Not only is Amazon one of the largest book-selling venues in the world, it’s also the first place many readers stop to get the lowdown about books when deciding what to purchase. The candid reviews of other readers are one of the most important elements in this purchasing experience, and authors everywhere check and double-check their Amazon pages for their next review. Reviews not only give your book credence among readers, they also lift it in Amazon’s algorithms, making it visible to more potential customers.
But sometimes those reviews are slow in coming. What can you do to get more reviews? Here are a few tips.
1. Just ask. Whenever a fan contacts you with rave reviews about your book, don’t be bashful about asking if they’d be willing to take a minute to post the review on Amazon. Link to your book for easy access and explain that reviews are gold to starving author types. Most people are more than happy to help out their new favorite author. Don’t forget to be polite, respectful of their time, and modest.
2. Send the book to volunteer reviewers. Publishing houses routinely send out Advance Reader Copies to influencers who will review the book and help promote it. Authors can take this one step further by offering copies of their own in exchange for honest reviews. Make it clear you’re not asking the reviewer to praise your book if he doesn’t like it, and, should the unthinkable happen and he does indeed end up not liking it, show you’ve got class by accepting the negative review courteously and professionally.
3. Put a note in the back of the book. If you have control over the formatting of your book, stick a note in the back, reminding readers how valuable their reviews are and asking them to take a moment to review the book on Amazon if they enjoyed it. Kindle books automatically provide a “rate me” page at the very end, which will send the reader to the book’s Amazon page. If possible, avoid including traditional back matter (such as the author bio), which readers generally skip, to ensure readers actually reach this important “rate me” page.
4. Remind social media followers. Every so often, send out a bulletin to your Facebook and Twitter fans, reminding those who have read your book how much you would appreciate their reviews. You can also remind your followers of how valuable reviews are by occasionally posting links to recent good reviews. Don’t go overboard with this, since followers won’t appreciate being inundated with these backhanded sales pitches, but a few every now and then are fine.
5. Review other authors’ books. Give and you will receive. In some instances, thankful authors may read and review your book in return, but, even if they don’t, going out of your way to help others in the same way you want to be helped can only benefit everyone involved. That said, “trading” good reviews is a shaky and generally unethical practice. Even should you trade review copies with another author, make it clear you want their honest opinion in exchange for your own.
There is no magic formula for gaining hundreds of Amazon reviews, but these tips should have you on the road toward an ever-growing number of reader opinions.
Linda Apple is the author of Writing From Your Soul, Writing Life ~ Your Stories Matter, Connect ~ A Simple Guide to Public Speaking for Writers, POW; Promises Kept and Women Of Washington Avenue, her debut novel and the first book in her Moonlight Mississippi series. Her personal experience stories have been published in 16 of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books. Her devotions have been published in numerous devotion magazines and books. She lives in Fayetteville Arkansas with her husband, Neal, their five children, five children-in-love, and ten grandchildren.
Jody Bailey Day writes inspirational fiction from west Texas. Her debut novel, Washout Express, released June 2013 from Harbourlight Books. Her short stories, poems, devotionals, and articles have appeared in Mature Living, Splickety Magazine, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, Southern Writers Magazine, and Christiandevotions.us, She is a two time Grand Prize Winner at the East Texas Christian Writers Conference, and a Faithwriters.com Best of the Best award winner. She and her pastor husband have six grown children and nine grandchildren.
Deborah Dee Harper writes from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, by way of Michigan, Kentucky, Alaska, Mississippi, and Alaska (again). Deb is a graduate of the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild classes and writes Christian humorous and inspirational books for both children and adults. Her children’s adventure series, Laramie on the Lam, available in both e-book and print, is being re-published as six individual print books. Her Road’s End series (Misstep, Faux Pas, and Misjudge) for adults is also contracted and should be published soon. She is currently nearing completion on the first book of another series. She is represented by Terry Burns of Hartline Literary Agency.
Lisa Lickel is an award-winning multi-published inspirational novelist, blogger, reviewer, and writing mentor. A freelance editor, Lisa loves all things historical. Her work has appeared in Writer's Digest and Christian Fiction Online.
Liberty Speidel has been a voracious reader since reading her first Nancy Drew book. But she was telling stories long before then with her figurines from Disney's Rescue Rangers. When she's not writing, you may find her gardening, baking, crocheting, or hiking. A lifelong Kansan, she now resides in the Kansas City metro area with her husband, children, and chocolate Labrador, where she could rival Captain Jean Luc Picard in consumption of Earl Grey tea. She is the author of Emergence, Retaliation, and Capitulation, novellas and novels in her series featuring superhuman and police detective Darby Shaw.
Donn Taylor led an Infantry rifle platoon in the Korean War, served with Army aviation in Vietnam, and worked with air reconnaissance in Europe and Asia. Afterwards, he earned a PhD in English literature (Renaissance) and for eighteen years taught literature at two liberal arts colleges. His poetry has appeared in leading journals and is collected in his book Dust and Diamond: Poems of Earth and Beyond.His fiction includes a light-hearted mystery, Rhapsody in Red, and two suspense novels, Deadly Addictive and The Lazarus File, and a historical romance, Lightning on a Quiet Night. He is a frequent speaker at writers’ groups and conferences. He lives near Houston, TX, where he continues to write fiction and poetry, as well as essays on writing, ethical issues, and U.S. foreign policy.
Editor/Author Linda Yezak lives with her husband in a forest in east Texas, where tall tales abound and exaggeration is an art form. She is a speaker/lecturer for various writers' groups and conferences. Her fiction books include Give the Lady a Ride, The Simulacrum, and The Cat Lady's Secret. Her nonfiction books include Writing in Obedience, co-written with Hartline Literary agent Terry Burns.
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