Lessons in Writing: 2 More Ad Reviews

Another week done, another set of ad reviews. Here we go.

The spotlight this week goes to Robinreads. This well-known service lived up to its reputation by delivering a whopping 63 sales this past Saturday. They were fast respond when I first submitted my form, and payment was cheap, a mere $15.

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Because my book saddles the boundary between horror and thriller, I first submitted it under horror to try out their service. The price for thriller and romance is $30, while the price for horror and dystopia is $15.

Was it worth it? Absolutely. When I woke up at 9 am, I already had 12 sales. By lunch, we had reached 28, and by dinner it was 56. (Please note that this book was discounted to $0.99 for the promotion.)

I had expect 25, as stated by their chart. (Chart belongs to Robinreads, not me)

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Will I use their service again in 90 days? Absolutely. This time, I plan to file my book under thrillers and see what happens. However, I definitely recommend aspiring authors to try this service. It’s $15; you’ll make your money back in sales.

Which brings me to the next service… http://www.ebookhounds.com

Their staff seem nice enough, but at $10, I’m afraid I cannot recommend this service for authors expecting results, especially with:

  • Readcheaply.com outputting 16 sales for FREE
  • Bknights outputting 30 sales for $5
  • Robinreads outputting 63 sales for $15

Rumor (or forums) has it that they used to be $3, which I think is reasonable for their output. But at $10, http://www.ebookhounds.com outputted a total of 10 sales… and that’s with my thunderclap campaign going off on the same day.

For the three no-promo days prior to my using http://www.ebookhounds.com, my sales were 9, 16, and 9. In other words, I didn’t see much of a change.

That being said, I do not think they’re a bad service; their staff tries hard to be professional and I appreciate that quality. (I’d give them an A for effort.) I just want to caution writers expecting an increase in sales to temper their expectations. As their own website says, there is no guarantee that sales will increase. Know that you’re taking a chance.

I will have a few more services next week. Fingers cross and feeling optimistic. Now off to pester Bknights to help recoup sales numbers…

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Lessons about Writing: Emotions

After a day of speaking with representatives at multiple companies, the problem from yesterday had finally been taken care of. I’m very grateful right now to the good people who helped me. Thank you, really. It’s been a huge relief.

Before I start, I want to preface this entry with the fact that I’m not angry at the Fiverr lady anymore. Though she and I could not reach an agreement, there were faults on both sides, and really I should have avoided the situation by asking for recommendations before I commissioned any kind of advertisements.

That said, the conclusion of the story is as such…

Last night, I thought it would be a good idea to reach out of the Fiverr lady via email to ask her if she is willing to put feelings aside so we can sort out our differences. I said I really do not want to make her angry or hurt her feelings, I just want to talk out our differences. I told her that while she can prove she offered 2/3 of the services her ad promised, I would have been okay with that if she had shown me. (24,800/35,000 is a lot closer than 430/35,000). I gave her my perspective and asked her to share hers. Maybe we can figure something out, I suggested.

This morning, I received a response email from her. No, she does not want to talk. She wants me to email Fiverr and tell them I was wrong, to reinstate her business, and to give her $5. Then she wanted me to take down my review of her service in a reader’s forum. Then she wanted me to tell Mr. Gene Geter, the other author who was upset by the situation, to remove his blog about the issue. She said I am to do this without contacting her again, because if I contact her again, she will report it as “cyberbullying.” She said when she sees that all of her requests are met, she will then remove her blog posts about my book and Mr. Gene Geter’s books. I spoke with Gene Geter about this. He does not want to do as she says. I can’t say I blame him.

I did not respond to her email. There’s no need to drag this out anymore. Instead, I should focus on what I’ve learned, which is that controlling my emotions in the face of situations like this is a must. If I have gotten upset in the past, I must not do that anymore. Upset helps no one, but hurts at least two people, and authors losing their tempers are perceived as unprofessional, whether they’re right or not. We have but one reputation. I do not want to start my career in such an unpleasant light.

In hindsight, I am grateful for this lesson. Better now than later, and better early than late. There are many other things to do instead. My marketing team is working hard, and a friend was able to speak with a NYT bestselling author, and that author has agreed to look at my book. Maybe this will turn into something. Maybe not. But at least it’s something to aspire to.