Did you know that right this very minute you could motivate someone beyond your wildest dreams? It’s true. If by any chance you’ve ever read an indie author’s work, and enjoyed it, the power is in your hand to fuel that person’s fire.
Does it require any additional investment? Well if you’re referring to money, then no. But if you’re talking about time, then yes, although not that much to be honest.
You see, motivation is a funny thing like that. You might ask: what difference can one review make in the life of an indie writer.
The answer: A TON.
In general, people have no idea how hard it is to get a review for your work. And by review, I obviously mean a legitimate review. I will speak in depth in regards to other types of shady reviews eventually, but for now, let’s focus on a genuine and real review. I’ve talked about this before and it’s something I’ll continue talking about because people so often take themselves for granted and just how much of an impact small actions can have, ESPECIALLY on the Writer Journey of an indie author or any indie artist for that matter.
To explain a bit better, let’s see my stats for my books. I’ve been at this indie game now working on my fifth year. I’ve sold a sizeable amount of books, connected with hundreds of people, thrown every fiber of my being into the work, and I post un-monetized randomness all 5 business days of the week to get people to smile. This includes Visual Typos, Teactionary, Tasty Tuesdays, SkyThoughts, Sock it To Me, and the random yet popular 00 Bananas. I connect with people, email thank you notes, never spam, reply to every single comment, and try to have as much fun as possible. I also have people who borderline harass me for Book 3 in the Human Cycle. People seem to genuinely like my work. Yet my reviews are in the lower double digits if I’m lucky.
Some people might say I’m not using the right tactics, not contacting the right people, not searching for those opportunities and all of these are valid points, but I do things my way, hate to pester people for a review, and alas, Only Human has 28 reviews on Goodreads and my next most reviewed books are the Daydreams onthe Sherbet Shore (11 reviews) and Between the Tides (9 reviews). I have 12 books out and between them, most of them have single digit reviews. Not only that, 3 of them don’t have a review to them (For Writing Out Loud, Peace, Love and Maki Rolls, and Pensando en Metáforas). So this means that the lion’s share of motivation honestly comes from within, which should be the case anyways if you choose to be an indie artist. But just one review, one comment, one share that is received and not hustled for or solicited is huge. And although we appreciate a rating, it’s never going to be the same. Sorry, but that’s the truth.
A good review can pump me up when the ink isn’t flowing, when I wonder if the effort is worth it, when I question the how in regards to the things I do. And I don’t keep this a secret. I tell everyone how happy it makes me to show my appreciation. I have dozens of friends who are on the same boat and when we review any work, we don’t hold back. If it’s a pile of dung, you’ll get the truth. But when the books hit the mark, we say so in as many ways as possible. And it fuels us for days and weeks. Hell, on low days, checking an old review can give new wind to our sails. I’m not joking. On Booktube, when people talk about my work, it’s pretty awesome, especially when you listen to a comment where it shows that the person got the concept or paid attention to some tiny detail you thought most people wouldn’t notice. It hasn’t happened often that people talk about my work in a video, but trust me, every single time it does, I’m giddy for days. The same when someone sends fan art or takes a selfie with a book or tells a friend about a book. All things that cost nothing, yet are priceless.
So you see, in your power is the ability to talk about something different from the norm. On your BookTube channel, there is the chance to talk about something that isn’t a trend, isn’t the fad of the moment, although, hell, you could help make a trend. That’s something a lot of people don’t realize. If enough people talked about someone’s work, interest would rise, and more people would give that author a chance. It’s not science, it’s word of mouth and it’s a hell of a lot more effective than a facebook ad.
Share a post, like, comment, all things that can help improve our performance with algorithms, that are so detrimental to smaller authors. Did you read a book you really enjoyed? Suggest it to a friend or a book club. Work at a school? See if it’s something you could recommend to the administration so kids in your class can read. You know why? Because it’s free and it can help someone’s dreams come true. Don’t wait until these creators have a bad day. Seize the day and let them know if their work matters. And if the work sucks, say so as well, but be constructive. All of this feeds the fire and trust me, as indie authors, often times we’re braving the elements while cupping our hands around a small flame. It hurts. It’s aggravating. But that flame is our dream and we’ll be damned if we don’t do everything in our power to keep that light lit. Still, some kindling is always welcome, and some motivational gasoline is much obliged.
Peace, love, and maki rolls