I confess to being just a little bit bummed out by reader reaction to Chapter 7 so far. I mean, I descended into dark valleys and climbed rocky, freezing mountains while fending off various hoards of dragons, Vikings, and demonic cultures to bring it to the e-reader public at large. There was even a moment of weakness when I stood in front of that molten maw and thought to myself, “I don’t have to do this. I could just keep this story to myself forever.” But my plucky sidekick and damnably thin nemesis forced my hand to keep working.
And then I released chapter 7. I admit I was primarily thinking of the readership base on Amazon.com – one had even hunted me down wondering when the next chapter was coming out. With all the sales HB has seen there (most of them being free downloads, but that’s not the POINT) I thought for sure Chapter 7 would get a few reads, maybe a couple of good reviews, and a pat on the back.
What it got was two downloads that were immediately returned for a refund.
You know, I truly wish people wouldn’t do that. It’s wrong on so many levels. I know they’re not returning it because they didn’t like it – it’s Chapter 7. In order to even care enough about Chapter 7 to read it, they would have had to read up to Chapter 6 (which they probably returned immediately for a full refund). This means they’re following the story.
Yes, I put Heavenly Bride up to read for free on the internet. So you’d think “Okay then it’s okay for these people to use Amazon’s policies to read the comic for free.” But it’s not okay.
First of all, it hurts Heavenly Bride’s ratings and standing on Amazon. It already has only half a chance of getting seen by potential HB lovers due to getting beat out by the big guys in a random search. Put Heavenly Bride into Amazon’s search bar. You might see one of my books. You’re definitely going to see a lot of material for Hand of the Heavenly Bride. Further down you’ll see a bunch of Christian book titles that may or may not read “Heavenly Bride” anywhere. HB doesn’t get that much of a mention. Every time someone returns their purchased copy for a refund, the system is told to avoid advertising that book. It’s a liability to the Amazon system.
Second of all – and I hate to say it – it’s theft. You’re hurting my ratings, you’re stealing my hard work, and you’re stealing from my future success. True, in the opening of each book I encourage you to share your copy for free. I don’t encourage you to steal the book and then share it for free. If you want to read it for free so badly, why can’t you just truck your ass over to the website and have a good gander? Give a girl some support with an internet vote and some good ratings? Why do you have to slap me in the face in the process?
And speaking of being slapped in the face – thirdly. Thirdly, it hurts my ego dammit. There I was all excited. Did people like it? Was there finally going to be a discussion buzz in the Amazon forum? Oh, no. People must hate it. Why am I doing this again?
And folks have the nerve to say they hate supporting webcomics because so few make it to the end. Well, some folks seem dead set on HB meeting a fatal end. Kind of like a self-fulfilling prophesy.