By Rohi Shetty
Once you have published a book on Amazon, it is crucial to get as many book reviews as you can. No one will buy your book if it doesn’t have any reviews.
Reviews are important because:
- they provide social validation for your book.
If your book has no reviews, no one is likely to buy it.
- they boost your rank within Amazon’s search engine.
If your book has more reviews, it is more visible to potential readers in Amazon.
- they help to get featured on book promotion sites.
You will need at least five reviews for most sites.
So aim for at least ten reviews soon after the launch of your book. Ten reviews is the bare minimum. However, getting even ten reviews can be a challenge, especially if you are a new author with zero followers. However you can do it if you follow the system given below and are willing to put in the work.
Make sure you plan well in advance and give people sufficient time to post their reviews. They have to read your book first, which can take quite a while depending on the size of your book. Then they have to organize their thoughts and actually write the review. So you will need to follow up and remind them gently.
Avoid fake Amazon reviews
Amazon does not want customers in the same household to post multiple reviews of the same product. Though reviews are important, don’t antagonize Amazon by using these three ways to get reviews:
- Reviews by friends and family
According to Amazon’s terms of service, you should not ask your relatives, close friends, business associates and employees to review your book.
- Offering compensation of any kind
Compensation includes free or discounted products, refunds, or reimbursements. Amazon has started deleting reviews containing this line (commonly seen in the past): “I was offered a free review copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.”
- Swapping reviews with fellow authors
Amazon has started tracking review swapping so don’t do it. It is no longer worth the risk. Instead of swapping reviews on Amazon, you can request fellow authors to post their reviews on Goodreads, their own blog or on social media. You can then add their reviews to your book description through your Amazon Author Central page
If you get reviews from family, friends and other authors, Amazon may delete their reviews. Worst case scenario: your books may be deleted and your Amazon account suspended. It’s not worth the risk.
How to Gather Genuine Reviews for Your Kindle Books
You need a systematic process to find potential reviewers on Amazon and then follow up with them until they review your book.
1 Find Potential Reviewers on Amazon
Find other books that are similar to your book within the same genre and click on customer reviews. Focus more on the 5-star and 4-star reviews but check out all the reviews. Make a separate list of the titles of these books.
Click on names of the reviewers, which are listed immediately below their star rating to go to their Amazon profile. (Hold control and left-click to open their profile in a new tab on your internet browser.) Look through the profiles for a link to their website or social media platform so that you can find a way to contact them. If you can’t find any relevant information, move onto the next profile.
Collect the following information in a table or spreadsheet:
- Name of the book reviewed by them
- Amazon Profile URL
- Review Promised
- Personal information (which you can use to personalize your email to them)
Continue this process until you get at least 100 email addresses and then move on to the next step of this phase.
2. Create a review tracking system
Use a table or spreadsheet to track all those who promise a review, which should include the following:
- Did they agree to review your book?
- Date of sending your book to them
- Date of first follow up
- Date of second follow up
- Date of review
- Date of thank you note sent after getting review
- Additional remarks
3. Follow up with potential reviewers
As already discussed, getting reviews is difficult because people have to read your book and then write a review. So follow up is crucial because most people are busy and are not likely to respond to your very first email. Even after they read your book, people may forget to post a review. So a gentle reminder or two is essential to get book reviews.
The focus in this process is building relationships with potential reviewers. Also, make sure that you don’t send follow up emails to anyone who has already posted a review.
4. Use GMass for tracking
First, add GMass to your Gmail account. GMass is free for 50 emails per day but the premium version with automatic follow up costs $12 USD a month. If you plan to publish your books on Amazon, it’s definitely a worthwhile investment and you can cancel your account any time.
GMass helps you to:
- send mass emails to a group of people with a single click. Each person gets a personalized email.
- send automatic follow up emails to people that do not respond to your initial email. GMass automatically resends emails to each person that doesn’t respond after a predetermined number of days.
Check out this detailed post by Archangel Ink on the automatic follow-up system using GMass, including email templates and a video tutorial: Need Book Reviews for your Kindle Launch? This is How you do it
- Book Review Banzai: The Unknown Author’s Ultimate Guide to Getting Amazon Reviews by Jason B. Ladd
FREE when you sign up for Jason’s newsletter at www.jasonbladd.com
In this book, Jason B. Ladd reveals the secret to getting book reviews on Amazon even if you are an unknown author. Book Review Banzai uses a laser-focused approach with free web tools and effective marketing tactics to get high-quality book reviews on Amazon. He describes the same strategy given above.
If you want to read his e-book, you can do request a free copy here: http://www.jasonbladd.com/contact/.
- Transformational Author Experience Online Summit
You can get free access to the entire summit from 18 to 22 June 2018 where more than 30 best-selling authors, publishing experts, and industry leaders will reveal their best strategies to write, publish, and promote your transformational book.
(More than 70,000 people have attended this free training so far over the past few years.)
When you register, you’ll also get a free PDF copy of the Transformational Author Playbook by Christine Kloser.
Join the conversation:
What system do you use to gather reviews for your books on Amazon or other platforms? Let us know in the comments below.
(15 June 2018)
Rohi Shetty is a doctor, health writer, and digital publisher. Check out his Kindle books on Amazon and connect with him on LinkedIn. You can contact him here if you want his help to publish your books on Amazon or with other e-book retailers.