Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Reviews, And The Long Tail

Image CC0, Pixabay

I was asked why authors still seek reviews for their books after the first few weeks. "What's the point? It's old news by then," I was told.

That person was wrong.

The "short window" to make a big hit only applies to trade publishing and traditional media. If a book isn't a short-term hit the publisher cease promoting it much (because they have new titles coming out, and the bookshops are returning copies on a sale-or-return basis). Only a teeny percentage of books make a big splash on launch. The truth is that most books make money on the long tail, and this is why reviews at any point are useful.

I regularly get reviews for my books years later, and it is incredibly valuable (and I promote the hell out of the reviews!) You can read my thoughts on Reviews, And Why They're Important To Writers.

It's a bit like the film industry. Generally Hollywood only cares about things like opening weekends (which is why you see those figures quoted so widely, even though they may have little to do with how much a film makes over a lifetime - sleeper hits, cult hits etc). But a book, and the author's brand, can exist for a long time. they are more of an oak tree than a cash crop, and as such it needs long-term love and support to grow.

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