Thursday, July 17, 2014

Why is T.R. Ragan’s ABDUCTED (The Lizzy Garner Series #1) so huge a seller?

When I came across a reference on The Story Reading Ape's Blog about the phenomenal success of indie-author T.R. Ragan’s ABDUCTED (The Lizzy Garner Series #1), I decided to read the novel in search of the reason why? If memory serves me, Ragan has sold about 400,000 copies of ABDUCTED, a self-published book that I probably never would have picked up if it weren’t to serve my curiosity about that ringing cash register. The book, of course, is well written. It moved nicely for me, but did not propel me through the pages. The protagonist Lizzy Garner is somewhat unusual in that she was kidnapped as a teenager by a serial killer, but alone of all his many victims she escaped. Fourteen years later that evil man returns to pursue Lizzy who has become a skilled private investigator and wants nothing more than to bring him to justice. All in all, I found little unusual or compelling about the protagonist or the plot. Obviously, thousands of readers would disagree. Checking Amazon, I found there were 2,382 customer reviews. Of that number, 1,329 were five-star and 782 were four-star reviews. Of course there were the negatives: 40 one-star and 49 two-star reviews. That adds up to a ratio of 27 to 1 of those who seriously liked or loved ABDUCTED versus those who hated or didn’t care for the book. I would be overjoyed to get a ratio like that for any one of my books. Admittedly, I would overjoyed to get more than 27 reviews for any one of my novels. Ragan herself is puzzled by her achievement. She worked hard at promoting and advertising ABDUCTED, but so have many other writers, who produced well-written novels with little audience success. Ragan wrote in the writers guide to e-publishing: on July 27, 2012: “Since selling 300,000 books in a little over a year, one of the questions I am asked most frequently is: How did you do it? Answer: I have no idea!” My answer is that she found a huge audience who loves her work.

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