A bleg for reviews, please

I know many of you have read my two most recent books, the first two volumes in the Cochrane’s Company trilogy, “The Stones of Silence” and “An Airless Storm“.  Each has sold – thank you! – hundreds of copies, with hundreds more read via the Kindle Unlimited subscription library service.

The first book in the trilogy currently has 45 reviews on Amazon, and the second just 8 so far.  As I’ve mentioned before, reader reviews are the life blood of independent authors such as myself.  If you’ve read either or both books, may I ask you to please leave an honest review on Amazon?  This applies particularly to “An Airless Storm“, which has relatively few reviews so far.  That will help me enormously, and help potential readers decide whether or not to risk their entertainment dollars on my books.

The third and final volume, “The Pride of the Damned”, will be published (God willing) on July 9th.  Here’s hoping you like it as much as the first two.




  1. I would gladly leave a review, but I'm crap at reviewing things beyond a simple "I liked it", which isn't much help I'm afraid. Still, I guess it may help, so I'll do that.

  2. Done! I must say that the first two books did such a good job of setting up the ongoing plot that you've established a high bar to clear on the finale.

  3. I'll review, but I'm afraid I got distracted by the Nevil Shute book and I'm just now finished so I can read something else. I need more time…

  4. Just finished "Airless Storm," and need a day to digest it properly.

    First impressions: liked it, good character extension and development, good pacing. The foes are real, lawful evil, and have decent motivation. Nice bridge to the first tale's ending. One disconcerting thing is Hui's decision, which was much harder than was written.

    Review to follow.

  5. When book reviews passes 50, per Charlie Stross, it should help the sales.

    Only hundreds sold – huh. Great books, I would have thought in the thousands.

    Other authors distribute copies to a launch team, so they can review it on day one. They need to add the disclaimer they got a free copy in the review.

  6. @Javahead: Watch this space! I think you'll like it.

    @TheOtherSean: Yes, you got it.

    @Ray: It's hard to reach those numbers. Give each book 6 months on the market, and that might happen – certainly in the low thousands – but for an indie writer/publisher, without the marketing resources and multiple outlets available to larger commercial publishers, it's hard to crack those sorts of numbers. I've done so in the past, but the whole market has flattened out nowadays, with millions more books available to the same pool of consumers. Sales volumes are down across the board for individual authors, but up across the board on a genre or category basis. I'll have more to say about that in a few months in a "lessons learned" post at Mad Genius Club.

    I don't give free copies to a launch team. To me, that's cheating. Only a few alpha and beta readers get advance copies, as part of their contribution to getting the book ready. I'd rather paying customers gave the book honest reviews, instead of shilling for possibly too-kind or too-friendly reviews from people I know.

  7. You may consider adding the books into different lists on goodreads. It may help potential readers to find them while looking for specific themes, like military scifi, or space action, etc.

  8. Peter – I would agree with you on cheating, except:

    1. Amazon allows it, as long as you include the disclaimer in the review.
    2. When there are enough reviews, amazon out more weight in verified purchaser.
    3. Publishers do it.
    4. It seems to have become an industry practice.

    Based on the above, I don’t see it as unethical / cheating.

    I see it as helping potential buyers make a great choice, and increase sales for one of my favorite authors, which will incent him to write more, and make the world a better place.

    From Wikipedia:

    Cheating is the receiving of a reward for ability or finding an easy way out of an unpleasant situation by dishonest means. It is generally used for the breaking of rules to gain unfair advantage in a competitive situation. This broad definition will necessarily include acts of bribery, cronyism, nepotism, sleaze and any situation where individuals are given preference using inappropriate criteria.[1] The rules infringed may be explicit, or they may be from an unwritten code of conduct based on morality, ethics or custom, making the identification of cheating conduct a potentially subjective process. Cheating can refer specifically to marital infidelity. Someone who is known for cheating is referred to as a cheat in British English, and a cheater in American English. A person described as a "cheat" doesn't necessarily cheat all the time, but rather, relies on deceiving tactics to the point of acquiring a reputation for it.[2]


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