The first book is typically in the top 20,000 books on Amazon, and that’s pretty impressive considering Book 1 goes for $9.99.
That’s why I find it so funny that Joe Nobody, a typically smart and shrewd author who’s also immensely helpful to other up-and-coming authors, would want to shoot himself in the foot.
There was a thread running on Kboards today called “Should I go after a reviewer?” and which you can see below.
Am I the only one seeing the absurdity in this? Here’s an author ranking incredibly well on Amazon. According to his profile on Kboards he’s sold 126,000 books in the past 3 years and that means he’s made more than $1 million. I can't understand why $23,000 is giving him such grief, can you?
The Book in Question
- Ranking: Here you can see the book still enjoys a decent ranking, around #175,000. Of course for a high-stature author like Joe Nobody that’s just not good enough – that’s a nobody’s ranking!
- Reviews: You’ll also notice that there are 35 5-star reviews there. Those are so easily forgotten, aren’t they? Kind of like hard workers that do most of the pushing but never get any of the attention, recognition, or pay raises, right?
And let’s not forget that prominent 1-star review that’s now there, which is what’s really causing this whole ruckus.
Stick to a No-Commenting Policy
I’m not sure that you can see the original review the reviewer left on Joe’s book. These things can be changed, and I have no doubt the reviewer did that in this case. What can’t be changed, however, are the number of comments that now appear on this book.
First, that reviewer doesn’t care about you. Second, anyone who wants to buy your book can read those comments. I’m willing to bet a large chunk of that $23,000 Joe Nobody is pissing and moaning about was lost due to his own misguided comments.
You can tell that the reviewer marshaled his forces to his aid, getting friends to say his review was helpful. A poor review getting labeled as helpful is no way to get a book in Amazon’s good graces, but Joe’s insistence on pushing the issue, assuaging his ego if you will, only exacerbated the problem. Once again I’m reminded of my firm policy to not respond to reviews.
Should Bad Reviews Go On Top?
Listen, you can do everything in your power to make your books succeed or you can do everything to make them fail. Joe Nobody has taken the route of failure with his book, and the only one who can be blamed for that is himself.
One commenter on the thread was nice enough to suggest Joe email Amazon Executive Customer Service (ECR@Amazon.com) or even email Jeff Bezos at his public email address (JEFF@Amazon.com).
I’m sure both of those options will be tried, and probably with some luck. After all, Amazon can make a lot of money with Joe Nobody. Now if you or I were to try that tactic? Well, I doubt we’d have the success, or am I wrong?
A Disconnect With Readers
See, there’s a real double standard, and Amazon will show favoritism toward big authors like Joe Nobody while ignoring people like you and me. That’s probably the biggest hurdle you’ll have to overcome if you want to get to Joe’s exalted position someday, you know, the one where you can threaten to sue your reviewers and actually have the money to back the threat up!
There’s a disconnect between the haves and have nots, and what’s so absurd is this is being typified by someone who writes prepper books. Well, perhaps a great many preppers are wealthy people who made much of their money off the backs of the poor man. After all, how else are you going to afford bunkers, food caches, and other survivalist gear? The real survivalist instincts come from having nothing.
Joe Nobody has the money to sue because he’s gained the fans to get that money. I wonder how many he’ll alienate when he goes through with this idiotic and childish idea, or how many have been alienated already by this unassuming thread on a self-publishing message board.
The Power of Self-Publishing Message Boards
I’ll certainly read every one of Joe’s comments with a good grain of salt now. Money’s the overall motivator here, as it is with many, but this comment about feeling shafted by a 23-year old really shows where this author’s true sympathies lie.
Getting a bad review is tough, I’ve got some. I sure couldn’t afford a lawyer to get my bad reviews removed, even if I wanted to.
Just because you’re selling tens of thousands of books doesn’t mean you have a thicker skin than that author just starting their first 500 words. Joe Nobody’s comment today proves that, and it shows you struggling authors out there what not to do.
Take your hits and roll with them, and don’t let silly blows fell you along the path to your dreams.
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