Mile Mark and Free Giveaway of “Bonnet Strings”

Three Book Giveaway of

Bonnet Strings: An Amish Woman’s Ties to Two Worlds


See below for the details

Before the instant world of the internet, it was harder for authors to know who was reading their books, or how the readers liked what they were reading. If print newspapers wrote reviews, it was a good sign. Receiving letters or fan mail was another good indicator. And of course how many copies of their books were selling was another way to tell.

With Amazon and Goodreads, blogs, and other social media, it is now much easier to track who is reading our books, and how they like them when readers post reviews. We authors live for those reviews, especially when they are positive. The other night, I was checking my books on Amazon, and I discovered that someone calling herself (or himself) EL posted a review for Why I Left the Amish, which so happened it hit the mile mark of 100. This person felt that the book was cut short, and then discovered I’d written another book, Bonnet Strings. It was gratifying to know this reader found the second book.

I’ve been surprised and puzzled about several dynamics between Book 1 and Book 2. Many people have told me that they liked Bonnet Strings much better than Why I Left the Amish for several reasons: They feel it is better written, and it is easier to read, partly because it is not so “heavy.” The reviews of the books online reflect this as well: Bonnet Strings has a 4.6 overall rating, while Why I Left has only a 3.9.

Here is what puzzles me: Why I Left consistently outsells Bonnet Strings. One would think that the people who read the first book and like it are going to find out if I have written a second book, and hopefully read it when they discover I have. And if they felt compelled to write a review of the first book and liked the second one better, I would think they would write a review for the second book. With this logic, it would seem that the number of reviews for the second book would be catching up to the first book. And yet that is not what is happening. Bonnet Strings has only 42 reviews compared to the 100 for Why I Left, which continues to garner more reviews. I’m missing something here and I don’t know what it is.

So, I’m turning this puzzle over to you, my dear readers. If you leave a comment with your feelings or your theory about this puzzle, I will put your name into a drawing. I am offering three free autographed copies of Bonnet Strings, to be shipped anywhere in the contiguous 48 states. If you already own a copy, I am happy to autograph it to a friend or relative as a gift from you. I will draw the three names on Sunday, January 22.

I’d also like to ask a favor from those who have read my books. If you have been meaning to write a review of one or both of my books, may I ask you to do so? You will make my day! I thank you in advance.

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21 thoughts on “Mile Mark and Free Giveaway of “Bonnet Strings””

  1. Hi Saloma, What an interesting post! I find it an intriguing math puzzle. I don’t have any ideas or feedback for you, but wanted you to know that and also I will be interested in reading some of the ideas others have.

  2. Karen Parkin-Demmons

    Hello! I read your first book which was readily available at my local library. I truly loved it! I asked if they would order the second book and they declined. I have not had a chance to order the second book, but would love to read the sequel. Thank you for allowing me to share my reading experience.

    1. Karen, thank you for sharing this story. I’ll send you and email to find out about your local library. I’m very surprised they didn’t get the book, either by buying it or through inter-library loan.

      Many thanks, Karen.

    1. Hello Lizzie, it’s great to see you here! I hope you get a chance to read the second book. I’ll put your name in the drawing, for sure.

      I understand that people don’t always post the reviews they intend to… I’ve done that too. The question still remains, though, why people review the first book more than the second.

  3. “The reviews of the books online reflect this as well: Bonnet Strings has a 4.6 overall rating, while Why I Left has only a 3.9.”

    I enjoyed both books, to be honest. But there was a marked difference between the first and the second book. From a TECHNICAL standpoint, I think that Bonnet Strings was better than Why I Left, and that might be why the ratings are higher. I think that many people who take the time to rate books are probably more concerned with technical criteria (comparing apple to apples and all that).

    Why I Left offers a very candid, almost raw insight into your experience, and for that reason I think it was equally as good as Bonnet Strings. Some people could be put off by what they see as a lack of polish in Why I Left, but those looking for insight into human experience might actually find more value in that book’s plain honesty. They just may not be as interested in others as rating it!

    Hope this helps!

    1. Stacy, thank you for your comments. I think your feelings are quite typical. I’m beginning to think that the second book is not as available as the first, which would mean that not as many people have read it.

      I will add your name to the drawing. Thank you again for your thoughts.

  4. I have an autographed copy of Bonnet Strings sitting on my shelf. You signed it at Goshen Public Library several years ago. After reading that one and enjoying it, I tracked down a copy of the first book. I agree with Stacy’s input. After having read Bonnet Strings the first book was, hmmm, not on par with the second. So my wondering is if people read the first one, give it a mediocre review, they may decide not to read the second one. However, if someone does what I did, read in reverse order, you’d get a better review for book two, and a purchase of book one and a review on that one. So both groups are buying book one, but not everyone buys book two. My reasoning is starting to sound like a geometry theorem. And I barely made it thru geometry.

    1. Beth, I think there is a lot of validity to your theory. I always advise people to read the second book first, and it sounds like that is good advice. Thank you for your comments.

  5. I have your first book on hold at my local library and would love to review it and your second book. I’m an avid reader and do my best to review books on GoodReads as well as on Amazon.

  6. Saloma, I would like to say I have the answer for you, but I don’t. I bought and read both of your books. I have to say I do not favor one over the other. I found them both captivating and openly honest. You write on such a personal level that by the time I finished the second book I felt I knew you as a friend who was sharing her life with me. The painful moment’s as well as the joyful ones. I am a fan of your writing Saloma and always will be. Don’t let numbers get you down and confused or distracted. Just keep writing from your heart. It’s what has made me your number one fan!

    1. Pamela, I needed to hear this. You’re right, I am allowing the numbers to distract me. I have to keep in mind that ten years ago, I was still wishing I could get a book published, and now I have two with another one in the works. Telling my life stories and having an audience to read these stories is a kind of success all its own. Thank you for reminding me what’s important. You are a gem, Pamela.

    2. I agree with Pamela! Definitely don’t focus on the “math” problem! Keep writing from your heart and learn from the reviews that are there.

  7. Hmmm, somehow I missed this! I would love to read both of your books, and also come visit the East!
    You show a “Special” on your page and it says to click on the book. I did, but found just an order form, no special? Please advise ~ Blessings to you! C.J.

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