Friday, April 19, 2013

Amazon Reviews Tips and Tricks

By Eddie Jones

Increasingly, readers turn to online reviews written by customers to learn if a book is worth purchasing. Many “professional” reviews are simply rehashes of publisher-generated press releases. Most of the time, professional critics don’t tell readers the one thing they want to know—whether they’ll like the book. Today, all it takes is a quick skim of customer reviews on Amazon to know what others think about your book. Amazon doesn’t say it explicitly, but the more reviews your book receives, the higher it will appear in the “relevant” search rankings.

Here are three things you can do to add to your book’s review total. 

Fire Up Your Tribe
Create a virtual book launch on Facebook and invite your friends and fans to buy your book on the day of its release. Announce a drawing for those who “agree” to post a review of your book. Not everyone will abide by their word but the idea is to create buzz and most will eventually post a review if you continue to post new content on your book launch event page. Amazon gift cards are great way to reward reviewers. Here is one example of how we created a book “event” for Dead Man’s Hand.

Encourage anyone who tells you how much he or she enjoyed your book to write a review on As your positive reviews grow, so may your sales. (Think of the three percent ratio. Three percent will come to your event and of those, three percent will write a review.) It’s a numbers game and YOUR job to drive reviewers (friends, family, fans, Tweeters, bloggers, etc) to your Amazon page and get them to post a review.

Create an Email Template You Can Send to Friends
When friends congratulate you on your book ask for their help. Begin with:
Thank you for the kind words about my book. When you have a spare moment, it would be a great if you could post a review on Amazon and let other readers know why you liked [ the name of your book ]. It’s not necessary to write a lengthy, formal review—a summary of the comments you sent me would be fine. Here’s a link to the review form for my book.
[ provide the link like this ]
(Note: you will need to put your book’s actual ISBN in place of the letters ISBN, like so: This link takes you to the review page for Dead Man’s Hand, my YA mystery for boys)

Beat Back Negative Reviews
Even a poor review can be good—if the reviewer shares pertinent facts about your book. However, multiple 1 star reviews can slow sales or kill a book’s momentum, so beat back low star reviews by asking friends to post a review weeks or months after your book’s release. Continue to replenish your reservoir of possible reviewers by reaching out in advance. Post reviews for others, then say: “I may call on you some day and ask you to do the same for me.” If they respond in the affirmative via email or Facebook, take note and remind them later when you need a positive review. Or course, make sure they have a copy of your book.
Eddie Jones is a North Carolina-based writer and Acquisition Editor for Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. He is a three-time winner of the Delaware Writers Conference and his YA novel, The Curse of Captain LaFoote, won the 2012 Moonbeam Award in the Pre-Teen Fiction/Fantasy category and 2011 Selah Award in Young Adult fiction. He co-writes the He Said, She Said devotions, available at Dead Man’s Hand, the first book in the Caden Chronicles mystery series, is now available from Zonderkidz. 

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