Oslac's Odyssey

By S.E. Ney

Reviews are vital!

Over a hundred and forty people every day submit books to Amazon. Many don’t bother with editors, proper formatting, plotting, characterisation or world building, and will sink without a trace. Others are excellent. The problem is finding the excellent amidst the dross. When faced with such a tsunami of books, how do your filter out those wannabes who can’t be bothered from those who are serious about becoming authors and who are actually worth reading?

This is where the reviews come in. If a single item garners 50 reviews of 4-5 stars, Amazon’s algorithm starts to promote it. After all, if it’s getting such good press, it’s got to be worth getting the word out, right? Books with that many separate people all saying this is really good are probably going to sell, so it’s worth Amazon getting behind them. Until you reach that point, however, the algorithm is against you, pushing you back.

I have 90 reviews for individual books and 6 for the series as a whole. Of those, all but 3 are 4-5 stars. The problem is, they’re for 6 books. The most I have on ONE book is 28. This means I’m not being noticed above the swamp — a swamp that gets topped up every single day.

If you like my books, please take a moment to hit the stars and, if you can, write a review. I know it’s tedious. I know everyone asks, but the simple fact is that we’re all up against machines that depend purely on numbers. Hitting the stars gets the algorithm’s attention. Writing something gets the readers’ attention. If you loved it, say why. If you hated it and feel the need to complain, SAY WHY. Let others know if this would be something they’d enjoy or something they’d be better avoiding. We don’t all like the same stuff (it’d be a boring world if we did!), but CONSTRUCTIVE criticism that helps to make me a better writer is welcome. DESTRUCTIVE is not. Writers do have fragile egos where their work is concerned! I noticed someone gave Lord of the Rings a scathing 1 star review, so I know I’m going to get them, but reading that review I realised the reviewer simply hated Fantasy, which makes you wonder why he bothered to read it in the first place. Without spoilers, I want honest reviews that tell readers what they’re getting into so that they can make informed choices. These will help other readers find me and yes, ultimately, help me to make a living doing this. If I didn’t have to pay bills I’d happily give them away. Sadly, I live in the real world (although if anyone’s found a way I can move to Mithgryr or the worlds of the Siphians or the Ygarans, please let me know. I want to relocate!!!)