July 14, 2014

Guest Post: Armand Rosamilia

Good morning, all!! Happy Monday (again)!

Today I'm excited to have my new friend, Armand Rosamilia, stop by the blog with some information on why book reviews matter. I have to say, this post was eye-opening to me (and holy COW on your book sales, Armand!!! Congrats, man!), and I think it will be for you. We should ALL be taking the time (especially us writers) to review the books we love. It really helps the authors out!

So, thanks for coming by, Armand, with interesting data disguised as a funny guest post! And everyone else, check out his Dying Days series, and by God, review books!!!

Why You Need To Review My Dying Days Series

Armand Rosamilia

Because I said so, that's why! Do you really need another reason? You do?

I did a little adding (sure, I used a calculator, but it still counts)…

Between February and May 2014 (4 months of data) I sold a lot of books. A really nice run of sales for me, and I am going to brag. Too bad. I remember the report that came out last year saying most indie authors wouldn't make more than $500 for the year. I'm lucky enough to be able to stomp on that number (relatively speaking… I don't have a lot of overhead. No credit cards, no car payment, low insurance, I don’t drink or smoke or do drugs… I do spend money on M&M's, though). 

I'm going to tell you about just three releases in my Dying Days series for the four month period, because they pretty much paid all my bills and then some: Darlene Bobich: Zombie Killer, Dying Days and Dying Days: Siege 1 And 2 Set. All three releases were 99 cents for the duration of the four months. Just those three releases (and only counting Amazon, which is the bulk of the sales) garnered 4,158 sales in the four month period. I sold a crapload of other books, too… 

But leading up to last week, out of the 4,158 sales of these three books I've received fourteen reviews. Good and bad, it doesn't matter. Roughly 1 out of 297 sales resulted in a review. If I wasn't so lazy right now I'd give you the miniscule percentage this is. 

And it isn't just me. I see so many authors who have great books out and readers praising them, but they don't give literally five minutes of their time to post a review. 

I can't complain about money coming in. I also write Hollywood adaptations and books to be made into movies, and it is quite lucrative. The sales aren't my issue. But I want to reach more readers, and the biggest way to do it is word of mouth… and Amazon reviews. 

A book's rank is set not only by steady sales but by the reviews of the book as well. If I sell x number of books and another author does the same, but he has 10 reviews and I have 0, his ranking will be higher. The Amazon algorithm is complicated and crazy and ever-changing, but one thing hasn't changed: reviews help. Reviews are the bread and butter of an author's career. They can make or break someone, and I'm not being dramatic (OK, a little dramatic). 

I'm in this for the long haul. I don’t want to have to go back out into the real world and get another soul-crushing retail management job. I fought my entire life to get to the point where I could live the dream of being a full-time author. I've arrived, I love it on this side, and I don't ever want to go back…

Many sites that run advertising for books have a minimum of ten reviews and a 4.0 or better rating average before they will run your book. Most of my books fall well short of letting me run any advertising, even though most have been out long enough. 

So help me out, please and thank you. If you were one of the 4,158 readers who bought one of these three books or if you purchased any of my books, I thank you. I salute you. You are letting me live out this fantasy life. 

But I have one favor to ask… please take five minutes of your time and leave a review. It doesn't have to be three pages long. It just has to hit the key points: I loved/hated this book because… why would other readers read this or not… and what were the high- and low-points (without spoilers). Something along those lines. 

Amazon loves to send me an e-mail every time I finish a book on my Kindle, and I've begun reviewing them right away so it's fresh in my mind. I've also begun going back through and reviewing them, because it's the right thing to do and takes five minutes of my time. As a reader I want to help the authors I like to succeed. I'm greedy that way, because I want them to do well and write more books. 

I'm going to thank you in advance for your time… and your review. 

For more info on Armand Rosamilia and his Dying Days series, visit his web site or his author page on Amazon.

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