Lately I've had to face a very sad truth. Most of my Booktown mystery readers are NEVER going to figure out that Lorna Barrett is also Lorraine Bartlet and L.L. Bartlett. They love my books, they read them, they never check out my website. How do I know that? I have counters. Every week I get a summary that tells me how many people looked at my websites. They're always in the same ballpark--by maybe 10-20 hits. (Mostly the lower end.)
I belong to a number of author newsgroups/information loops. We trade what we're learning about the big, bold world of indie publishing. The most important key to sales on Amazon and Barnes&Noble.com is REVIEWS. If you like a book, not just mine, any author's book, PLEASE REVIEW IT. I've even got a section on my Lorna blog for people to read about being a Book Booster, but I doubt that page is ever looked at.
Reviews not only tell other readers what you liked about a story (and please, if you do write a review, don't just say you liked the book--tell the next potential reader WHY you liked it; the story, the characterization, the setting, the way the author used weather to help tell the story--anything that caught your eye while reading), but gives them an idea of how much they will enjoy it, too. But please, PLEASE don't give away the ending and/or reveal who the bad
guy is. That will spoil the suspense for those who haven't yet read the
Of course, not all reviews can be five star. We realize this, but there's a big difference between not enjoying a story and posting a nasty review that attacks the author, not the work itself. I've seen far too many of them. Or one-star reviews that trash the third-party seller and not even mention the story. If you're tempted to write a bad review just remember one thing: your review might impinge on someone supporting his or her family. I always remember what my mother taught me: If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all. (The entertainment field is the only one I know where complete strangers can criticize you on the job. Imagine if someone did that to you.)
Even if you don't want to write a review, you can still click the LIKE button near the title on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
Why is that important? These big online companies pay attention to how many likes a book receives. They have algorithms they use to decide what books (and authors) to promote and what to never pay attention to--EVER.
Another thing that was brought to my attention just yesterday. Now Amazon has a like button for author pages. Here are mine for Lorna, Lorraine, and L.L. Bartlett.
Okay, I'll get off my soapbox now. But if you have the time, I hope you'll click on a couple of the above links to check things out, and click the LIKE buttons (especially for any of my indie projects--you can find a list of them on the Backlist Ebooks website). You may not think that your one LIKE will count, but it helps. The more likes, the more chances a story (or the author) has of being noticed by these large companies. Your one vote/like really CAN make a difference.