Author Topic: Booksprout 2.0 coming  (Read 1197 times)

alhawke

Booksprout 2.0 coming
« on: February 03, 2022, 06:49:10 AM »
Booksprout has done very well for me over the past few years for ARCs. They just sent me a newsletter stating that "2.0"'s coming for review campaigns. It means that a book can be publicly broadcasted for reviews more than a single time (previously you could only publicly run a book once on Booksprout).

This could be good or bad. It's good if you want to seek more reviews, it's bad if it clogs the books available. My hope is that these books are run as a separate campaign from the ARCs to still distinguish the ARCs. Already, as it is, I find that most takers of my books are within the first day of posting. The competition is really fierce.

Anyway, just posting for your information.
 
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TimothyEllis

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Re: Booksprout 2.0 coming
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2022, 11:14:51 AM »
Is that shooting yourself in the foot for first days sales, or are these all people who'd never buy you books anyway?

If the latter, are those reviews worth anything since they wouldn't normally read you?
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idontknowyet

Re: Booksprout 2.0 coming
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2022, 11:42:09 AM »
for little guys any reviews are good reviews.
 

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Re: Booksprout 2.0 coming
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2022, 11:52:55 AM »
for little guys any reviews are good reviews.

Why? They make very little difference to anything except the ability to get certain promos.

Genres: Space Opera/Fantasy/Cyberpunk, with elements of LitRPG and GameLit, with a touch of the Supernatural. Also Spiritual and Games.



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writeway

Re: Booksprout 2.0 coming
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2022, 11:59:33 AM »
I'm happy about it only because my biggest complaint was you couldn't get reviews on a book more than once. Now you can. I use Booksprout with every release and though it's not perfect, I do get good reviews from there though not many. Once this new version comes along I will upload a bunch of my backlist books for reviews. I just hope these new features will be available for people on the free account. That's what I use. I'll email and ask. But yeah, I like the change.
 

idontknowyet

Re: Booksprout 2.0 coming
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2022, 01:02:11 PM »
sales are extremely hard to get without some social proof aka reviews. people are hesitant to buy your book without any
 

TimothyEllis

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Re: Booksprout 2.0 coming
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2022, 01:32:28 PM »
sales are extremely hard to get without some social proof aka reviews. people are hesitant to buy your book without any

I don't think that's true.

Book 1s suffer from not finished trilogy syndrome.

Stand alones are always difficult without a decent launch.

What sells a book is visibility. With the visibility, the reviews or lack of them is pretty much irrelevant. Without the visibility, even 100s of reviews won't sell the book.
Genres: Space Opera/Fantasy/Cyberpunk, with elements of LitRPG and GameLit, with a touch of the Supernatural. Also Spiritual and Games.



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idontknowyet

Re: Booksprout 2.0 coming
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2022, 01:44:16 PM »
I agree visibility is essential too. But its going to cost way more to get a single sale with no reviews than it will with even one or 2
 

TimothyEllis

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Re: Booksprout 2.0 coming
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2022, 01:48:06 PM »
I agree visibility is essential too. But its going to cost way more to get a single sale with no reviews than it will with even one or 2

How so?
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idontknowyet

Re: Booksprout 2.0 coming
« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2022, 02:39:34 PM »
thats been my experience
 no reviews no sales even with ads
after tossing money for ads and wasting i stopped until i got some reviews. the only way to avoid that is do a free/99cent sale
 

TimothyEllis

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Re: Booksprout 2.0 coming
« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2022, 02:50:33 PM »
thats been my experience
 no reviews no sales even with ads
after tossing money for ads and wasting i stopped until i got some reviews. the only way to avoid that is do a free/99cent sale

Are these stand alone books or series?

Can you send me the url for the last one?

I have to wonder if there are other reasons for not selling with ads, that has nothing to do with reviews.

Genres: Space Opera/Fantasy/Cyberpunk, with elements of LitRPG and GameLit, with a touch of the Supernatural. Also Spiritual and Games.



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idontknowyet

Re: Booksprout 2.0 coming
« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2022, 02:52:59 PM »
all my books are selling now.

i have reveiws on all the first in series.
but when i first released my boxed sets i tried ads on them without reviews they went no where.
used the same blurb as on my single book which was selling well

i should revise that all i have ads on are selling. i'm not putting money on incomplete series. that doesnt work for me either

« Last Edit: February 03, 2022, 03:02:39 PM by idontknowyet »
 

TimothyEllis

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Re: Booksprout 2.0 coming
« Reply #12 on: February 03, 2022, 03:30:03 PM »
but when i first released my boxed sets i tried ads on them without reviews they went no where.

That sounds normal to me.

