Celebration of my 100th Review

Leonardo - Bruce Witzel photo

I’m all about celebrating. Disappearing in Plain Sight has garnered 100 reviews on Amazon.com.

The gathering of a three-digit number of book reviews has required patience, a large dose of humility and acceptance.

Before my BookBub promotion in March, I had almost given up on the whole review process. Disappearing in Plain Sight had been out for three years and the novel had generated thirty-three reviews. Most of those were hard-fought solicitations from book review bloggers. The type of review that is often lengthy, discusses setting, characterization and point of view. Some of those reviews read like assignments for a literature course. Book review bloggers rock!

With a radical increase in the number of people reading Disappearing in Plain Sight, a new type of review has emerged. For a starter, I’ve had the one and two-star variety. News flash – not everyone likes my work. These reviews keep the whole process real. Authors who have sold a number of books inevitably have a handful of less-than-stellar reviews.

The positive reactions more than compensate for the slight sting of the above mentioned reviews. A soul-searching novel about relationships, loved the intertwining of lives, this book makes you think and that’s a good thing and my all time favourite – can’t wait to read the next in the series!

What has captured my interest is the different type of reviews I’ve gathered up on the way to the big 100. Much shorter, these reviews zero in on personal satisfaction or lack thereof and are written as if the reader were simply telling a friend what they thought of my book. They are gut reaction to a reading experience.

A variety of reader reactions is exactly what is required to promote a book. Many book buyers are looking for the short, overheard conversation reviews. Others want the literature assignment type preview before committing to a new author.

I appreciate every one of my 100 reviews and want to take this opportunity to thank all the readers who took the time to share their reactions to Disappearing in Plain Sight.

THANK YOU on speech bubble price labels

Disappearing in Plain Sight–Five Free Days–Part Four

Analyzing the situation - Bruce Witzel photo

In the first post of this series, I described how I made the decision to try for a BookBub (BB) advertising slot. In part two, I outlined the steps I took in preparation for the big BB day. Part three was the fun post! I got to write a timeline of my stunned disbelief at the success of my promotion. In this last of the series, I host my own post-game show.

Five-day promotion totals:

  • Free Downloads – 34,990
  • Sales – 95
  • KENP’s – 16,622 = approx. 33 sales (calculated at the 48 cents per 100 pages and divided by an average cost across my books of $2.44)

Total expenditure for promotion – $596.00 (CND)

  • BookBub to run March 27th – 330. 75
  • Fussy Librarian spot to run March 26th – 33.38
  • Book Marketing Tool (placing my promo info up on 30 different sites) – 21.29
  • Book Sends/IQ Reader slot to run March 28th – 207.07

Total costs recouped by the first day post-promotion! And sales across all three books in the Crater Lake Series have continued at a good pace since the promotion ended.

Stanford - Bruce Witzel photo

Final Reflections:

Until I saw it with my own eyes, I never believed BookBub would work the way it did! Wow! I recommend the Book Marketing Tool. I know this small expenditure really pushed me up the charts ahead of the BB slot. Not sure how much impact Fussy Librarian had but again, relatively inexpensive. I also had the benefit – for no cost – of going out on a fellow author’s email list with a really attractive advert for my book and that definitely had impact. Building a social network is never effort wasted!

In the two days prior to the BB, I had a lot of re-tweeting action on Twitter as well as extra sharing of my Facebook posts and increased traffic on my blog. I’m sure all these little things added up.

The one expense I remain unsure of was the BookSends slot that ran the day after the BB placement. It was costly. Downloads stayed close to 10,000 for the day the BookSends email went out – could have been a partial carry over from the BB, though. There’s no way to tease these things apart. Common wisdom does suggest that surrounding the BB slot by other promos extends the halo effect. Another time, I would try harder for something less expensive.

U of T - Bruce Witzel photo

I’ve already garnered ten new reviews and have had a taste of my first 2 stars! The reader said Disappearing in Plain Sight was self-indulgent without a single character to care about. I feel I have truly arrived with that criticism. I’ve also had a number of positive emails – here are just a few snippets of these: “One of the best books I’ve read in years …”; “Thank you for writing such a healing book.” ; “Once a year, there will be a book or books in this case, that I know I am going to read again and again for the rest of my life.”

Many, many thanks to everyone who supported my promotion and for those who have been with me from the beginning. We’ve plugged away together and the celebration is sweeter in the sharing. It was a wild and crazy five days!.

I look forward to doing another post in this series at the one-month, two-month and three-month beyond BookBub mark.

Minneapolis - Bruce Witzel photo