“Blossom” (I am trying hard not to call it “Worm”, as several people have suggested that Martha would not approve) has been out for about six weeks now. Sales through Amazon are going well, so thank you to whoever has bought there, and stocks are falling in the bookshops, all of which is good. My first task every morning, when I fire up the computer, is to check sales through CreateSpace (where paperback Amazon sales will show) and Kindle (for the e-version through Amazon), and then I turn to the book listing on Amazon to see if any new reviews have appeared. And this, ungrateful creature that I am, is what concerns me. In the six, perhaps seven weeks, since it has been out, “Blossom” has attracted only one review – a fab five-star one, for which I am extremely grateful, but only one. And in the same period after publication, both “Fatal Forgery” and “Canary” had about five reviews.
I don’t think I have done anything different with “Blossom”: I’ve been publicising like a demon (radio, newspaper, blog, general harassing of complete strangers – you know the drill) and have sent out six review copies to people who said they were happy to receive them. Several people have contacted me to say they’ve read it and will be reviewing it, but nothing. And I’m starting to worry that the reason they’re not putting up their reviews is that they’re not very good (the reviews, I mean – not the reviewers). Maybe they didn’t like “Blossom” but are too polite to say so… To my face people say that they loved it, that the books keep getting better, and that they can’t wait for “Plank 4”, but then, if I met the author of a book I hadn’t enjoyed, I doubt I’d tell them. Plus, of course, Amazon uses reviews – numbers and star ratings – to determine the list order of books when people do their searches, so “Blossom” is losing out.
To take my mind off it, I am having the morning in the University Library, looking at more old books and auction catalogues that I am not allowed to bring home – what a chore that is, sitting in a glorious building stuffed with knowledge and having a cheese scone for elevenses. Poor, poor me.