How to get Amazon book reviews? What a great question! Generally speaking the more you get Amazon book reviews the better your book will sell. This article aims to set out how you can get Amazon book reviews, based around my own experiences with my four books.
I stared at the screen. There it was in black and white. My first one star review…
There has to have been a mistake – otherwise the 75+ people who had given me a 5 star review were missing something. What would happen to my book sales, my reputation? Would they go down the pan as well?
Sadly, the one star review was very real. However, it wasn’t at this stage an absolute disaster. If it had been received at a different point in time, it could have been very difficult to bounce back from. In this blog post we will look at how you can use Amazon reviews to build your book sales.
Why do you need to get Amazon book reviews?
Whilst some of the other book sellers may argue otherwise, most book sales in the UK go via amazon. Love it or hate it, amazon is now the big daddy of book sales in the UK. When a potential book buyer is looking at your book entry on Amazon, they WILL take into account any reviews. After all, when you are buying with a click and can’t see the actual product or flick through it, other reader’s opinions are incredibly important.
These opinions are also seen by Amazon to be incredibly important. Those authors who diligently go out and get positive reviews for their book, will be rewarded by a higher ranking in Amazon. After all, it’s in amazon’s interest to sell more books that their readers like.
When a potential book buyer is looking at your book entry on Amazon, they WILL take into account any reviews.
How do you get Amazon book reviews?
If you wait for your readership to place a review on amazon for your book, you will be waiting a long time. Getting reviews for your book on Amazon is an on-going task for any author. Call it your lifetimes work…
As someone who is sitting here with over 100+ five star reviews for the FT Guide To Business Networking (and in the interests of balance, only one 1 star, and one 2 star review), I can categorically state that the number of amazon reviews I have has taken time and effort, but is heavily responsible for me selling over 100+ books a month on Amazon.
If you wait for your readership to place a review on amazon for your book, you will be waiting a long time.
Get early reviews before publish date
Getting reviews on Amazon starts before your book is published. Yes, I will say that again, it starts BEFORE your book is published. As soon as your manuscript is finished, go out and get early endorsements and reviews for your book. Then on publish day, ask your kind friends who have said nice things about your book to go into amazon and post up a review about your book. You can even help them do this by giving them the review they sent to you to post up on Amazon.
Getting reviews on Amazon starts before your book is published.
Mail your list and offer them an incentive to place a review on Amazon
Two weeks before your book is published on Amazon, email your list and get your friends to email their mailing list. Ask people on the list to:
- buy your book
- place a review up on Amazon within 3 weeks
- provide them with a free chapter or two so they can see that your book is really great
Then in return for a review on Amazon, you will give them something worth over 10x the cost of purchasing your book. What podcasts, e-books, digital resources linked to your book can you offer to them in return for placing a review on amazon? This one action netted me over 60+ reviews on amazon within 5 weeks of the FT Guide To Business Networking going live. It is very important that you stress to people that they give you an HONEST review.
Of course you also offer to refund anyone who has bought the book and not found it to be of value.
Hinge Marketing with their latest book, “Inside the buyer’s brain”, offered a free soft copy of the book (they must have been self-published!), and then a free signed hard copy for the first 50 people to place a review on Amazon for the book.
A *health warning*
Amazon has cracked down recently on fake reviews, by prosecuting people for posting up fake reviews. Whilst it may be tempting to go to a freelancer on fiverr or people per hour who will post up reviews for you, just don’t. It’s not worth the risk.
Ask people to put reviews on Amazon
When you have a reader approach you and say to you, “I loved your book”, ask them nicely to put a review up on Amazon. Most people will, and will do so willing.
Have a strong reason ‘why’ when you place unsolicited requests for amazon reviews
On our auto-responders to our mailing list we regularly ask for reviews of our books if people has read them. This will occasionally produce a review, but it isn’t the best route to getting lots of positive reviews.
If you do go out and ask your mailing list for a review, outside of launch time, and without a decent incentive, you will need a pretty powerful reason why. I found that asking my list to place a review so that we could get the 1 star review off the amazon page, produced over 30 reviews in return. Not bad, eh?
What to do if you get a bad review?
You can’t please everyone all of the time. Very often a one or two star review will make all the glowing endorsements you got from your friends and family more ‘real’. (Well, that’s what I keep on telling myself!’) People have got wise to a heap of glowing reviews near to launch time from people who seem to be family and friends of the authors. (I know I have personally started some reviews with ‘I’m not sure whether I was reading the same book as the other reviewers’.) Therefore the more honest and balanced your reviews, the better. 10 really glowing reviews start to look really odd when the real reviews come in which slate a poor book.
Amazon gives you the ability to comment on someone’s review. Don’t make the mistake that Daniel Priestly made with a couple of damning reviews of ‘Key Person of Influence’, and aggressively ‘bit’ back in response to the review. The best way to deal with these negative reviews is:
- Apologise that the book didn’t meet their expectations
- Ask them specific questions how the book could be improved, and to elaborate on some of their negative feedback. After all, you will always have the 2nd edition to write at some point.
Very often you wouldn’t get a reply – in which case, your very mature response will gain you kudos. If you do get a reply, very often it will be either apologetic, vague OR give you very high quality feedback.