Doesn’t that sound like “the dog ate my homework”?
But it’s true. When Game of Sails (the ebook) was combined onto one page with Game of Sails (the paperback), nine months of priceless feedback from readers (averaging 4+ stars) disappeared into the ether. Which means those words will never be available again to decide “Was this review helpful to you?”
“Why didn’t you save them all to your hard drive?” a friend asked.
“Because it never occurred to me they’d be lost,” I responded.
It always seems as if the information stored on the web will be available forever—until it disappears without a moment’s notice. Malicious? I can’t imagine it. Amazon has been so supportive of small authors, it’s hard to conceive of a reason why they would intentionally delete my book’s reviews. After all, almost all of them were very positive.
More likely this is just a plain old-fashioned mistake. Apparently that can happen, even on a page hosted by an expert in the field. And there’s no recourse that I know of.
Fortunately I used some of the best feedback on the back cover of the paperback, so those words are preserved forever. And J.B. Chicoine was able to repost her supportive words (apparently she’d saved a copy on her hard drive, earning my undying respect and admiration). But even those reviews that now appear on paper (m.a. from MA, KT, and Dan Tucker) can’t be recreated on the Amazon page by the book’s author; only the individual reviewers can replace them.
This strange occurrence has left the book looking more unloved than it really is, which leads me to ask you all a big favor:
If you’ve read Game of Sails (whether you liked it or not), please consider writing a review and posting it on the Game of Sails Amazon page (or wherever you usually post book reviews). It doesn’t need to be anything fancy or long-winded, and it doesn’t matter if you read the ebook or as a fresh new paperback.
Why This Matters So Much
Books from small publishers don’t usually receive traditional reviews, so they need grassroots support to gain visibility. Amazon ranks books based on an algorithm that includes how many reviews a book receives; a minimum of ten is required to be included on the all-important top 100 lists that will lead new readers to discover the book. Through no fault of its own, Game of Sails has now fallen below the ten reviews needed to maintain its position on ranking lists that will gain it more visibility. That’s why your support is so important right now.
A little bit of effort on your part would be a great help to me (and Game of Sails). And it only seems fitting in this Olympic year, to help out an Olympic love story.
And the next time the dog eats your homework (or Amazon eats your reviews), I will be standing by to back you up.