As most Indie authors know, getting your books before the reader who's looking for the type of book you've written is challenging, if not impossible.
I wouldn't know where to begin to explain how the Amazon search algorithms work. But let's suppose an author's debut fantasy novel is listed somewhere within fifty-thousand listings that are spread over four-hundred pages of a targeted Amazon search. In that case, the book's thumbnail's chances of being seen by the casual reader searching within a specific genre are not good. Have you ever tried to get past page twenty-six in the results?
But I know of one thing that does help if only marginally, reader reviews. With the odds so stacked against the Indie author from the start, even if someone stumbles across a little-known debut novel, a small number of reviews will suggest there must be a reason, and they'll move on.
So, I asked myself, why am I reviewing the books that already have hundreds, even thousands of reviews? Those authors don't need my review. Especially since they probably already have an agent, a big publishing house and all the apparatus Amazon has to offer behind them. Now that's not saying there aren't Indie authors who have enjoyed success. Still, they tend to be the exception.
There are many reasons why people turn to a book. To gain knowledge, escape reality, relax, spiritual enrichment, entertainment, and more. I heard an interesting line in a movie I recently watched. One character was stunned that the other didn't like to read. And what she said went more or less like this; "How could you pass up the opportunity to live a thousand lives?" I would add to that, "and miss out on untold adventures."
Therefore, I have determined to find a few of those gems buried so deep within the search results they live in a constant state of obscurity. And then I will sift through them and see if I can find something I want to read all the way through to the very last page. Finally, if worthy, I will review it. I am not going to read nor review books that don't engage me immediately.
I will start with the cover and why it attracted me to look inside. Next, I will discuss the opening line, arguably the most important thing to keep me reading.
And finally, in some cases, I will try to contact the author and ask them if they are willing to answer a few questions.
Shelley Lee Riley - Author of the debut fantasy novel; Into Madness Book One in the Born From Stone Saga. And the memoir; Casual Lies - A Triple Crown Adventure