To keep myself motivated while writing, I set goals. Lots and lots of goals. Most of which have nothing to do with sales. I celebrate gaining a certain number of readers. I celebrate reaching word counts in my work-in-progress. I celebrate seeing a crowd at one of my events. I make my goals specific and attainable, while giving me something to stretch for. One of my non-sales goals I set last April was for The Collector to reach over 5,000 reviews on Goodreads. As a debut book being published by an indie press with a minuscule marketing budget, this was definitely a stretch goal. But I’m thrilled to say this is one goal I can strike off my list.
With so many young adult books being published each year, it’s hard to make your own book stand out. Some of my most beloved titles by other authors have less than five hundred reviews on Goodreads, so I realize more reviews doesn’t necessarily mean better book. But I do think that the number of reviews you have can be a reflection of two things.
1) How word-of-mouth-worthy the title is.
In other words, do people want to discuss it with others after they’ve finished reading it. Anyone who’s read The Collector knows the main character, Dante Walker, divides people. You’re generally going to love him, or hate him. But that division makes readers want to share their own individual reaction. Did you know Amazon puts a specific book in front of more readers each time it has a boost in reviews (regardless of whether those reviews are positive or negative)?
2) How well the marketing is working.
This is difficult to judge because you never know if the marketing being done is what is driving sales, or if sales would increase with more or a different kind of marketing. But generally speaking, if you’re good at marketing your book, people will learn about it, read it, and rate it.
Reaching this milestone is a big deal to me, and I have my readers and fans to thank for it. To everyone who bought a copy, shared their thoughts (good or bad), and / or passed the book along to a friend…Dante thanks you. And I do, too. 🙂