Morris Rosenthal, whose Self Publishing 2.0 blog is a must-read, saw an exchange I was having on Twitter and emailed me with this:
I saw you tweeted a recent post of mine in relation to an argument some people were having over the ridiculous assertion that flames don’t hurt.
Attached is a graph of the last two years of sales rank data for a nonfiction book of Biblical Hebrew Flashcards I published on Kindle as an experiment a few years ago.
The flame, which was coincidentally posted in late March one day after a competing title appeared on Kindle, reduced sales by around two-thirds if not more.
I can’t find the competing book on Kindle today, so my guess is the author eventually pulled it due to a copyright violation or something. It’s the ideal example because there haven’t been any new reviews since March, something that would muddy the situation.
Bad reviews matter much less to books that have off-Amazon promotion, not to mention controversial books where basically two opposing camps bash away at each other. But for how-to books and other non-literary nonfiction, a single bad review can spell death when the Amazon catalog provides the only visibility. I’ve seen it many times over the years for paper books and eBook alike, and it’s especially offensive when a competing author posts the flame, something I’ve seen many times.
For all the frauds out there bashing “competing” writers, know that turnabout is fair play and Justice is not fooled forever. You think you sit on the top of the heap today, but tomorrow you’ll be sitting in the midst of ashes and no pen names will rescue your corrupt ass.