My Story Cartel Experience


Story Cartel Experience Jan 2013

We’re told consistently that getting reviews on Amazon is a must. One way of obtaining reviews to get your book started is by using websites that offer exposure to readers that provide those reviews. I was looking for reviews for my novel, From Thine Own Well.

Story Cartel is one of those websites and the subject of this article. Their website explains the beginning of their enterprise.

Story Cartel was founded by Jeff Goins and Joe Bunting, two authors who have created a unique system to get over 100 reviews on their books.

When you sign up with them to promote your book they ask that you offer an incentive to the readers: 5 print copies of your book, 3 $10 Amazon giftcards or a Kindle.

The service is free unless you choose to participate in the newsletter listing which will cost you $125 US. They state that they have 20,200 subscribers and that an average of 100 readers will download your book—for free. From that, the average number of reviews posted on Amazon is 15. So, 85 people will get your book for free and provide nothing in return.

You can also purchase their Featured Post / Social Media Sharing option for $225 US.

Story Cartel does not guarantee any amount of reviews, and to their credit, do not overstate the possibilities.

They suggest that you, as the author or publisher, promote your book being on their site to as many of your friends, family and followers as possible to ensure that you receive as many readers and reviewers as is possible.

I chose to not go that route as I am quite capable of approaching all my contacts for reviews on my own. I wanted to see what would happen if I relied strictly on Story Cartel.

I purchased the newsletter listing ($95 at that time) and offered the 3 Amazon gift cards. My results were as follows:

  • My book went live about 8:00 p.m. on January 2, a Thursday evening
  • When I went to my book’s page there were several others recommended in the sidebar
  • When I went to see other books, mine was not recommended in the sidebar
  • Within hours, sometime before 2:00 p.m. the next day, my book was no longer on the front page.
  • Jan 3 – Listed on page 2 of Mystery and Thrillers—however page one not filled so it unless the viewers looked at the bottom for the circled numbers they would miss that there was a page 2 (see screen capture below)
  • Jan 3 – Last book listed in Science Fiction
  • First 24 hours (including newsletter) – 19 downloads total.
  • After 48 hours – 25 downloads total.
  • Still no change in location of my book—not on splash page or on front page of Mystery and Thrillers and last listed on Science Fiction.
  • Days end Jan 5 – no change in positioning, 29 downloads total.
  • On Jan 10, 36 downloads and one review completed at Amazon.
  • By Jan 11 there were 41 downloads
  • January 14 brought no change to the positioning of the book—still relegated to the second page of Mystery and Thrillers and in last position of Science Fiction.
  • January 14 showed a total of 43 downloads total.
  • End of the day Jan 19 – 44 downloads total.
  • End of the day Jan 19 – 45 downloads total.
  • End of the day Jan 19 – 46 downloads total
  • End of the day Jan 19 – 49 downloads total. Still no change to the positioning of the book—still listed on the second page of Mystery and Thrillers and in last position of Science Fiction.



The good folks at Story Cartel were great to deal with and very pleasant. To be fair, I don’t know if the positioning of the book has any bearing on whether or not visitors to Story Cartel find it or not. Out of those 49 downloads I received 2 reviews.

I’m sure others have had different, and indeed better, results than I did but I can only describe on my own experience. The intent here is not to encourage or dissuade you, merely to report how it went for me.

Bottom Line

Investment — $95 US
Reviews     — 2


Read about more of my marketing efforts at

Book Review Tours Experience
My Story Cartel Experience
My Experience with Ask David

Not everyone is looking to read a novel that presents a fictional account of a frightening future for Canadian society where the people fight back against corruption and environmental destruction. But for those who do, I believe From Thine Own Well is a good choice.

If you’d like to read some other experiences with Story Cartel head over to this blog post at Dark Treasury,


My Books at Amazon

Dystopian Novel

Photographic Tips

Fiction – Love Story


2 comments to My Story Cartel Experience

  • Thanks for this post!

    I’ve been looking for ways to get more reviews for my novels, and have found about a million different websites offering similar services as Story Cartel (!), so it’s nice to get your viewpoint on how it worked for you.

    I’m going to bear Story Cartel in mind, as it may be worth it to get a couple more reviews.

    Thanks again!

  • Chris

    Story Cartel is a waste of time and money. I run a small publishing company, and I’ve used Story Cartel on three different occasions, for three different authors. I also paid for a feature listing on one occasion. After forking over more than $200, I have zero reviews to show my authors. Don’t waste your money on this worthless business model.

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