The upside and the downside of having KDP Select free days for your Kindle ebooks are the reviews submitted following the free days.
Of course, these reviews roll out gradually after the free days are over as people need time to read the book in question. And it is only a small percentage of readers who write reviews.
But if your book has a downloads in the thousands and thousands, you can expect several reviews, some of which will leave you shaking your head as to whether the person actually read your book or confused it with some other book.
Here is my theory about head-shaking negative reviews on Amazon for books that have had KDP Select free days:
People love free books — and many people download free books that they would not otherwise buy because the free books are in genres that these people do not usually read.
I see this in some reviews for my spy thriller CIA FALL GUY. For example, some reviewers complain that they cannot follow the characters.
Well, a thriller is expected to make it difficult to figure out who are the good guys and who are the bad guys. (In fact, I just read Dan Brown’s INFERNO and the “good guys” and the “bad guys” shift back and forth.)
But if you do not usually read thrillers you may not understand this deception strategy. And thus you may write a negative review complaining of not being able to follow the characters.
The other part of my theory regarding reviews following KDP Select free days concerns the expectations of the reader for a book.
I have designated that my novel MRS. LIEUTENANT is a women’s friendship book (taking place in 1970). Yet what I mean by that is four very different women learning to get along.
I do NOT mean four women who have lots of different sexual exploits as fans of other novels might expect. Thus some negative reviews for MRS. LIEUTENANT complain of the pace of the novel, which I think means NO hot sex scenes.
As authors, we are often sensitive to criticism of our books. But we do need to remember that readers who download free books may not be the ideal target audiences for our books. (Not every book is for all readers.)
Thus we need to try not to take the negative reviews too much to heart, especially when we also get many positive reviews.
And if a negative review that is truly off the mark “gets” to us, there is always chocolate to calm our nerves!
P.S. If dytopian thrillers are what you like to read, you can read my work-in-progress THE MOTHER SIEGE on Wattpad at http://budurl.com/MSintro
And if a Cold War memoir would interest you, you can read my work-in-progress TALES OF AN AMERICAN OCCUPYING GERMANY on Wattpad at http://budurl.com/TAintro
© 2013 Miller Mosaic LLC
Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of fiction and nonfiction books/ebooks, including TOP TIPS FOR HOW TO PUBLISH AND MARKET YOUR BOOK IN THE AGE OF AMAZON and the romantic suspense spy thriller CIA FALL GUY.