Greetings, faithful readers! If you are here because of my “The Last Ship” reviews, welcome, but this ain’t gonna be about that.
Nope. It’s gonna be BETTER.
Last night, my independently-published military sci-fi space opera novel A Sword Into Darkness (a button for which you will find to the right or below) hit 300 reviews with my bestselling retailer, Amazon.com. Upon hitting this somewhat arbitrary milestone, I thought I’d tell you all how the book was doing, and let you know about some BIG news as well.
First, the BIG news: the audiobook for A Sword Into Darkness (ASID) is now available for sale at Audible.com, Amazon.com, and iTunes (soonish). Read magnificently by Mr. Liam Owen of SciFi-Publishing.com, this is a TOTALLY different and exciting way to experience ASID. If you’ve read and enjoyed ASID, you owe it to yourself to re-experience it with Liam Owen’s amazing narration. He has this gentle, yet authoritative voice that really delivers when it comes to military scenes and science fiction exposition, and his characterizations and voices for all my different characters just have to be heard. Honestly, like me, I think you’ll fall in love with the story all over again.
If you have yet to read ASID, this is a great way to encounter it for the first time. This unabridged edition can be listened to in just under 12 hours, and I think you’ll have a lot of fun with it (4.4 stars in 300 reviews level of fun). Have a commute? Do you work out or clean your house? Do you commute to and from your work-out before cleaning your house? If so, and you never have the time to read, YOU HAVE GOT THE TIME to try out ASID as an audiobook.
And if you’ve never tried out audiobooks before, this is a great opportunity: enroll with Audible.com free for 30 days, and your first audiobook (like ASID, hint, hint, hint) is completely and totally FREE! Even if you don’t keep the audible membership, the audiobook for ASID remains yours forever!
Concerning reviews, and specifically my Amazon reviews which have the biggest base to draw from, folks really like A Sword Into Darkness. How much? Well, as of this writing, I have 174 5-star reviews and 93 4-star reviews. Of those who just “liked” it rather than “loved” it, I have 27 more critical 3-star reviews. I think a 90% success rate for connecting with your readers is a pretty darned good return on your investment.
The math whizzes among you might note that 174 + 93 + 27 does not equal 300. As the aphorism goes, you can’t please everyone. I also have 4 2-star reviews from folks which gave me points for writing the book, but didn’t like it, and two 1-star reviews, one from a guy who prefers Christopher Nuttall’s books (which I have no problem with, Chris is prolific and a damn good writer), and one guy who hated on my book so hard, I think I actually made his day. His 1-star dismissal was, in fact, the second review I received, and that made for a bad day, but the days have gotten notably better since then.
The buyers who have written reviews (and it works out to about 1 reviewer for every 100 buyers/readers) have also shared some damn-fine write-ups. Praising, critical, questioning, or whatever, each thing they tell me and other potential buyers are gold. My writing on ASID has been favorably compared to Tom Clancy, Dr. Jerry Pournelle, Larry Niven, Robert Heinlein, David Weber, and John Ringo. I don’t know about all that, but each of those luminaries of genre literature are my heroes and favored writers, so if my book at all recalls them, I’m beyond honored.
What can you do? Well, If you have not read (or listened) to ASID, today’s the day to give it a shot. If you have read it (and/or listened to Liam’s narration), consider leaving your own review. Either way, if you are in the market or are already a fan, I welcome you to peruse the reviews on Amazon and check whether you thought it was helpful or not. The more upchecks the 4 and 5 star reviews get, the more favorably the Amazon algorithms consider ASID, which lets me do things like justify the time spent on working on its sequel, Lancers Into the Light.
And that’ll make everybody happy. 🙂