I had this thought: maybe it's that I make my books look too good. I mean I spend a few minutes on the cover and try to get an image that fits instead of just some random picture. I actually spell the title correctly even! The formatting inside the book actually exists, which is to say there are paragraphs that are indented and the text doesn't show up enormous or all in one little column or anything weird like that. And I go through the books to proofread them for any typos, though of course there's always the odd typo that I'll miss until later and maybe not even then.
So my thought was that maybe because I make my books actually not look like crap, I get these people who want to hold them to some ridiculous standard. With that thought in mind, I decided to try an experiment.
I had recently written two books. The first one I wasn't all that happy about. So I decided that one I would screw around with to see if people would still complain or if they'd rave about it or what. This was my prototype cover:
I changed it to this based on a "cover" I saw someone use recently:
|You know you like this better!|
Then I changed the title to "Changed in to his daughter's little sister" just like that with the typo. Seriously I saw someone who misspelled their own fucking title! And yes their book is probably outselling yours--and many of mine. Instead of my usual pseudonym I made up a silly pun-based one: Ivana Johnson. Like Ivana Tinkle if you ever watched The Simpsons, which apparently most of you haven't. Say it out loud and it might make sense.
The inside the book I didn't feel like going in to add unnecessary typos, but I did make the text really big and the indent really far in so it would look goofy.
At the same time I released the other book in the normal way. With my usual pseudonym and formatting and stuff.
The result of this experiment? Really no difference at all. They have exactly the same number of sales, though the "normal" one has maybe more KDP Select pages read. And they have the same number of reviews, ie 0.
So there you go: put a lot of effort into it looking like no effort and you get the same as your usual amount of effort. It's actually kind of depressing, like I could just throw anything out there without taking any time on it and someone would still buy it. But money is money, right?