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How to Get More Amazon Book Reviews

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It’s another Expert Briefs, where I ask really smart business owners to answer your burning questions on all things related to online business success.

As you may know, last month, I announced to my lists that my new book “Blogging for Profit: The Stripped-Down Naked Truth from 26 Rockin' Online Business Owners” is available. Yay!!!

BOOKCOVERPROOF-sm

Well, one thing that I'm finding really hard is getting people to write reviews. (Apparently I'm normal and most people struggle with this.)

So, I turned to my friends for help.

This week I asked our panel of experts…

“For Amazon authors: What's your biggest tip for getting more reviews on Amazon?”

I'm working on tracking down a few more people to answer. So make sure you sign up for updates so you find out when their responses have been added.

I think you'll find the responses from my friends interesting. I did. 🙂


rachelRachel Rofe of Rolling in Reviews says:

One great tip to get reviews is to just ASK the people who have read your book to leave a review.

I put a picture of a post-it note at the end of my books, along with a reminder scribbled on it to leave a review if they liked the book, and a link to my book.

It works really well. 🙂


kellyKelly McCausey of Solo Smarts Podcast says:

My limited experience as a Kindle book publisher has taught me one thing: Not very many people leave reviews!

On my Solopreneurs are Smarter: Why Solopreneurs Rock The Online Business World book there are 16 reviews.

15 are there because I specifically asked for them. The 16th came out of the blue, and it was negative. He criticizes the book for not being something the book never promised to be (a how to guide).

I ignored the negative remark. Sure, I could point out that he apparently expected something not offered in the book's description – but what good would that have done?

I want to be open with your readers Nicole. A LOT of people that I asked to leave a review, never did. I can only guess that it falls under the ‘we're constantly pressured to comment, like, share and vote and now we have to leave Amazon reviews?' category of ‘I'm just too busy'.

All I've learned about the situation then is this: Ask for reviews. Ask, remind, cajole, beg and plead.

Then say thank you, of course. And doggone it, return the freaking favor!


connieConnie Ragen Green of Affiliate Marketing Case Studies says:

To get more reviews for your Amazon books, simply ask for them.

I have lots of reviews for some of my books there, and none at all for the ones I have not asked people to review.


KristenKristen Eckstein of Self Publish on Demand says:

Here are my Top 5 ways I get more reviews on my books on Amazon:

1. Ask. Ask. And ask again. Often people are very happy to provide reviews. You may have to give them a copy of your book, but friends, family and colleagues are excited to help you out by leaving a review for your book. Tell them it can be as short as a few sentences, and refer to #5 for an easier way for them to say, “Yes.” Make sure you follow up with them every few days to a week or so. The squeaky wheel gets the grease, and if they said, “Yes,” don't be afraid to remind them.

2. If your book is in print, send a secured PDF copy to other experts in your niche and ask them nicely for a review. These reviews can be put inside the print book, then when the book shows up on Amazon you can ask them to copy and paste their review on the listing. It's also super easy if you send them their original review in an email so they have less excuses to get it posted.

3. Include a page at the end of your print or Kindle book inviting readers to review the book and share your book with others who will enjoy it.

4. Research. Find bloggers who have an established website and ask them if you gift them a copy, if they would post a review. Most are only too happy to get more free reading material. You can either mail them a printed version or click the “Give as a Gift” button on Amazon for Kindle books. With the Kindle books, you still make money for that book sale even though you have to buy it, so it becomes a cheap way to get quality reviews.

5. Write a sample review for them. Ghost writing reviews is an easy way to get busy people to say, “Yes!” Write what you'd like them to say about the book, then send it to them for their permission to use it and/or tweak it. Include it in your print book and ask them to post it on Amazon.


NicoleNicole Dean of .. here! .. says:

What I did was to buy Rachel's course Rolling in Reviews for inspiration first. 🙂 Yes, that's an affiliate link, but I did purchase the course, too.

Then, I followed these steps so far…

1. I offered a book bonus for my “Blogging for Profit” book when it was first released. People who purchased the book could get bonuses during a certain period of time. When they signed up for those bonuses, they were put into an autoresponder. Seven days after getting added to the autoresponder, they received an email making sure that they got their bonuses, asking them if they enjoyed the book, and then requesting them to please leave a review, too.

2. I asked the contributors who were in my book to leave a review. Some of them did. (Those peeps will definitely be featured in future books.)

3. I waited a few weeks to give time for the people who bought the book to finish reading it – and am now writing this blog post to beg for reviews. 😉 Too subtle?

Here goes…

Please Review My Book if you Read It:

-> If you bought my book and enjoyed it, please leave a review here:  How to Have a Profitable Blog <-

If you didn't love the book, then I seem to have misplaced the link. (Go here instead to spend time with Grumpy Cat and get happy.)

Then Share your Tips and Questions Below.

I always want to hear from you.