I stopped doing them, and unpublished the 2 I did.
Genres: Space Opera/Fantasy/Cyberpunk, with elements of LitRPG and GameLit, with a touch of the Supernatural. Also Spiritual and Games.



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alhawke

Re: Booksprout 2.0 coming
« Reply #13 on: February 03, 2022, 04:59:05 PM »
Is that shooting yourself in the foot for first days sales, or are these all people who'd never buy you books anyway?
If the latter, are those reviews worth anything since they wouldn't normally read you?
Well, I shoot myself in the foot quite often with marketing. But I find that many of these reviewers, like Vine Reviewers, primarily read books only for reviews. They're obsessed with reading and read and review many books per week. I don't think I'm losing a lot of sales from them.

I do well with promotions for book launches because they move rank. That helps with visibility. The best way to be successful with a launch promotion is to have four or five reviews at the start--ten is even better. I know we have a disagreement here, Timothy, but I'm in the camp that's pro ARCs. My strategy would be different if I had a large series like you. Then I could see not worrying about it with the following you've developed.

I'm actually a bit skeptical about needing this new feature in the Booksprout 2 service because I find that an established book can get loads of reviews from a free or really good 99c promotion. But I do believe in ARC reviews for a launch. I've benefited a lot from Booksprout in the past with them.
 
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Hopscotch

Re: Booksprout 2.0 coming
« Reply #14 on: February 04, 2022, 01:18:36 AM »
I agree w/Tim - I don't see reviews as having much if any impact on my admittedly laughable daily sales.  Nor do I use reviews to choose fiction to buy.  When a negative review has no more impact (if any) on sales than a positive review, I assume readers decide based on the Read Ahead, as I do. 
 

writeway

Re: Booksprout 2.0 coming
« Reply #15 on: February 04, 2022, 02:10:04 AM »
I agree with those who feel reviews don't equal sales or not having reviews doesn't mean the book won't sell. In over 20 years of writing professionally, I've seen NO evidence that having a bunch of reviews helps sales if no one wants to read the book. You can have 1,000 ARC reviews but if the book isn't hitting the audience or isn't compelling, the majority won't be interested.  Many readers are like I am, if they want to read a book, they will read it regardless of no reviews or even bad reviews. In fact, a bad review can often get your book more buyers than even a good one. Sometimes readers get curious after a bad review and wanna see if the book is as bad as the reviewer(s) claim. If you look at Amazon, you will see many books with a lot of reviews that aren't selling and it's because all they did was get some ARC reviews. Anyone can get some reviews. Has nothing to do with whether or not your book is selling.

If you are writing the type of books people are hungry for and your branding and product is on point, no one will care about a review. I use Booksprout because I like to have "some" reviews just for myself. But it has nothing to do with sales. It's just I prefer not to have a brand new book sitting up without at least a few reviews. And some of it is ego with my backlist books. I got some books that are near 100 reviews and my goal for those books are to get to 100 reviews. One has 98 reviews and one has been sitting at 99 for months. So that is just a personal challenge I have for myself. I do have a book that's already way over 100 reviews, but yeah, I want to get to 100 on the others too. It is hard to get reviews organically these days so even if you want just a few most likely you will need your own review team or some other way of getting reviews. If you depend on the random readers for reviews you'll never have any.

Also, some authors chase reviews because there are certain promotional sites they want to use that require a certain amount of reviews. Not Bookbub (that's a myth about reviews having any merit on Bookbub's decision. I have tons of Bookbubs and one book had only 9 reviews.) But there are other sites that want you to have a certain amount of reviews and ratings. So mostly when you see authors chasing reviews it's not for sales, it's for some type of promotion. Also, some authors like to have a lot of reviews because they feel it gets word of mouth going. Reviews CAN of course help sell books but just because you don't have any reviews or a few does not mean your book won't sell.

Years ago, someone made up the myth that having a certain amount of reviews makes Amazon's algorithms kick in. Not true. The only thing a lot of reviews will get you for sure on Amazon is being on The Most Reviewed List, that's cool because it gives you some visibility but not having reviews doesn't mean the book won't sell.

There are usually many other reasons why a book doesn't sell.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2022, 02:21:41 AM by writeway »
 

Anarchist

Re: Booksprout 2.0 coming
« Reply #16 on: February 04, 2022, 04:04:44 AM »
All other variables being equal...

A book with positive reviews will sell better than a book with zero reviews. A book with many positive reviews will sell better than a book with a few positive reviews. The greater the competition, the truer this becomes. (Though there is a level at which the impact decreases.)

This is important because A9 rewards sales velocity.

