Growing Pains…Reviews and Emails

The two most important (besides sales) goals an author strives for…a large email list and massive amounts of reviews. From what I read, the formula is simple. Give away a tempting freebie. This freebie is only if the reader gives you an email address. After they read, they will be willing to purchase your books. They may even be ready to be on launch teams.

The review tactic is not that difficult in theory either. At the end of the story, ask for a review, explain how reviews are essential for EVERYONE (including the reader) and provide the link (in e-book) for easy access for readers to click.mailchimp monkey

Okay, first off, if you have BOTH of these in your ebook, they click one and not the other you might lose a review or an email address. I think placement is key. Second of all, theory  NEVER goes as planned.

I had a small push with my email list for a week or so when I set up Bookfunnel and Instafreebie. They went in my MailChimp list (or they’re supposed to) and we were set. For some reason, my email campaign came to a halt. I felt like my list was the marathon runner that hit the brick wall.

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Not that the names were flooding in. They might have been one a day but at least they were coming in.

Now, not only have the names stopped, one name unsubscribed. I do not like this at all. I am doing something wrong and I can’t figure it out. I am not writing as much as I’d like, I am ignoring my downtime, and I am tearing my hair out because I am too busy trying to get this email list thing down. Did I do something wrong?

I feel like the teenager waiting for a date but not sure if the phone works so calls her friend to have her call back to make sure it works (old school reference). I think my date just never called. I am home this weekend. I should stop trying to see if the phone is broken, it’s me and not the phone.

As for the reviews, I hear that for every thousand books there is one review. Okay, well that’s fine and all but how can I get any decent advertisement on my full priced books if I don’t have any reviews?

The reviews I do have at the moment are not great. The general consensus is ‘not what I expected,’ ‘this made me sad,’ and ‘a book with two endings.’ These three comments are actually not bad compared to the stars. 

 I have two 5 star reviews and the three above. Not a great start for my career.

I changed covers and blurbs to explain more about the books without ‘telling’ the story. The readers are surprised by the story and I get poor reviews. I have a few five stars, but I like to concentrate on the two and three stars. I need to know more about why.

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Did they expect to ‘know’ what I was writing? Did they want a happy ending? Do I annoy them with too many twists or turns? They didn’t say, the above comments are what I have to work with. ‘This made me sad‘ also mentioned it was ‘well written’ so I am confused on the two-star review.

I want to call them and ask more questions. I can’t. They did not sign up for my email list. They opted to give a review. One mentioned she took it out of her Kindle library.

Reviews are not upsetting to me. The lack of depth in the critique. I have questions. I want to know WHY. I know I said this a second ago. If the websites are going to use reviews as the IT factor, then guess what…I want more information on why you said what you said.

Well, besides my five reviews for my four books (One book doesn’t have a review), I can’t create lists for reviews or emails hence, no sales.

On top of that my concentration for these two things, I am giving away two of the books so I can grow an email list. I feel ridiculous that I can’t GIVE my book away.

I need to go and find a vlog and reevaluate everything I have done. I should look up Joanna Penn. I am sure she has a great guest podcast with somebody. I haven’t seen any of her videos in a while.

Derek Doepker might have something or Mark Dawson. I could just look up something on Reedsy. I like their articles lately. I am too tired to read. I worry myself into exhaustion for no reason.

A Facebook group might have someone that has been in my shoes. I will read some of the posts and hope I comment and ask a question or two. I am getting better at it.

Stay fabulous

Robyn Branick


Robbie Ellie



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