2 Simple and Free Methods for Getting More Book Reviews
For self-published authors, reviews are a key component of getting the word out and selling more books. If you’re not getting the number or quality you’d like, you need to know about this straightforward and completely free way to get more book reviews.
Why They Work
Customers tend to trust (and therefore buy) books with more reviews. If you’re promoting your own book, you probably already know that convincing readers to take the time to write a review can be tricky. But read on to learn how to get real, unbiased feedback from real people.
Studies have shown that people’s online buying decisions are heavily influenced by what is called “third party
support.” That is, if other people like X, we are more likely to want X too. Think about the last time you bought something, anything, online. Did you look at what other customers had to say? What about the products that had only 1 or 2 reviews? Were you more likely to feel comfortable buying those products or were you drawn to those with 5, 10 or more? If you’re like most people, the more reviews a product has, the more likely you are to buy.
How to Get More Book Reviews
Hopefully, you’ve added a polite request for a book review at the end of your eBook. And you have probably asked friends and family to write them. But you’re still looking at your book’s page and wondering why you only have 5 reviews. You need to access Amazon’s most active and avid reviewers: the Top 10,000.
Who are Amazon’s Top 10,000 Reviewers?
Amazon ranks its 10,000 most active and helpful reviewers, and publishes a list of them. How do these people get on the list? As with many things, Amazon is not public about how exactly it decides who gets to be in the top 10,000, but a combination of number of reviews and number of “helpful” votes from other consumers probably factor in.
What’s So Special about Amazon’s Top Reviewers?
Again, Amazon is somewhat opaque about the role that having a review from one of these elite reviewers on your book’s page affects book ranking in its internal search results. But some evidence suggests that the presence of a Top Reviewer review on your book page counts. Even if getting feedback from one of the ‘elite’ doesn’t improve your book’s search rank, sheer number of reviews will help your sales.
These members are not “ordinary” reviewers. They tend to be thoughtful and extremely thorough when writing about a book or product. They write longer reviews that receive more “likes” from other users.
Many of Amazon’s Top Reviewers also have their own blogs, where they post their Amazon reviews. If you can convince them to review your book, there’s a good chance that the review will also appear on the reviewer’s blog. Which, of course, translates for more publicity for you and your book.
Get More Book Reviews – How to Contact
Method One – 4 Steps
- Start by going to Amazon’s Top Reviewer page and click on a random profile, just to get a feel for the layout.
- You will see that many reviewers list their email or blog address, along with their interests. Some even outline the kinds of books they review. If you don’t see this information, you can click on their reviews and see if there are any in genres similar to yours. Take some time and find about 10 who review in your genre and who have provided contact information.
- Send each a brief, personalized email that tells them:
How you found them
Why you think they would like your book
Some brief background on you or the book (no more than 100 words)
That you’d like to send them a free copy of your book and you hope they will review it
ALWAYS thank them in advance for their time
4. Repeat. A good rule of thumb is that you will get 1 review for every 6 or 7 emails you send, so plan accordingly.
Method Two – 5 Steps
- On Amazon’s main page search for “<your genre> best sellers
- You will get a ranked list for bestselling books in that genre, plus suggestions from Amazon on how to refine your search.
- Start exploring one of the bestselling book reviews. When you see a reviewer with a badge identifying him or her as in the top 10,000, click on the reviewer’s name to be taken to the profile.
- You’ve just identified a top reviewer who posts feedback in your genre. If the reviewer provides contact information, add him or her to your list of contacts.
Reviews are book selling essentials. Yes, contacting these reviewers may be a time consuming undertaking, but the payoff in terms of your book’s exposure and sales will be well worth it.
For more free and low cost book promotion ideas, visit our archive of articles on book marketing for self-published authors.