How many books have you read in the past six months? Out of those books, how many did you take the time to review? Most of us readers do not leave a book review. We have limited time and often just forget that we should write a review.
Now let’s put our author hats back on to look at this from our perspective. Reviews are the life source of published books on the Amazon platform. Books live and die based on these reviews. Most new authors run into the problem of not being able to get reviews on their book. Now we know why, but how do we get Amazon book reviews?
Here are some cold-hard realities about book reviews:
Negative reviews will be more common because people tend to vent online when they hate something while people who enjoy it are going to move on with their life.
The book market is an extremely competitive environment. Authors need ways to get the word out about their book, but the fact is that the best advertising venues have requirements as to the number of reviews a book has before they allow it to be posted on their platform.
Book reviews are a major part of the algorithm for Amazon’s bestseller list – a list that you absolutely want to be included on. Reviews are also used for “suggestions” offered by Amazon.
Reviews are the online equivalent to word of mouth advertising. When a reader sees that someone else enjoyed a book, they are more likely to buy it.
How to Get Amazon Book Reviews
When you release your book, it can be quite tempting to get as many reviews as possible but this can actually lead to mistakes. The problem is that new authors tend to risk using a scattergun approach rather than focusing on their target audience. As a result, the book gets a ton of mixed reviews.
Bad reviews don’t always mean that your book is bad. It sometimes means that the wrong person read it.
For example, imagine if you wrote an erotic novel and since you’re using a scattergun approach to push for reviews, it lands in the hands of an ultra-conservative reader. What kind of review do you think they’re going to leave? I can tell you that there is a 99% chance it will be negative.
It’s your job to define a target market and focus on it when marketing your book.
Keeping all of that in mind, here is a quick guide on how to get Amazon book reviews:
1: Define your book’s target audience.
2: Set your review goals. You can assume that 25% of people you contact will review your book. So if you want 20 reviews, then you have to contact 80 reviewers.
3: Get your Review Kit together.
- PDF of the book.
- Print copies of the book and mailing supplies.
- Press release about your book’s launch.
- Cover letter.
- Pictures of you and the book.
- Author biography.
4: Ask your existing fan base if they would be willing to review the book. This is assuming they are your target audience.
5: Contact Top Reviewers on Amazon. These top reviewers must have reviewed books within the same niche as yours.
6: Reach out to book bloggers.
7: Don’t forget to follow up with reviewers after two weeks have passed. Keep a spreadsheet of potential reviewers so that you can keep track of who has replied.
8: Stay up-to-date on Amazon’s Guidelines for Book Reviews
Getting Amazon reviews takes time and effort because they hold a lot of real value. They give your book credibility and boost your ranking, leading to more readers, and consequently more reviews!