My Free Book Promotions on Amazon are Over

Why are my free book promotion days over? Because of this review for Northern Survival:

1 Star: Am I missing something?

Reviewed in the United States on February 21, 2021

I’m having a very difficult time relating to all these positive reviews. I made it to page 52 and gave up on these two thoroughly obnoxious characters and gave up on the book. Thank goodness I didn’t pay for it.

Amazon Review
Northern Survival

My last free book promotion took place in January 2021. When I saw this review, if I could have kicked myself in the behind, I would have. I had seen reviews like this for other books, and I always thought, “Beggars can’t be choosie. You got the book for free. Why are you so ungrateful.”

The one-star review doesn’t bother me. Not everyone is going to like my book. That’s a given. Pick any big-name author or popular book with thousands of 4 and 5-star reviews, and you’ll find one-star reviews.

The problem is this little phrase: “Thank goodness I didn’t pay for it.” That grinds my bones. However, the lesson has been learned. I will NEVER again put my books up for free. This will prevent this phrase from ever being added to another review.

Why does it grind my bones?

I look at it this way. What if I visited your website that provides content. Doesn’t matter what it is. Perhaps it’s about writing or publishing or how to change a transmission or how to wallpaper a room. You take time to research this subject or you’ve lived it, so you have first-hand experience. You write a post giving advice or suggestions. Maybe it’s your business and you financially benefit, or you are doing this out of the goodness of your own heart to share your experience. Doesn’t matter. You offered your time, energy and content for free.

I come to your post and leave this comment: “Am I missing something? I don’t understand the positive comments. I read half of it and had to stop. This isn’t helping me at all. Thank goodness I didn’t pay for it.”

Personally, when I come across similar comments of at least it was free, whether that’s for a book review or a blog, that doesn’t diminish my opinion of the content. But it tells me a lot about the person who left that comment.

Create Barriers

The problem with free books is there is no financial barriers. Everyone scanning the page where my book was posted for free can download it without a second thought. Their priority for a book was “FREE”. They may have looked no further than the cover, liked it and believed it was a book they’d enjoy.

The problem is it’s a gamble whether they’ll like it or not and if they don’t and leave a review, it’s the author who pays the price for their decision to read the book.

When I released Natural Selection last year, I thought about this review. My book makes a few bold statements, some I believe and some I don’t but I know circulate in society. One thing I stand firmly by is family. It’s the foundation successful societies are built on. Anyone who doesn’t believe this will hate my book.

While I fully support women in the workforce, I believe their most important job is raising their kids. This goes against the philosophy of many these days.

I also believe men should be men, and women should be women. Weak men and women make for weak societies.

One way I created a barrier to those who disagree with these philosophies was to use strong quotes to start the book by a man the Left considers horrible: John Wayne.

He’s one of my heroes, and his philosophy fits well with mine.

The first barrier was his name. Those who don’t like him will move on and not read my book. If they get past this man, the first two quotes shouldn’t offend anyone. They are:

Tomorrow hopes we have learned something from yesterday.


Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyways.

The third one though, will definitely offend some, and they’ll stop reading. Those who get past this quote are more likely to enjoy the story.

I define manhood simply:

men should be tough, fair and courageous,

never petty, never looking for a fight

but never backing down from one either.

If this makes you angry, don’t read my books. Not Natural Selection or any other. I write about tough men who strive to be fair and courage.

In equal measure, I could write the same of women.

I define womanhood simply:

women should be tough, fair and courageous,

Never petty, never looking for a fight

but never backing down from one either.

Tough women stood beside tough men to build all nations of the world throughout time. They populate my books, too. They’re not Hollywood’s ‘kick-ass’ women. I hate those characters. They’re only women cast in male roles.


I don’t recommend running free promotions on Amazon or any other place that allows anyone to download your book.

Create barriers that only those who have a high likelihood to enjoy your book overcome. It saves readers who won’t like your book hours of their life, and helps prevent you from getting bad reviews.

Barriers include…

  • choosing the right cover to represent your story,
  • writing the description to reveal what readers will find within the pages,
  • using quotes in the front material that echoes the philosophy of the book.

This won’t guarantee no bad reviews, but it may cut down on them.

5 thoughts on “My Free Book Promotions on Amazon are Over

  1. I don’t blame you Diane. I stopped doing free a few years ago. People can be so ignorant. It’s like reviews I see for a great book with all 4 and 5 stars, and the one stupid lone review – something like, Amazong took too long to deliver this.’ WTF? Amazon’s delivery determines a book rating. BS! They shouldn’t even be displayed when they’re stupid reviews. Arg!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree with you completely. I’ve stumbled upon silly reviews like that, too. The review, as far as I’m concerned, is for the content. How well is the story written, or if non-fiction, how helpful is the content. We used to be able to down vote these reviews, but Amazon took that option away.

      However, there is one exception. When it comes to old, out of print books, I read the poor reviews. Those people out there who take public domain books, slap a cover on it and throw it up on Amazon hoping to make a few bucks need their physical product reviewed. I see many reviews that say ‘pages missing’ or ‘this is not from the publisher’ or ‘the images from the original are not there’ or ‘pages fell out when I opened it’. When it comes to books written in the 1700 or 1800s, I’m looking for something specific, and I want it all to be there.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I will not give my books away for free because people do not value free. And I worked 100s of hours to write a book. If someone doesn’t feel that’s worth the price of admission, then I don’t want them in the room. Glad you’ve come around.


    • I agree, Judy. The majority of people do not value free. There are a few who will, but the exceptions don’t change the rule. I hadn’t done a free book giveaway for a long time. January 2021, the promotion came to mind, so I did it even though it didn’t feel comfortable.

      I wrote a larger comment, but it turned into a post that will appear tomorrow or Monday. I’ll give a more thorough response to your comment. Thank you.


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