How to get book reviews. Now, this is such a hot topic because we all know how important reviews are for social proof, which is important for book sales. But we also all know how incredibly frustrating it can be to get reviews.
If you want to know an easy way to get book reviews, then stick around because this post is for you.
Beware Amazon's Review Rules
You probably already know that Amazon has a lot of rules around book reviews.
- You can't offer incentives or payments for reviews.
- You can provide a review copy of your book but you must be open to both positive and negative reviews in return.
- Family, friends or those you have a personal relationship with cannot leave reviews.
- And Amazon can remove reviews it believes violate the Amazon community guidelines.
So it's pretty obvious that Amazon wants genuine customers to leave organic reviews. In other words, strangers who you have no control over.
And that makes sense. If I'm looking at a review, I want to know it's impartial. I want to know that a real person has tested out the product or read the book, whatever it is I'm looking at buying. I want to know it's a real review. So that is fair and I do like the policy in principle.
But, getting strangers to review your book can be really, really difficult.
Ask More Than Once
The problem is that very few people will leave a review of their own free will. Most often that only happens when people are unhappy with their purchase, so that doesn't bode well.
So what can you do?
Well, there is one simple way to get reviews. It's not quick and it is easier said than done, but it is very doable.
You need to ask your biggest fans to leave a review.
There, I said it was simple.
Now I know what you're thinking: “I already ask my readers to leave a review at the back of my books but they hardly ever do.” Well, that's because a) they may not be your most loyal readers and b) you probably need to ask them more than once.
You do want to be asking people to leave a review at the back of your book, that is a sensible thing to do. But also recognize that you often need to ask people more than once and in many different ways, because leaving a review is not at the top of their to-do list. It's not something that's of any benefit to them, so you need to let them know how important it is to you and remind them often.
Make use of your email list
Now, one of the best ways of doing this is by email. But the only way you can do that is if you are actively growing an email list of loyal readers.
That's the part that isn't quick and is easier said than done, but is totally doable.
You can include a review request in your welcome series of emails, you can ask people who opt-in for your pre-order giveaways to leave a review and you can invite people to join your street team. That's a group of loyal readers who are going to help promote your book launch.
These are all different ways of getting email subscribers to help you with the reviews. When you have that direct connection with your readers via email, then asking for and actually getting reviews will become a whole lot easier.
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