How to Get Book Reviews on Amazon

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Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

It’s probably not a surprise to you that Amazon is the world’s biggest bookstore, but do you know just how big it is? According to available data, Amazon distributes between 50 percent of printed books and 75 percent of eBooks in the US. So, to say that Amazon sales are vital to authors is an understatement.

How do you stand out in such a crowded marketplace? Reviews. Book reviews not only boost your search engine ranking, but they also raise customer confidence in your books. So, how do you go about getting them? Let’s spell out what you should do — as well as what you shouldn’t do — to get book reviews on Amazon.

Do Amazon book reviews matter?

Getting an Amazon review isn’t just crucial to the success of your book, you need to land as many reviews as you can as soon as your book launches. Why? Three reasons: Amazon’s algorithm, book discoverability, and credibility.

Amazon’s algorithm

Amazon has the world’s third largest search engine, behind Google and YouTube, and how you and your books are ranked in search results is largely dependent on reviews. When a book receives positive reviews, it signals to Amazon that it is well-received by readers. This can lead to improved search rankings, making it easier for potential readers to discover your book, which will lead to more sales, which in turn will lead to more reviews, and around and around it goes.

Book discoverability

Reviews also play a vital role in the “customers who bought this also bought” and “recommended for you” sections of Amazon’s website. When book sales and reviews increase, it can lead to increased visibility among readers who have purchased books similar to yours. This is essentially free advertising to a highly targeted audience. What more could you ask for?

Credibility

A verified review acts as social proof, assuring potential readers that your book is worth their time and money. Think about your own book-buying experiences. Even if you are buying a book by an author you already enjoy, you still probably check the reviews to make sure this new book is up to snuff.

Considering these factors, it’s evident that Amazon book reviews are crucial for independent authors. OK, so how do you go about obtaining them?

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Optimize your book’s Amazon page

Before you start seeking reviews, it’s essential to optimize your book’s Amazon page to maximize its visibility. Here are some tips to help you achieve this:

  • Keyword research. Research relevant keywords and phrases related to your book’s genre and/or content. Incorporate these keywords into your book’s title, subtitle, and description to improve search visibility. Here are some great keyword do’s and don’ts.
  • Attention-grabbing cover. Be sure to invest in a professional and visually appealing book cover design. A captivating cover can entice potential readers to click on your book and learn more.
  • Compelling description. Write a compelling book description that not only summarizes your book but also entices readers to want more. Use vivid language, incorporate your keywords, and be sure to highlight the unique aspects of your story. Most importantly: Edit your description! This is the last place you want a typo showing up. BookBaby offers an Amazon optimization service to help you maximize your keywords and description.
  • Author bio. Craft an engaging author bio. Don’t be afraid to expound a little here. Add interesting details and personalize it so readers feel like they know something about you.
  • Choose the right categories. Select the most relevant and specific categories for your book. This will help your book appear in niche-specific searches and increases its discoverability and increase your chances of being an Amazon best-seller.
  • Book preview. Be sure to enable the “Look Inside” feature to allow readers to preview a portion of your book. A well-chosen preview can encourage readers to make a purchase, whereas books that don’t use this feature are likely to be passed over.

The importance of authentic reviews

Free guide offer for Promote Then PublishIt’s vital to emphasize the importance of authenticity when it comes to book reviews on Amazon. Amazon has strict guidelines regarding reviews, and any attempt to manipulate or purchase reviews can result in severe consequences, including the removal of reviews or even the suspension of your account. Authenticity is key, so focus on obtaining genuine reviews from real readers who have engaged with your work.

Here are things you cannot do to get Amazon reviews:

  • You cannot pay for reviews. No cash. No prizes. You can give out free advance review copies of your book, though you cannot require a reader to review your book. You also cannot tell anyone what to say in their reviews. (This is why it’s vital to write a great book!)
  • You cannot exchange reviews. Don’t go posting on social media anything like, “Hey, I’ll give you five stars if you do the same for me.”
  • You can’t review your own book or have your family review it. Amazon is savvy when it comes to tracking your close personal relationships.

Tips for getting book reviews on Amazon

Here are seven practical strategies for getting book reviews on Amazon.

1. Ask for reviews (in your book)

Add a sentence or two at the end of your book asking readers to leave an honest review on Amazon. Rather than tell them that it will help you sell more copies, appeal to their sense of helping their fellow readers find books that will appeal to them.

2. Promote on social media and newsletters

Here’s where all your hard work marketing on social media will pay off. Tell your followers that your new book is coming out and ask them if they would like to be a part of your review team. If you have an email newsletter (and you should) reach out to your mailing list and request reviews.

3. Connect with your author network

Authors are always looking to support their peers, so don’t be afraid to reach out to them to ask for reviews. To build your author network, attend writing conferences and join online author forums or groups.

4. Reach out to influential book reviewers

Many book reviewers accept requests from authors for book reviews. Craft a polite and personalized email requesting a review of your book and provide them with a copy in the format they prefer. Be sure to read their submission guidelines and follow them meticulously. Just know that these reviewers are often booked out months in advance, so contact them as soon as you have your advanced reader copy.

5. Monitor negative reviews and feedback

Not all reviews will be glowing, and that’s okay. A bad review can provide valuable insights for improvement. Always approach negative feedback professionally and constructively. Respond to reviews politely and thank readers for their feedback. Demonstrating that you value reader opinions can enhance your credibility and encourage more reviews.

6. Run Amazon book promotions

Consider running Amazon promotions, such as Kindle Countdown Deals or free book promotions. These promotions can boost your book’s visibility and attract a larger audience, which can result in more reviews.

7. Use an automated platform

If you are completely overwhelmed by the thought of trying to round up reviewers and organize the distribution of your ARCs, you can use reviewer websites like BookFunnel, StoryOrigin, or Booksprout. For a small fee, these companies can connect you to their huge list of readers, plus they offer easy ways for eager reviewers to get your book. If someone raises their hand and asks to be a reviewer, you can simply send them to your BookFunnel, StoryOrigin, or Booksprout page, and they can take it from there. Prices range from $5 to $20 per month, depending on the number of services you want.

How many reviews should you get?

A good goal to strive for is 20 reviews in your first two months of publication. Once you achieve 50 reviews, your book will have enough momentum to keep driving book sales, which will drive more reviews, etc.

You can see why getting book reviews on Amazon is so critical for the success of your self-published book. Reviews boost visibility, credibility, and can give you a competitive edge in the crowded marketplace. Follow the strategies outlined in this article and you will increase your chances of securing the reviews you need to boost your sales and get you ready for your next book.

How To Publish On Amazon

Related Posts
How to Get Book Reviews
Why Amazon Keywords Matter for Your Book
About the Author Examples to Get You Inspired
How to Market a Book on Social Media
What is an Advance Reader Copy?

4 COMMENTS

  1. Mahalo, this is clear and concise summary of what I need to do for my book “Lahaina Town, My Heart-MyHome.” Where I will find the time while writing the second book in the series and building a home is the larger question.

  2. Excellent article that summarizes all the points I’ve heard in various webinars. Marketing is the most difficult task for self-published authors. It’s simply not in their skill set, but skill sets can be developed. N

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