My Long-Awaited Story Cartel Results

Story Cartel logoEarlier this year, I wrote about my experiences using Story Cartel, a service that connects willing reviewers with authors in need of honest reviews for their books.

I discussed my reasons for giving away my book for free and how I got more book reviews using Story Cartel.

Since the first of those posts covered my thoughts prior to trying the service, and the latter was my perspective of things as the experience was drawing to an end, I promised that I would post one final wrap-up post for those who wanted to hear the final outcome.

Unfortunately, I got busy with other subjects and never came back to pull together all the numbers that you might be interested in.

Hoping you’ll feel that it’s better late than never, I’m finally pulling that information together for you.

At the final count, I had 130 downloads. 43 of those were from people I already know and have a relationship with. So, a significant number of the downloads came from people who don’t know me or my work.

I currently have 33 reviews on Amazon for my book, with 28 5-star ratings and 5 4-star ratings (an average rating of 4.8).

I can trace 16 of those reviews back to Story Cartel reviewers. That’s about a 12% follow-through rate. Of those 16 reviews, 8 were from people I already knew. The funny thing is, none of them were people I would have thought to ask to review the book. Given the opportunity though, they jumped at it.

I will admit that a couple of the 4-star ratings did come from the Story Cartel reviewers (none from people I knew).

As an author, of course, I’d love to have everyone love my book. However, from a prospective buyer’s standpoint reviews for a book that only has 5-star reviews are not nearly as believable as reviews that are a bit more realistic. And if you read the 4-star reviews, they all are glowing, they just didn’t necessarily “buy into” the same conclusions I drew from the experience.

Story Cartel’s reviewers promise an honest review. And that’s exactly what I got from them.

If you’re considering running a Story Cartel campaign yourself, you should note that getting the 12% follow-through did require some effort on my part. In addition to posting the book for free for the agreed upon amount of time, I followed up with people who were downloading the book on three separate occasions.

The first time, I sent a message thanking them for their interest in the book and letting them know that I was looking forward to reading their thoughts about the book.

The second time, was to thank everyone for downloading the book, letting them know how much I appreciated the reviews already left and looked forward to seeing those yet to come, and to announce the winners of the Amazon gift card drawing.

The last message was sent almost a month after the campaign ended. I used it as an opportunity to thank them for their support, but also to let them know there were exciting things happening this year and inviting them to join my mailing list. I even offered a related gift if they choose to sign up. To give you a better idea of how I did that, I’ve included a screenshot of the message below.

Story Cartel reviewers - Mailing list invite


This led to 13 new subscribers to my mailing list.

I know some people would have just added the whole 130 e-mail addresses they’d received to their mailing list. I didn’t want to do that.

I’m more interested in the quality of my list than the quantity of my subscribers. I’m not in it simply to collect e-mail addresses. I’m in it to make a difference, and if my material isn’t going to help someone, I don’t want to waste their time sending them stuff they don’t want.

You know that fly that keeps buzzing around you while you’re trying to enjoy a nice family picnic? It starts to get really irritating, doesn’t it?

That’s just “not me.”

Anyway, if you’ve used Story Cartel yourself, I’d love to hear about your experiences. In the last post I wrote, someone commented about problems they had in launching their book on the site soon after the launch of Story Cartel 2.0.

When I reached out to Story Cartel to inquire about the situation, they admitted that there were a few bugs in the launch that they hadn’t anticipated, but were responsive and supportive in resolving the issue. In the end, both sides were happy with the outcome.

And I’m happy to continue recommending them as a low-cost means of connecting with a responsive reviewing audience.


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