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Chris A. Baird | August 17, 2022
3 Things Readers HATE (#1 Might Surprise You)

As an author, it is important to know what your readers want. But what about the 3 things readers hate? Find out about it now. 

Getting One-Star Reviews

Jill was getting one-star reviews on her books. In addition, her readers were unsubscribing from her list and marking her emails as spam. So maybe, people and her readers just hated her, or maybe not.

That's one of the reasons why in today's topic, we're going to discuss 3 Things Readers HATE (#1 Might Surprise You). Jill is a writer in New Mexico and she writes two types of books.

She writes cozy mysteries. You know, the type that has cupcakes on the front and they're trying to solve these mysteries. She also does gardening books, specifically vertical gardening books because these are two of her hobbies.

She has even pulled them a little bit together. Because in her books, the main person who solves the mystery is the main detective who is also a gardener.

So, it's able to sort of a blur, bend them and push those two things together a little bit. Which you also see on the cover of her books. The problem is she wants to get more people to buy her books and join her email list.

That she can tell them about her gardening books. The new mystery books that she would be coming out with the challenge. The reason why she wasn't able to get this to happen was that she was getting terrible reviews.

In addition, getting these complaints that were coming in as spam for the emails she's sending out. For people who joined her email list. She was getting them to join the email list by giving away a freebie in her gardening books.

A little reference guide to how to get your vertical gardening going. And also, under cozy mysteries by having a short story that she gives out and then when they would join, they would get onto her email list.

Check out this related article: Creating an Email List For Self-publishers

So, she could market and tell them about her latest gardening and cozy mystery books. The thing was she was talking with her friends and they were doing a lot better. They weren't getting the same level of hate and they weren't getting these one-star reviews.

She was getting formatting issues on her book. And so, she began to wonder that maybe she wouldn't even if she continued getting this. It wouldn't even bother to put out additional books on the cozy mystery or these other books.

If people were just going to hate whatever she put onto the market. That was an issue that Jill was facing here. She began to doubt a little bit whether she was even good enough as a writer to get her books onto the market.

So, she came up with some plans. The first thing was she decided to take her Word document. Make a few minor adjustments and send it back through Caliber.

To get it done for free as an eBook. Where it would just do the automatic formatting and put it into the eBook. She had done this before.

She'd also used Draft2Digital to automatically put it through their thing. That still existed through there, the meat grinder. Then it would spit out an EPUB.

It was Smashwords when the version that she could put onto Amazon to get her book formatted for free. So that was our first problem, the result still did not have the same formatting issues as both the bullet points and all this extra text word. 

Using The Best Formatting Strategy

A lot of stuff and these free programs cannot properly get that formatting done. So, people were complaining. The second thing she just decided to do was when she would send emails out, she would just market gardening or cozy mysteries in the subject line.

Hoping that maybe that would stop people from sending out these mass emails to her email list. That they would stop them from complaining about the emails that she was sending out spam. But that also had no impact whatsoever.

She was starting to get a bit demotivated at this point. So, the thing was that she had read one of my blogs and I was commenting a little bit on this exact subject of improper formatting. She saw I was giving away a free checklist to my Self-Publishing Secrets Checklist. 

So, she decided to check it out. As she was going through this checklist, she realized she was doing several things completely wrong. That made a little bit of a shift to realize that maybe it isn't because people hate her, the 3 things readers hate.

But rather, it was something else that she had been doing. So, the first thing she came across was this idea of poor formatting. Going the free route on formatting is a terrible idea.

Even taking your books and sending them to somebody else to format. It is also not a great idea. The best strategy is doing the formatting yourself and in particular using a tool called Jutoh

I offer a course that shows you exactly step by step how to go through using this tool. To get your book easily and quickly into all of the formats. You're going to need to do it where you just go step by step.

Have free access to the secret forum that goes through how to do this. Where we discuss make sure to get it 100% formatted correctly. That's the thing that I like to use.

