30 for 30: Day 13

3

Write, publish, and market books long enough, and you’ll find yourself doing all sorts of crazy stuff to show people how much you appreciate their support. That’s how I found myself in the backyard one day recording yet another video in a failed web series I called Daniel Says Thanks. I remember…


The year is 2014. I’m 34 years old.

With each book I publish, I try to focus on a marketing gimmick that I hope will propel my new dystopian cyber-thriller to the top of the Amazon bestseller list. Since reviews sell books, I decided with Perion Synthetics that I would make a personalized and possibly hilarious THANK YOU video for every person who posted a review on Amazon.

Keep in mind, this was before Instagram stories had really taken off, so I had to make a real video. You know… multiple takes, editing, music, etc., all with the professional video editing software Windows Movie Maker.

I actually had a lot of fun making the videos, even going so far as to buy a green screen and dress up in costume. I got through 9 videos before I stopped, though not because the reviews dried up. In fact, they were coming in faster than I could make videos. There were so many, and then… suddenly…

Today’s 3F3 is kind of a two-fer. It reminds me of the time I was really excited about doing a new thing, and how that new thing was ripped away from me like a lollipop from a toddler. I woke up one morning ready to make a new video and found that Amazon had deleted half of my reviews for Perion Synthetics.

The carnage wasn’t contained to one book, either. Both Veneer and Xronixle got scrubbed. I was closing in on 50 reviews for Veneer before Amazon came in with their red pen, and here we are six years later, and those numbers still haven’t recovered. I still get emails from people who aren’t allowed to review this product from this account.

The fact that Amazon deleted a bunch of my reviews bums me out, but knowing some people can never post a review again, ever, just makes it so much worse. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but…

REVIEWS SELL BOOKS

I’ve really tried to let the bitterness go. Reviews sell books, yes, but they’re not the only way to market. Each book is another opportunity to try something new, and I’m not going to let this gestapo knee-capping by Amazon ruin what could be a long and illustrious career full of robots and violence and women awkwardly crossing their arms under their breasts.

That said, my new thing for Brigham Plaza is the Brigham Plaza Advance Review Club. I’m trying to sign up 50 people to read the novel early and post a review during launch week. I’m about halfway there, so I’ve still got room if you want to be a part of it.

I’m actually pretty excited about BPARC. Not only will my readers get a copy of the book, they will also get surprises. Because really, this is just another version of Daniel Says Thanks, except I’m front-loading the work and delivery.

Personally, I think it’s better to use that excitement up early, make sure everyone gets their swag, before Amazon decides to delete my reviews again.

Okay, maybe I’m still bitter.

Thanks, Amazon.

About the author

Daniel Verastiqui

Daniel Verastiqui is a science fiction author from Austin, Texas. His novels explore relationships and identity in the context of ubiquitous technology, pervasive violence, and frequent nudity. His next book, Brigham Plaza, is planned for a Summer 2020 release. He recommends you start getting excited about the new book now.

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