with two stars. A curious combination. The reviewer’s style was vindictive, vitriolic and very juvenile. Looking at their 58 other reviews revealed a self proclaimed ‘wanabee’ writer who likes to download free books (the troll’s proud boast) and slate them. Typical comments on other books being, ‘It was free but not worth the money, It’s nice to have a freebie to pass the time’ and ‘I will read anything that is relevant to get some information about how to write well, but this isn’t it. I am going to delete it now.’ These are some of the milder comments. In one case the same troll actually bragged in the review that she didn’t read the book in question because she disliked the author and then gave the review an unpleasant title and the book one star; all that was needed to put off prospective readers. The worst example of her obnoxious poison was reserved for a book that was subsequently unpublished by the author and republished elsewhere. What was the book about? It was a personal story recounting how a family dealt with chronic depression! Clearly, the troll has a sick mind.
I should be honoured. I have my first troll reviewer. Looking around, it’s a more common problem than I realised. In her blog, Author Victoria Strauss names her attacker, a brave thing to do when trolls hide behind a false identity and can continue to do considerable damage. Victoria’s troll repeatedly attacked her work on Amazon and the blog is an attempt to ‘out’ the troll. I hope it works. Writing isn’t easy and is made harder by vindictive reviews which are hurtful and damaging to book sales. What I need is a strategy for dealing with the attack if it continues. Apparently, my troll is writing her first novel. If she publishes it, perhaps we should all post a review. I know where there are quite a few reviews we can copy and paste to start the ball rolling. Any other ideas? I you have, let me know or if you have had a similar experience I would love to hear about it.
Reviewing my general marketing plan, I have decided things are going well but it needs more impetus. Two more speaking engagements booked this week but the pace must quicken so I’m compiling a list of one hundred outlets to send news stories about my books to including radio stations, newspapers, TV, magazines etc. Making the list so big is forcing me to raise my sights and aim higher. Watch this space.
On a brighter note the Carly Compass book launch party starts tonight. My competition is ready, my giveaways all good to go. It should be fun. Why not join me at 6pm UK time. Let’s have a party.


Author: grahamwriter

Hi. I’m Graham Watkins and I have spent several years researching Welsh legends and myths. It has been a wonderful project and great fun as I explored rugged mountains, mysterious castles, enchanting waterfalls and golden beaches to discover the tales that have been handed down from generation to generation. Wales is a land of mystery and being a Celtic race the Welsh are fantastic story tellers. I've collected eighty of my favourite legends together in my book 'Welsh Legends and Myths.' That’s how I started writing. My first novel 'The Iron Masters' was an historical novel set in Merthyr during the Napoleonic Wars when Merthyr Tydfil was rearming the British Empire, fortunes were being made through other's sweat and anything was possible. Today, I am a multi genre novelist, hobby farmer and explorer. It’s all been great fun and the story isn’t over yet. I've recently published 'A White Man's War,' the story of a terrible siege during which the Scouting movement was born and 'The Sicilian Defence' a novel about a young American Woman lured to Sicily to a terrible fate. All my books are listed on the books page of my website. Right now I'm working on a modern day political thriller in which terrorists, computer programmers and a big brother state fight for their very survival. Oh! And don't forget to click here to join my mailing list for the latest news and stories and receive three free eBooks delivered straight to your inbox.

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