Mini tutorial on Amazon reviews
Leading up to the launch of The Holy Grail of Book Launching I’ll be releasing mini tutorials all with great info and tips on How To Launch Your Book Successfully.
One question I get asked often is how to get great reviews on Amazon. I always answer this question the same way: ‘Write a great book!’
Is that all there is to it? This is where it starts for sure. Without a great book you won’t get great reviews. But you’re right, there is more to it.
Can family and friends leave reviews? Think about it. Does not make much sense does it? Not unless they declare to be auntie, uncle, mum and sis so that we can measure the size of the grain of salt.
When I launched my books, none of my friends nor family knew about it. When I wrote my first book, My Story of Survival, I did not want anyone close to me know how really ill I was. Because we all live a fair distance from each other, I got away with this.
My second book, Mimi’s Book Launch Plan, did not seem to have any relevance to any of my family nor friends, so once more I did not mention it to anyone.
None of my close family nor friends share the same religion that I do, so for the third time I did not share my book God Healed Me with any of them.
Family and friends leaving a review therefore has never been an issue for me. However, the issue comes up every now and then with readers of Mimi’s Book Launch Plan asking me how to get reviews for their books. For you I wrote this mini tutorial.
Be sure to check in regularly with Amazon to stay updated with their current policies. Links are provided in the tutorial which can be downloaded in pdf format here.
Get Support and Reviews on Amazon
In accordance with Amazon guidelines, book authors and publishers may continue to provide free or discounted copies of their books to readers, as long as the author or publisher does not require a review in exchange or attempt to influence the review.
Every author wants good reviews. How do you get these? I’ve heard that less than one percent of readers of our books leave a review. Is this true? I had a browse on the web and could not get a definite number of it but here are some opinions from various forums. First from NotJohn from Amazon kdp community; you can find his response here, https://kdp.amazon.com/community/thread.jspa?messageID=842395
Next we hear from Neil Campbell who is an ex Amazon Category Leader and Senior Product Manager and you can find his complete response here, https://www.quora.com/What-percentage-of-buyers-write-reviews-on-Amazon
Finally, this comment from Sean Campbell on a reddit forum gives a bit more perspective on why reviews do not need to be linked to sales. You can find his comment here, https://www.reddit.com/r/writing/comments/3i6lwj/what_percentage_of_readers_buyers_leave_reviews
As you can read from the comments above, it appears that very few readers leave a review.
How can we help this process along and entice readers to leave a review? I’ll mention some options that you may not be aware of. Or you may have heard about it and forgotten.
Before we get going. Under Amazon’s guidelines compensation is not allowed in return for a review. And when people are given an Advance Reader Copy (ARC) this is with the understanding that we welcome all feedback, both positive and negative.
FUN FACT ONE
It is OK for authors to leave a review for another author?
I’ve often heard people say that this is not allowed. It may not have been allowed in the past but it is allowed now according to Amazon’s guidelines,
There are many ways how authors can support each other. I describe quite a few of those in Mimi’s Book Launch Plan.
Can I write a Customer review of my own book?
No, you cannot on Amazon. You are allowed to do so on www.Goodreads.com. Amazon encourages authors to use our BOOK DESCRIPTION on our product page, the EDITORIAL REVIEWS and MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR sections of our book details page, to communicate with our customers about our book.
FUN FACT TWO
Can I ask my family to write a Customer Review for my book? No, this is not allowed under Amazon guidelines. However, your family and friends can leave an editorial review.
So what are you waiting for? Ask Auntie May and Uncle Bob to write an editorial review for your book which you can proudly display on your product page. Sure you can ask www.kirkus.com too, but why not ask your family first?
After sis and mom have told the world all about your book, you may not even feel that you need a Kirkus review any more.
FUN FACT THREE
If you’re like me, you thought that your family wasn’t allowed to sing your praises on Amazon; well we were wrong. Amazon gives our family and friends ample opportunity to participate.
Just recently I discovered that there is this nifty feature on Amazon called Customer Discussions. Family, friends and customers alike are invited to discuss your book and communicate with each other. Isn’t that crazy good?
I found this note the other day when one of my readers left a comment in the Customers Discussion section here.
Thank you for purchasing My Story Of Survival. You’re very welcome Stephen, it’s a privilege and a pleasure to be able to help fellow authors.
How cool is that?
You can find the CUSTOMER DISCUSSIONS FEATURE by scrolling down on your author page, where you will find it at the bottom of the page.
You can find Amazon’s FAQ review guidelines here https://www.amazon.com/gp/community-help/customer-review-guidelines-faqs-from-authors
and customer review guidelines here, https://www.amazon.com/gp/community-help/customer-review-guidelines-faqs-from-authors
and editorial review guidelines here, https://authorcentral.amazon.com/gp/help?topicID=200649600.
FUN FACT FOUR
Amazon has a Hall of Fame Reviewers. And you can contact them and send them a copy of your book if they agree to that. If they like what they read, they may write a review for your book. Isn’t that just awesome?
It means that you get a fancy little badge next to the review alerting all other customers that a FAMOUS reviewer reviewed your book. Just like this, as for Scott Allan’s book: Rejection Reset.
Amazon Vine Program
Be courteous when you ask a top reviewer if they are happy to read your book. You’ll have to do your homework before you approach a member of the Vine Program. Make sure that the Vine member is interested in books in your niche. It is no use to send a non-fiction book to a reader who specifically states that they are interested in fiction only and vice versa. You can find out about their preferences by browsing their profile page. Not all Vine members have their email address displayed on their profile page and you may have to do some detective work to find their contact details. You can look for their details on this page https://www.amazon.com/review/hall-of-fame and find out more about Amazon Vine here https://www.amazon.com/gp/vine/help.
Alternatively, you can purchase Debbie’s Book Review Targeter which has done all the hard work for you and all you have to do is write an email to the Vine Member with your request. You can find the Book Review Targeter here http://getbookreviewsnow.com/. I have not actually tried this myself yet.
FUN FACT FIVE
The above four FUN FACTS are free. Won’t cost you a penny to have another author review your book. It won’t cost to have mum or uncle or sis write an editorial review. Anyone can partake in the Customer Discussions and if you are lucky enough to score a review from a TOP reviewer, I’ll be celebrating with you!
If you’re happy to pay for it, you can try some of these services below to invite readers to read a copy of your book.
Be careful how you word your invite and take care to describe your book accurately to invite the right kind of readers for your book.
- First ask family and friends for feedback on your book utilising Amazon’s features and possibilities as mentioned above.
- Ask your Twitter and Facebook friends, Your Google+ buddies and Pinterest and blog followers if they’re interested in reading your book and sharing with their friends.
- Organise you email list and ask humbly if they would like to read your book.
- Insert a link in your book and ask readers for honest feedback.
- Contact Amazon Top Reviewers from the Vine Program.
- Try one of the services below and see how you go with that.
- BOOK RAZOR bookrazor.com
- READINGDEALS readingdeals.com/submit-ebook
- BOOK REVIEW BROKER bookreviewbroker.com
- NET GALLEY Netgalley.com
Let me know if I missed anything and I’ll include it in the update.
Warmest and in good faith,
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NEW BOOKS RELEASES, INTERVIEWS, AND REVIEWS – As a member of the Australian Christian Readers Blog Alliance and as a member of the Christian Indie Authors Reading Group and as the current Administrator of Christian Authors Worldwide, This is FUN! Mimi’s Launch Party and co-administrator of OMEGA nonfiction writers I share new book releases, interviews and reviews with my readers. Stay tuned!
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