Check out this related article: Why You Should Format Your Book Yourself

I use Jutoh for all of my books and I've never had an issue getting it exactly perfect. It takes a little back and forth and sometimes you see an error or two. But that was the first thing which was we needed to quit going the free route on this one.

You need to invest in yourself and understand that you're riding a business. Like a seed, you plant in the ground, sometimes you have to throw and use a resource to get it back. So, that was the first one.

The second thing that readers hate is not delivering on the value. In particular, it comes to her email list. She was sending emails to all of these people and they were expecting they would get emails related to what they were subscribing to.

So, it was the cozy mystery books. They didn't want to hear about gardening. Even if inside the cozy mystery books, she mentions gardening that's not close enough.

These are two separate audiences with two separate problems. The result is you water down your authority in either of these areas by trying to hit these niches at the same time. I commented to her that a better strategy is to break into two separate pen names.

You simply have two separate email lists. So, when we email people and they get an email from us, they know exactly what is going to be inside that email. This is one very powerful tip that so many authors make a mistake when they're trying to write books on so many topics. 

Just choose different pen names for each of the niches even if you wrote every book, it's okay if you can have two separate niches. We do not target those audiences with the same material for both of those things. Otherwise, they're going to mark us as spam. 

Overcoming The Obstacles

Then the final thing was the delivery on value. Because I noticed that in some of her books, she commented on what the books were going to be about. But then in terms of the actual content, especially in the gardening niche, it didn't give the information that she promised in front.

So, you had this secondary issue which was this idea of making a promise on one side and then not delivering the results on the other side. She wasn't listening very closely to what her readers were saying.

Some of the complaints in her comments were not just related to the format. It was also related to the fact that she wasn't delivering the value. In reality, her gardening books were not doing as well as her cozy mystery books.

And so, she wasn't as good of an expert with regards to the gardening side either. So, some of the readers were picking up on this. This was creating a bit of a problem but she was able to see a lot of these issues.

She found it by just working her way through the free checklist that I provided. Then we followed up with some emails back and forth to try to figure out what was going on. So, you might just grab a copy of the free checklist to make sure that you get your book self-published and sold.

So that's a very important step there. The ultimate obstacle she was facing was she was still getting negative reviews coming in. So, she decided she purchased my Book Formatting Course and Jutoh 

Check out this related article: The Secret Of Formatting Your Books Right

She was able to start working through and she was finally getting it correctly formatted. Not with slightly or going the free route which ends up getting your one-star reviews. But getting it 100% correctly formatted.

And she decided to only target the cozy mystery books and stop targeting the gardening books. She could continue doing both but move the pen name over to a different pen name. Then really focusing in.

It's hard enough to try to master and get your name associated with one genre or niche. But focusing on two is hard or three or four and some authors since don't immediately make a million sales.

You think “I'll just write about this and write about so many things.” It's going to take, as I always tell you all, three to five years if you're just hunkering down and focusing on one niche. Ten years to make a killing.

Three to five years to get things going, assuming things are being formatted. We're taking the feedback from the comments that we get from people we're fixing in our new books. We're continually implementing the strategies that I teach.

To make sure that you're doing everything necessary. To get your book not only self-published but also selling and holding that focus. And so, she was doing that and what happened was she noticed people quit, unsubscribing at the rate that she had seen them unsubscribing.

We're still always going to get the unsubscribers. But now it was a cozy mystery email list. So, all of the newsletters were on that subject. Anybody who wasn't interested in that would unsubscribe.

The cozy mystery people were very excited to see about her new books. So, she started seeing these negative reviews. They stopped going because the formatting was correct.

She stopped getting the spam comments. Because that was also under control, which is fantastic. People will still mark you as spam as long as you're sending out an email every week. People won't forget who you are and they will be okay with it.

As long as you hold the focus and always deliver value to your target audience. But my question for you today is have you experienced hate from your readers?

If you have, write “Yes” below in the comments and if you've never experienced any hate from your readers, write “No” in the comments. Because I want to hear exactly what challenges you're facing. 

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