Research shows the degree of influence of reviews (and ratings) on purchasing decisions varies between age groups (and likely a host of socioeconomic factors). But the argument that reviews have no influence is a nonstarter.
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j tanner

Re: Booksprout 2.0 coming
« Reply #17 on: February 04, 2022, 05:29:04 AM »
...not having reviews doesn't mean the book won't sell.

I don't think anyone is presenting it in such binary terms.

Having no reviews stifles sales conversion to some extent, which means CPC ads (if you're using them) cost more. Even a few reviews causes a noticeable impact on this.

I'm seeing it right now on a standalone. It took some promo to generate the first few reviews, and it's made a difference. That doesn't mean no sales before and rolling in money now. It means one less hurdle.
 
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writeway

Re: Booksprout 2.0 coming
« Reply #18 on: February 26, 2022, 07:22:34 AM »
Well, I won't be using the new Booksprout after all. You now have to pay. There really is no free plan even though they claim it is. It's not worth it for me to pay. I only got a tiny bit of reviews anyway and whenever I did upgrade to the paid subscriptions I had less reviews than the free plan. I just hate it when companies start out with a free option and then phase it out. And some might think the amounts aren't that much but when you are paying other stuff, then a cost for Booksprout adds up. I'm already ditching BookFunnel because I no longer find it useful. The thing I liked about Booksprout the most was that it was free.  Grin It was the only reason I kept using it.
 

idontknowyet

Re: Booksprout 2.0 coming
« Reply #19 on: February 26, 2022, 03:29:22 PM »
Well, I won't be using the new Booksprout after all. You now have to pay. There really is no free plan even though they claim it is. It's not worth it for me to pay. I only got a tiny bit of reviews anyway and whenever I did upgrade to the paid subscriptions I had less reviews than the free plan. I just hate it when companies start out with a free option and then phase it out. And some might think the amounts aren't that much but when you are paying other stuff, then a cost for Booksprout adds up. I'm already ditching BookFunnel because I no longer find it useful. The thing I liked about Booksprout the most was that it was free.  Grin It was the only reason I kept using it.

Really? Why aren't you liking bookfunnel?
 
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writeway

Re: Booksprout 2.0 coming
« Reply #20 on: February 27, 2022, 04:35:51 AM »
Well, I won't be using the new Booksprout after all. You now have to pay. There really is no free plan even though they claim it is. It's not worth it for me to pay. I only got a tiny bit of reviews anyway and whenever I did upgrade to the paid subscriptions I had less reviews than the free plan. I just hate it when companies start out with a free option and then phase it out. And some might think the amounts aren't that much but when you are paying other stuff, then a cost for Booksprout adds up. I'm already ditching BookFunnel because I no longer find it useful. The thing I liked about Booksprout the most was that it was free.  Grin It was the only reason I kept using it.

Really? Why aren't you liking bookfunnel?

Well, after being on it for about 4 years I've seen a steady decline in participation in promos and the effectiveness in promos. I run promos and I also join them but I notice subscribers don't click on these promos as much as they used to, which tells me some readers at least on my ML are not that interested in them anymore. I also hear that from other authors. One of my main issues is I am so sick of authors joining my promos and not doing their part. I notice it more and more. It's gotten really bad in the last year. Some don't even try to share the promo. I did a promo during Christmas with over 100 authors and over half didn't share the promo so that was about 60 who didn't do their part. They just freeloaded off others. And, I've noticed this going on with other promos I've run lately. I'm running two now and you got folks just sitting there and I'm tired of it. I think it's terrible when people join these promos and don't care to share at least once. I got fed up. Also, not sure the sales promos are doing much these days and I am no longer interested in the newsletter builders. At first, I loved BF but now I see it as an extra cost that I can put somewhere else. From my understanding, I can deactivate up to a year and then come back if I want so we'll see. But I think BF has gone down the road of many services once they are around a long time, they are no longer as effective as they once were. At least for some. I also find their new swap option useless. Let's not get started on the issues with that. And that was a feature I'd wanted them to get for so long because I used to use StoryOrigin's swap feature before they went to paid.

The best thing about BF now is the way you can send files to your readers but I can do that using StoryOrigin's free plan.
 
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Lorri Moulton

Re: Booksprout 2.0 coming
« Reply #21 on: February 27, 2022, 05:29:43 AM »
I like BookFunnel, but I use it to deliver my books sold through PayHip.

As for the promos, other authors have complained about the same thing, but I don't think it's ONLY lack of sharing.  A lot of readers have huge TBR piles...and so many BF promos are for free books, it's difficult to get much traction with paid.

Author of Romance, Fantasy, Fairytales, Mystery & Suspense, and Historical Non-Fiction @ Lavender Lass Books
 

alhawke

Re: Booksprout 2.0 coming
« Reply #22 on: March 04, 2022, 07:38:44 AM »
Well, I won't be using the new Booksprout after all. You now have to pay.
I just saw their pricing. This is a real bummer.

