A 4 Step Process To Get Legitimate Book Reviews On Amazon

If you are a new author, or a known author, the biggest challenge of course is finding reviewers before you launch your book…

Or maybe your book is just kinda sitting there waiting for attention on Amazon…

Or maybe you launched and sold a 100 copies, or 10, and it hasn’t sold many for a while…

Maybe you’ve sold some copies but you aren’t getting reviews.

Reviews Drive Book Traffic

It’s important that you have a good ratio between sales and reviews so that Amazon sends you over traffic.”

So, let’s talk about how you can stimulate some traffic and sales on Amazon by looking at getting an influx of reviews for your book.

According to well known self publishing guru, Chandler Bolt, on his article “How To Get Amazon Reviews For Your Book” he mentions that the top two things that gives your book momentum on Amazon is downloads and reviews.

Get Reviewers To Follow A Process

On Amazon, specifically it’s also about finding reviewers that will follow the process that will ensure that they will give you reviews, and specifically reviews that are identified by Amazon.”

Reviews that Amazon like. Yes, Amazon will go in and delete reviews if they don’t like them.

Therefore, how can we find legitimate reviewers that Amazon will like?

A couple of weeks ago, we booked an airbnb as we are long term travellers.

This place that we booked in Victoria, Canada was different because Victoria’s vacancy rates are so low, there is barely any availability for long-term vacation rentals.

Poor Quality airbnb

Therefore, the quality of this airbnb was less then what we were use to.

The third night we were there we met this girl, Georgina, whom was visitng Victoria from Sydney, Australia.

She planned to stay five nights until the 3rd night she heard rustling at her window at 2am.

It was a man trying to break into her window, she heard him getting in, and she realized it was the room next to hers.

Another airbnb guest, supposedly?

We asked Georgina the next day if she was going to report this incident to airbnb.

However, she didn’t, and she did not write a bad review for the host of this airbnb.

The moral of the story here is that no reviews are bad reviews.”

What we realized is that this airbnb listing only had 4 reviews even though this listing has been on airbnb for a long time.

Simple Fact About Human Psychology

This is simple human psychology – most people, if they don’t like a service, food at a restaurant, or an airbnb listing, would rather do nothing then create more drama around an already unpleasant experience.”

The same with your book, as with this airbnb listing, no reviews are bad reviews.

Another thing about human psychology that’s relevant to marketing your book is that we are social creatures that take cues from other people, so hearing reviews from other people is key to why we purchase.”

Therefore, I’m going to help you in this article, get the legitimate reviews that you deserve.

Of course, if you didn’t put the work into your book, you’ll also get what you deserve with something worse then no reviews…

BAD REVIEWS!

How do you contact reviewers?

Or how do you know that they are reviewers who are trusted in your genre and category?

These might be the questions that you have right now…

Keep reading because we will be diving into the answers to these questions.

Of course reviews also lead to more sales, as Amazon Bestsellers Rank ( the metric that the big fancy Amazon robot uses to decide who gets sales ) improves with more reviews.

Let’s layout the process to getting legitimate reviews for your book in this article by covering the following 4 steps:

  • Step 1: Non-Slimy Way To Get Legitimate Book Reviews
  • Step 2: How To Acquire Book Reviews: Good and Bad Method
  • Step 3: Find And Build A Reviewer List From Similar Book Titles
  • Step 4: Develop A Review Email Campaign For Your Book

Step 1: Don’t Be A Slime Ball! How To Get Legitimate Book Reviews

Let’s first off talk about the ethics around book reviews…

Actually, it’s not really ethics, it’s more about playing nice with the largest online book retailer, Amazon.

What do they have to say about what constitues a legitimate review?

From my personal experiences with authors and in my own publishing, I can tell you that Amazon will only verify a review when someone actually purchases the book.

What Amazon Says About Reviews

Here’s what Amazon actually says about legitimate, or in their terminology “verified reviews”:

Customer Reviews are meant to give customers genuine product feedback from fellow shoppers. Our goal is to capture all the energy and enthusiasm (both favorable and critical) that customers have about a product while avoiding use of reviews to outright advertise, promote and especially mislead.”

I’ll talk about the process you can use to go about getting reviews that Amazon recognizes.

Yes, Amazon will delete reviews if they don’t like them, as I mentioned.

I had a client most recently whom had over 60% of his books reviews removed because he didn’t follow the process that Amazon liked for getting reviews.

Let’s look at what Amazon says is an illegitimate way to acquire book reviews:

  • A product manufacturer posts a review of their own product, posing as an unbiased shopper
  • A shopper, unhappy with her purchase, posts multiple negative reviews for the same product
  • A customer posts a review in exchange for $5
  • A customer posts a review of a game, in exchange for bonus in-game credits
  • A family member of the product creator posts a five-star customer review to help boost sales
  • A shopper posts a review of the product, after being promised a refund in exchange
  • A seller posts negative reviews on his competitor’s product
  • An artist posts a positive review on a peer’s album in exchange for receiving a positive review from them

You can view the actual rules and everything that Amazon says about getting customer book reviews here:

If you have any questions, or one of your reviews have been removed then you can also email Amazon here: review-appeals@amazon.com

Generally, these rules are set out to stop marketers and unethical folk who get slimy about promoting their books on Amazon.

