In the Shadow of Angels has been on the market for over a year now. It hasn’t been the runaway success that I hoped it would be (yet knew it never would), but I have sold a few copies. Reviews have been trickling in over that time, but I’ve taken them with the figurative grain of salt. Tonight, I took a moment to take a few screenshots to put together in this little statshot post.
First up are the Amazon reviews. The reviews have been very positive, but also very hard to come by. This perplexes me. When you finish reading the book on your Kindle, it automatically asks you to leave a review on Amazon, but very few do. I’ve sold (actually given away mostly) over 300 copies of it on Kindle, but only landed 9 reviews so far. That seems terribly low, but I’ll take a handful of good reviews over a ton of shitty ones any day. Amazon reviews are like the holy grail for indie authors. There is no single piece of advertising I can do that is more valuable than Amazon reviews (I paraphrased a study from Yale about the subject in part 6 of a post on my other website). Since the reviews I have received have been very positive, I can’t be too upset. Perhaps everyone who didn’t review it simply hated it and didn’t want to crap all over me. Thanks for that!
The reviews Goodreads reviews have also been very positive:
I’ve run a number of giveaways for autographed copies of my books there, so I can say with certainty that the print copy of the book is in at least fourteen states as well as one Canadian province. I really like the Goodreads site, and I wish more people used it. In addition to the giveaways, it lets me share comments with the reviewers and even allows them to ask questions directly about the book. I find it surprising that I have more reviews on that site than Amazon, but Goodreads does allow for starred ratings without a written review -which is something that Amazon does not have, but it would benefit me greatly if it did.
The last stat is for Audible. The audible reviews are odd in that I’ve sold exactly 58 copies (most of those were credits that were gifted to the audible users. I still have some available. Want a free audible copy? Just ask! … And pinky swear that you’ll leave me a review). Of the 58 copies sold, seventeen have reviewed it. Well, sixteen have reviewed it and one guy gave it a single star. Since audible also allows you to post star only ratings, and one-star-guy (which was actually his nickname in high school) didn’t leave a text review, I don’t know why. I can speculate though! I think he left me a one star rating because I slept with his high school girlfriend. Which I did. But, I want to point out that we both graduated in 1992, and this just happened last weekend. Twenty-five years and eleven kids later, she wasn’t quite the catch she was back when we were in school. But I guess one-star-guy took it really personally. Digressions aside, Audible has quickly become my favorite format for releasing books. The biggest reason for this is because my narrator Neal Arango does an amazing job with the work (his knack for reading the subtext and hitting exactly the right inflection is uncanny).
As as indie author, I’ve discovered that measuring success doesn’t have a lot to do with sales. Sure, I’d love to sell hundreds of thousands of books (or at least enough to make a career of it), but that is very unlikely. Currently, when I think of giving it up, I go back and read a review or two. Saarah N.‘s impassioned review of Good Intentions is one that forces me to jump right back into writing. The cliché statement ‘if I just reach one person’ is cliché because it is very true.
How about you? Have you read In the Shadow of Angels? Have you reviewed it? Do you have an angry rant directed toward me? Tell me about it. Don’t want to fill out the form? Can’t read the Captcha? Follow the links in the page footer to find me on Facebook and Twiiter. There’s also a direct email link there.