Warmly.
Nicole

15 Comments

  • Dean Giles
    Reply

    I ask a lot of people that I know to download the eBook during the free days. Now, as I see them, I ask what they thought of the book, then ask if they wouldn’t mind posting a couple of sentences of review to Amazon. Many will, some won’t, but that is one of the ways that I get reviews.

  • Holly Ralston-Oyler
    Reply

    Nicole,
    Reviews are a bear to get. I have three books on Kindle and have received two reviews. One not so great and another one glowing (same book). I did learn a couple of lessons here, dummy down the writing so people don’t think you have typos and misspelling things, especially if you are in the medical topic arena. I had the book edited again and it came out clean, so I am going to republish next week. This time I will be following Rachel’s course when it comes to marketing and asking for reviews.

    The main lesson I have learned in all of this is a simple one. If you are going to be selling on Kindle, never leave a less than glowing review on Kindle. I made the mistake of pointing out that a book I had purchased on the topic of Hootsuite was raw PLR. Nothing had been changed and the formatting made it difficult to read. Surprise – within seven days, I received the dreaded Amazon email saying my book has been reported as “riddled with typos, misspellings and the formatting has horrid.” Another lesson learned.

    • Nicole
      Reply

      Wow Holly. I was wondering if that was similar to eBay, where if you leave a bad review, you’re likely to get one in return. I’m sorry you went through that.

      Interesting. And, THANK YOU for commenting! 🙂

      N

  • Leslie Truex
    Reply

    I haven’t pursued reviews as much on my non-fiction books, but I do go after them for my fiction (under a pen name). My tips are:

    1) Remind readers to review at the end of the book. I say something like “On the next page, Amazon will be asking you to rate the book. Feedback is very helpful and appreciated so please take a moment to rate (title of book). Thank you!” (Amazon has a rating request when readers get to the last page of your book).
    2) Ask beta readers (I gift them a copy of the book once it’s on kindle),
    3) Ask and remind email list subscribers and social networks (and I sent big thank yous when I see a new review) (“Have you read.. Title? I’d love your feedback! link to amazon page)
    4) I use the free days to get the book into more hands. While most of the thousands of readers that download the book won’t leave a review, many will…it’s a numbers game.
    5) Get blog reviews (many bloggers will post their review on their site, at Amazon and Goodreads).

  • Bud Bilanich
    Reply

    I always advise my coaching clients to nurture their network before they need it.
    Book reviews are a good example of this. When you have done things for people in your network (I call them friends), they are more likely to do things for you — like review your book. It’s easier to ask if you have some emotional capital in your bank account with them.

    Some people can’t seem to get the hang of review writing, but are willing to post a review. In these cases, I offer to write a draft review for them, making it very clear that they should feel free to edit it in any way they see fit. I’ve found that people most frequently post my review as written. If they edit, they usually say nicer things about me and the book then I said myself.

  • Patricia Weber
    Reply

    It’s darn near impossible to know who might have purchased your Kindle book! Amazon does not give that information.

    But when I promote my next Kindle book (I have 5 now) this discussion gave me the idea: ask my list subscribers to buy, read and review, in exchange for a gift.

    The few comments I have on my Kindle blog, I asked for because I knew other bloggers who had subscribed.

    Helpful topic.

  • Ian Greenwood
    Reply

    This is a tricky one.

    I would agree that asking your “network” is a good way to go. I utilise Facebook for this. I also track down colleagues and other interested parties (lecturers, other authors, editors etc) on Linkedin and ask if they would like a free copy for a review on Amazon. It helps if you can send a hard copy out to these people. Use Lulu for hard copies.

    The other way I have done this is to access an interested “group/s” on FB and tell them up front you have just published your book on (whatever) and you need to have it reviewed during the FREE period on kindle. I’ve been successful with that a couple of times.

    I learned the hard way not to use forums for the above technique. I got crucified for asking for reviewers on a forum (it was a public forum). It might be better if you are on a private forum. i.e. A “paid for” membership forum but I’ve never tried it.

    I’ve give reviews many times on Amazon but in particular I’ve given glowing reviews twice for printed books. Both times because I was a guest author contributing a chapter to the book 🙂 So maybe ask for a few guest chapters from other authors and then they’ll feel compelled to give a great review… maybe!

    I definitely think the only 2 options are, 1. Ask and 2. Give away free copies. It’s very difficult to ask someone to buy and then review unless they are your “friend” already. It sound like “Hey! Buy my book. And Oh! By the way… After you’ve given me your money I would like you to give me a great review as well.”

    And lastly, I agree that if you give less-than-favourable reviews then (most times) you’ll almost certainly get over the top vitriol in return. This happened to me both on eBay, and on eLance. I now never give poor reviews for anything.

  • Anita Hampl
    Reply

    Call me a wimp, but I’m with Holly and Ian. If I can’t give a 5-star review, I just don’t play. It’s too risky with strangers.

    I just checked my 9 book reviews from the past year: 4 were books by friends, 3 were books I just happened to buy and like, and 2 were books by people in a Facebook group for Kindle writers, who asked for reviews on free days.

