Wednesday, 25 June 2014

How to Get Book Reviews on Amazon

Getting authentic customer book reviews is, in my view, more difficult than writing the novel. Need an honest view of how to get customer reviews for your books? Well, the reality is, some seemingly infallible strategies simply don’t work. My personal experience has yielded the following results from trying many different strategies at getting book reviews.

Put a Note in Your Book Asking the Reader to Post a Review after Reading

Asking for Reviews at
the End of Your Book
I left a note in the back of my book asking for a book review, but as other authors are likely doing the same thing, the person who purchased your book is likely to turn a blind eye, and so far has yielded no reviews.

Email Customers on Amazon who Read your Genre

I went through Amazon reviewers who leave copious book reviews. I am careful to find a fan of the genre that I write in (ie, thrillers). I also looked for customers who posted reviews on a book that exhibits my book under ‘people who brought this book also brought...’

For every fifty emails put out, I got two responses. I was lucky one of the responses resulted in a book review. Most book reviewers are busy and get inundated with requests for book reviews. Care is needed here that you do not spam.

Send Free Copies of Your Book to Book Review Magazines, Newspapers or Magazines Dealing with Issues in Your Book

I sent my books to several book review magazines with the possibility of getting a book review. None resulted. I also sent a copy to the local papers. The book reviewer, after promising to take a look, decided he was suddenly too busy.

I emailed magazines that deal with issues in my book. A Hard Lesson for example, features a dyslexic pupil. I emailed PATOSS, a magazine that focuses on learning difficulties. They are going to do a mention of my book in the back of their magazine. I also emailed psychology magazines asking for a review on the Shuttered Room, inspired in part by Eric Berne’s Games People Play, a psychological textbook. Results are pending.

Do a Free Book Giveaway on Goodreads

I sent about 20 hard copies of my books to winners of Goodreads giveaways and have garnered around 4 reviews from the giveaways. Some of the winners may not read your genre, so there is the risk of readers being mismatched with the genre of your book. However, Goodreads has proved a more successful method of getting book reviews, although it is costly in ordering and despatching hardcopies.

Do a Free Ebook Giveaway Promo on Amazon

This has proved to be the worst strategy for getting reviews. After giving away thousands of books, I have received 2 honest reviews. A third review was given by someone who obviously hadn’t read the book as he/she uploaded within hours of posting and left several other reviews within hours. Dishing out novels on free giveaways may not attract the serious readership of paying customers.

But the Biggest problem with Amazon’s giveaways is that the Kindle device does not allow the posting of reviews on Amazon, only a star rating on Goodreads. For this reason, I would never do a free promo on Amazon again. Potential paid uploads of my ebook have been sacrificed in free uploads.

Do a Countdown Deal on Amazon

I did a countdown promotion of one of my thrillers. Sadly, only one giveaway is permitted on and per 90 days. Again, no reviews but at least I received some royalties on uploads. Again, text reviews cannot be posted directly from the Kindle. Purchasers are likely to be averse to sign in to their Amazon account to leave a review from a laptop or tablet after uploading a book on a countdown deal.

Put an Ad in the Newspaper Telling People about Your Free Book Promotion

I put an ad in the local paper, appealing for book reviews. Although I got some uploads, no reviews resulted. This might be due to the fact, again, the Kindle does not permit the posting of reviews on Amazon, only a star rating on Goodreads.

Sell Your Books on Ebay

I sold a few copies of my thrillers on Ebay with a note asking for book reviews, but no reviews have resulted.

Sell Your Books on a Market Stall or Car Boot

Again, I have sold a few copies of my thrillers at car boots and stalls. Got some pledges from customers to leave a book review, but again, no reviews have resulted from this.

Give Copies of Your Book to Charity Shops

I have given numerous free books to my local charity shops. No reviews have resulted so far.

Give Copies of Your Book to Libraries

I have donated copies of my books to my local library. They have been on loan a few times. Early days yet, but no reviews so far.

Give Your Book Away from Your Blog

I have posted an article on this blog enabling people to receive my novels free via email in whatever format they prefer. I have posted this link on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and Amazon. Early days yet, will get back with results.

Doing an Author Talk Might
Garner Book Reviews
Conduct a Book Talk

I am doing a book talk on Tuesday July 8 at Coventry Central Library. Will get back with the results.

Give your Ebooks Away on LibraryThing

I haven’t done this yet, as I don't meet the criteria, but you can email recipients free digital copies of your book in their preferred format.

Conclusion of Getting Book Reviews on Amazon or Other

I have published books for 3 years and getting book reviews has proved extremely difficult. So far, I have a handful of book reviews on my thrillers after giving away thousands of books. The worst strategy in my experience is doing free promos on Amazon. The Kindle does not permit the posting of a text review onto Amazon itself, only a star rating on Goodreads. Most people don’t want the rigmarole of signing into their Amazon account via computer or tablet and writing a book review. It is understandable.

Selling book on carboots, Ebay and market stalls has again been unsuccessful, as has sending copies to magazines and newspapers. Goodreads giveaways has been the most fruitful so far, but some Goodreads members may not leave a review on Amazon itself. Emailing avid readers on Amazon who possess a reading profile similar to your genre has yielded a review, but is very time consuming. As to my book talk, I will get back with the results.

Ways of Getting Book Reviews

There are many other strategies for getting book reviews and will try others in the future. Waiting for book reviews is like waiting for the kettle to boil. Don’t watch it for a while and reviews may miraculously appear. To date, reviews have been few and far between.

This is not to say that trying these strategies at getting book reviews will result in the small success described here. All it takes is the issue of the book to the right person. Sometimes, it seems to be down to sheer luck. In my case, hope must spring eternal.

A Final Thought on Getting Book Reviews

You can pay for book reviews, such as Kirkus Reviews and high profile book blogs, but I am against paying for reviews for books. For this reason, I have not tried this strategy and therefore cannot provide feedback on this avenue.

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