I actually had the opposite experience as you, Writeway, with more reviewers with their paid plan, as expected. But is it worth it now? The trouble with all these services that are no longer free is that a monthly payment gets very pricey by the end of a year. $10 per month might look good for a month, but is $120 a year. Bookfunnel is still worth it to me because I run a lot of promos through them and gift all my books through their services. But I haven't used StoryOrigin since they became paid. Now I have to think about Booksprout.

Interesting how we're expected to pay more through outside promo and author building services while publishing in a market with less book sales. Similar to StoryOrigin, which I actually liked a lot, I have to really consider the cost with Booksprout now.
 

Pemry Janes

Re: Booksprout 2.0 coming
« Reply #23 on: March 05, 2022, 06:55:34 PM »
I've tried to use Booksprout but didn't get any results out of it. If I have to pay for it, I'll give it a pass.
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LilyBLily

Re: Booksprout 2.0 coming
« Reply #24 on: March 06, 2022, 12:30:00 AM »
Same here.
 

Marti Talbott

Re: Booksprout 2.0 coming
« Reply #25 on: March 06, 2022, 08:18:58 AM »
sales are extremely hard to get without some social proof aka reviews. people are hesitant to buy your book without any

I agree with this. When they see 600-1000 reviews, they think it might be an okay book.
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Marti Talbott

Re: Booksprout 2.0 coming
« Reply #26 on: March 06, 2022, 08:20:56 AM »
Well, I won't be using the new Booksprout after all. You now have to pay.
I just saw their pricing. This is a real bummer.

I actually had the opposite experience as you, Writeway, with more reviewers with their paid plan, as expected. But is it worth it now? The trouble with all these services that are no longer free is that a monthly payment gets very pricey by the end of a year. $10 per month might look good for a month, but is $120 a year. Bookfunnel is still worth it to me because I run a lot of promos through them and gift all my books through their services. But I haven't used StoryOrigin since they became paid. Now I have to think about Booksprout.

Interesting how we're expected to pay more through outside promo and author building services while publishing in a market with less book sales. Similar to StoryOrigin, which I actually liked a lot, I have to really consider the cost with Booksprout now.

I thought it was against Amazon's rules to pay for reviews.
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alhawke

Re: Booksprout 2.0 coming
« Reply #27 on: March 06, 2022, 09:41:57 AM »
I thought it was against Amazon's rules to pay for reviews.
Booksprout does not pay for reviews. It's a service that finds readers who are willing to post reviews after reading your book. If you pay for a more expensive plan, it advertises your book as featured and is made more available publicly for review (that's what I meant by paid). A review is never guaranteed. A free book as an ARC is all acceptable within Amazon's TOS.

Edit} I should add, reviews can post reviews anywhere from 1-5 stars; you're not joining a service for 5 stars.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2022, 09:50:03 AM by alhawke »
 
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writeway

Re: Booksprout 2.0 coming
« Reply #28 on: March 20, 2022, 06:09:31 PM »
Judging from all the complaints from authors and readers on Facebook, a lot are having tons of issues with the new Booksprout. Seems to me they didn't do a good job of getting all the kinks out before releasing it. And of course many aren't happy they ditched the free plan. I wasn't about to pay for it because it wasn't great to begin with. But people are complaining about getting even less reviews than before when they weren't paying. The owner pops in and out of the groups but whenever it starts to get a little hot (when folks ask questions he doesn't like or have complaints) he suddenly gets busy. He was in the Wide for the Win group then suddenly when some of the comments mentioned issues and things people didn't like, he had to leave. He pulled that same thing before in another group when people take him to task. If you are running a business, you need to be able to handle complaints because they're valid. Especially now that everyone is paying for the service.
 
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angela

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Re: Booksprout 2.0 coming
« Reply #29 on: March 21, 2022, 02:22:30 AM »
I have the paid account at Booksprout, and while it seemed promising at first, it seems like the followers from my pen names didn't get notified about new books. And I had a reader report the app wasn't working.

Now, it could be a problem with the system, or it could be from the change they made to letting authors list "forever" books -- they may have flooded the system with books.
 

alhawke

Re: Booksprout 2.0 coming
« Reply #30 on: March 21, 2022, 03:54:38 AM »
Now, it could be a problem with the system, or it could be from the change they made to letting authors list "forever" books -- they may have flooded the system with books.
As much as I initially really liked this idea, I'm beginning to think it's gonna not only flood the system, but make the system let legitimate to readers looking for new material. If you have enough money, it'd seem you can just leave books up for review forever. Did they separate out a section for new releases from old? That would be helpful.

I continue to watch. I haven't renewed my membership yet.