Follow The Rules Or Else?

I agree with some rules but I also think that a select few ruin the experience of Amazon reviews for others, there are still a lot of issues with Amazon’s review system.

It’s not perfect.

However, I’m going to give you a process that will help you play nice with Amazon, and make sure your reviews are legimitate and don’t get removed by Amazon.

Step 2:How To Acquire Book Reviews: Good and Bad Method

I quoted the “bad” methods of getting reviews according to Amazon, however I’m going to paraphrase and explain in simpler english. I’ll also give you examples of “Good” methods of acquiring reviews.

The Bad Ways

  • Pay For Reviews – This goes against Amazon’s terms of use as I quoted above. From an ethical standpoint this makes sense as well. Consumers deserve to get honest feedback about the quality of your books.
  • Offer A Free Gift – This qualifies as an incentivized review, similar to paying someone to leave a review. A “Gift” could be an Amazon Gift Card, or a free breakfast at the local waffle house. It’s not allowed. However, I will provide you an example of an ethical giveaway you can use.
  • Review Swap – If someone says to you, or you say to someone else “I’m an author, you’re an author, let’s exchange reviews” it’s wrong in respect to Amazon.

If other authors are partaking in practices where they are using these review methods I would suggest not to partake.

Good Ways

  • Free Copy Of Your Book – If you want to give away a free copy of your book for a review, this is acceptable from the standpoint of Amazon. I’m going to show you how you can use this method to get reviewers, regardles if you have an email list, or fan following.
  • Free Giveaways – When talking about Amazon, you have a way to offer a giveaway every 90 days if you are in KDP select which I’ll get into.

Let’s dive into how you can go about finding relevant reviewers for your book, and contacting them in an ethical way.

Step 3: Build A Reviewer List From Similar Book Titles

“How the heck do I find reviewers in my categories, or genre?” You might be asking.

The best way to find reviewers, is by looking at reviewers of other books in your genre on Amazon.

Let’s head over to Amazon and build a list of books that complement, or are similar to your book, that have lots of book reviews.

Build Your Book List

Let’s say I have a book about Real Estate Investments. Let’s find some book titles with lots of reviews that we can use for our list.

2. Lets go and find books about “Real Estate Investing” by entering it in the search bar, this is what I got:

Here’s a good book:

I like to aim for about 500 reviews, so we can target more reviewers in the upcoming steps.

Other Criteria To Consider For Your Book List

  • complementary books about investing or building wealth
  • books about your exact topic
  • or books that you think your audience would also enjoy

3. Scroll down and use the “Customers who bought this item also bought” section to find other books that meet the criteria I mentioned above:

Step 4: Develop A Review Email Campaign For Your Book

You can use a tool called AMZ Discover to extract the emails of reviewers of the books that you selected.

You can find out the exact steps to do that in this article here:

Setting Up Email Campaigns with Mailchimp

Once you’ve extracted the emails from your book list, head over and sign up for a Mailchimp account.

1. Sign up and get your account here:

https://mailchimp.com/

2. Once you have signed up for an account, head over to “lists” when you are logged into Mailchimp:

3. Now, head over to your AMZ Discover account and export your contact list of prospective reviewers:

4. Go back to Mailchimp and click “Create List”:

5. Then you want to select the list and click the “Add Contacts” dropdown and select “Import Contacts”

6. Upload your list that you just exported from AMZ.

7. You will be brought to a screen where you have to select the names of the fields from your exported AMZ reviewer emails. The fields that you want to save are “First Name”, “Address” which I use as the book ASIN, or ISBN, and the “Email Address.”

Just select “Save” on the columns I just mentioned.

Note: the ISBN, or ASIN, is the second column, save it as “Address.”

8. Now segment the ISBN’s one-by-one and name them based on the book title.

To do this just go back to your main list and click “New Segment” on the secondary menu of your list just above the actual listings.

Filter by address and enter in each individual ISBN.

9. Now, save your segments, one-by-one by clicking “Save Segment” which will be the same button you used to create your segment except it will now say “Save Segment.”

10. Now, click the Mailchimp icon and go back to the main area, and select from the top menu “campaigns”

11. Select “Create Campaign” and then select “Email” from the popup menu:

12. Follow the steps to fill in the details of your campaign, remember to select and create campaigns for each segmented audience that you created for each book.

Modify your campaign emails with the different book titles.

13. I’ve provided an email template in this article that you can use for your campaigns:

Conclusion

If you are looking to get reviews that are legitimate and will work with Amazon then please follow the following process that was laid out on this article for getting reviews:

  • Step 1: Non-Slimy Way To Get Legitimate Book Reviews
  • Step 2: How To Acquire Book Reviews: Good and Bad Method
  • Step 3: Find And Build A Reviewer List From Similar Book Titles
  • Step 4: Develop A Review Email Campaign For Your Book

If you are stuck, or wondering about how you should go about building your launch, or review campaign please reference this article.