An interesting coincidence: Chuck Wendig has proclaimed this Don't pirate my book day. His post lists points and counterpoints that present the anti-, pro-, and who-cares positions. In keeping with the confusion surrounding the whole piracy argument, he wisely does not put the points in any discernable order.
The Crossover on Amazon, and I’m giving it away for free on Smashwords. And nobody has returned it, which I would expect if they found it was available for free elsewhere. Go figure.
J.A. Konrath and Neil Gaiman (not to mention Cory Doctorow, who provides free downloads for his books anyway) maintain that piracy actually boosts sales, a point that Chuck makes in item #10. Me, I’ll worry about it when I get popular enough to get pirated. Seriously, there are so many free eBooks now, you could spend the rest of your life reading without spending a dime or pirating a single book. As I pointed out a couple weeks ago, I even got one in my email. (I read it, and it turned out to be not bad.)
Meanwhile, Accidental Sorcerers continues to hold its own. It has bounced in and out of the Fantasy top 100 on Amazon since Thursday, and reached its highest ranking so far as I started typing:
An interesting thing happened soon after Mik and Sura made the big-time: the book got one “meh” review and a negative review. And the positive reviews started getting marked “not helpful.” That put the lower-rated reviews first, and sales began to sag. Then I got another positive review, and it got enough “helpful” ratings to push it to the first slot. And sales rebounded.
So there’s at least anecdotal evidence that reviews—or at least what kind of review gets listed first—can affect book sales. I’m trying to not worry about it; after all, it’s just a numbers game in the end. Obsessing about this stuff can distract from writing the next book, but I thought this was interesting data and worth sharing.
One really good thing about those not-so-wonderful reviews: I got some good solid beta feedback for Pickups and Pestilence this week, and it didn’t faze me a bit. I have 10 whole weeks to the scheduled launch date—which, when you start looking at it, really isn’t that far off. Better get to work…