    It takes a bit of time and care to write a meaningful review. In the internet marketing sphere, especially where you KNOW the author, one should be careful to talk about the book, and not the person, if possible. It is so easy to look at reviews and figure out that the author’s posse wrote all of them!

    And PLEASE don’t name the price or that you got it on a “free day.” Some authors start out at 99 cents and raise their prices when sales increase, so you would be kind to remain silent on the pricing.

    ** Nicole, I was surprised to see that I never wrote a review for your “Playing Well with Others” book, because I have mentioned it in podcasts. Guess I’ll go correct that now (and not just because I like you and Kelly) 🙂

  • Cathy Goodwin
    Reply

    I’m a ranked reviewer and Vine reviewer on Amazon. I wrote an ebook on getting reviews for books – mostly designed for hard copy books.
    http://www.BookMarketingWeb.com

    However, one thing holds for ALL books: you don’t want a lot of puffy 5-star reviews. You’ll actually lose credibility. Anita is absolutely correct on this score

    I also absolutely don’t recommend paying for reviews.

    And while you’ll hear that people love getting more reading material, I can tell you that I turn down free books almost every week. So do other reviewers.

    There’s nothing wrong with asking people nicely if they’d like to review your ebook if you send a pdf. They *should* disclose that they got a review copy. You’ll notice those little notes about reviews “submitted through the Vine program?” We get those items free, we review a certain percentage to stay in the program, and there is absolutely no pressure to write any kind of review.

    On the positive side, everybody should *want* to write reviews, especially if you have a niche outside Internet Marketing. I’ve gotten clients, buyers and subscribers from my reviews – http://www.BoostBusinessWithBookReviews.com
    Now that I’m playing bigger in the career change market, I’ll be writing lots more reviews because that’s what my prospects read.

    However, it’s not ethical to ask for rave reviews. I tell people upfront that I’m an honest reviewer; I might ignore a book and not post a review but I’ll tell it like it is.

  • Caryl Westmore
    Reply

    Hi Nicole,
    My most success has been in a closed FB group for Kindle writers where we read and review each other’s books. I have stuck to my genre – self help – rather than give reviews on every book just for the sake of it. But the concept of reciprocity is good to get in the first reviews.
    I have found that many people had to be informed that Kindle books can be downloaded on a PC or IPAD and they did not have to have a Kindle!

    At my last workshop presentation on my Kindle book’s topic Goal Success (EFT Tapping) I offered the delegates the opportunity to download the book FREE on April 1 (a date they would remember) and said in return for reviews I would be willing to give them a BONUS – free EFT-Matrix Reimprinting coaching session with me on SKYPE (worth £60) on achieving their most pressing goal. I followed up with an email – but you have reminded me to follow up again 3 weeks later.
    Do you and others think this is too much like a bribe?

  • Janet
    Reply

    I currently only have one ebook on Kindle but I have a good number of reviews on both the UK and the US site. I am a member of several groups on facebook where we exchange reviews on our free promo days. One of them was started by Rachel Rolfe through the Page One Profits course so I am surprised she doesn’t mention it – though I haven’t seen her active on the group for several months. I know it takes time to review books but some of them are easy to review because you just need to scan them to get an idea of the content and quality. Some I have read avidly as I have found them interesting but some – especially the children’s books take a matter of minutes to read and review. I rarely give 5 star reviews as that would imply perfection and so I either give 4 star reviews or don’t review if I don’t think it is good enough for 4 stars. I might then contact the author with my comments re how I feel they could improve to get 4 stars (I used to teach English – so it is second nature !)

    You can also join Book Bump groups – you will need to Google it for an explanation

    I don’t think I have your book Nicole – I think I have got so used to getting free ebooks and $0.99 ones in exchange for reviews that $5.18 is out of my comfort zone – sorry!!

  • Ana
    Reply

    I have written 9 books now. The easiest way I have found to get reviews is through personal contacts and my email list, but I have written one non-fiction book that is a bit naughty and that one is so much harder to get reviews for. I have never asked for reviews of this book from personal contacts or my list (that is in a different niche). It’s a bit chicken and egg. You need reviews to get sales and sales to get reviews.

  • Christine
    Reply

    I was lucky to have a top reviewer review two of my books, and luckier still that he really liked one of them. (The other one…well…harrumph). I obviously can’t directly measure the effect his review has had on my book’s sales, but it IS my best selling book. And on top of that, his critique was SPOT. ON. and has helped me with the continuance of the series. Great article!

  • Crystal Green
    Reply

    I’ve been doing a lot reviews on books for Amazon for some time (I have one posted for your book too.) I have noticed that this particular author has a LOT of reviews on his book.

    http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Benigno/e/B007KDIWMI/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

    Just thought I’d share that information with you.

  • Steve DiGioia
    Reply

    Great discussion. I have had success with people that are in a similar field as mine. Reach out to as many people as you can. As someone else said, its a numbers game.

    My book on Amazon is:
    “Earn More Tips On Your Very Next Shift…Even If You\’re a Bad Waiter”

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