Verified purchase reviews are the lifeblood of a high conversion rate. With a lot of reviews, people are more likely to buy your book. No reviews, and the opposite is likely to happen.
Amazon verified purchase reviews are especially important, because they prove that your book was purchased and reviewed by real people, not just potentially biased reviewers on your ARC team.
But how do you get a lot of verified book reviews? That is the question we are asking in this article.
- What verified reviews are
- Why they are important
- How to increase your verified reviews by yourself
- A service that can potentially help
Table of contents
Disclaimer: some of the links in this article are affiliate links, but the cost you nothing extra, and every little bit goes to the Kindlepreneur coffee fund.
What Are Verified Reviews?
The short answer: an Amazon verified review is any review left by someone who actually purchased your book on Amazon.
It is a little bit more complicated than that, though.
Firstly, the review must come from someone who has spent at least $50 on Amazon products within a year. This is to weed out spambots and people who clearly aren't regularly active on Amazon.
Secondly, Amazon specifies that the reviewer can't have bought the book at a “big discount”. However, Amazon does not specify what this means. To be safe, we recommend keeping your book priced at $2.99 or higher. While I have seen verified reviews with $0.99 books, is not a guarantee. And free books are unlikely to lead to verified reviews.
Amazon then lists verified views with a “Verified Purchase” badge within the review.
Why Are Verified Reviews Important?
As online shoppers got more tech savvy, they began to be wary of fake Amazon reviews. Amazon has done a lot to crack down on fake reviews, but it isn't always enough.
For example, Amazon allows authors to give out free copies of their books in exchange for a review. Naturally, this group is going to be slightly biased, because they got a free book.
Don't get me wrong, we absolutely encourage you to have ARC reviewers to get those first initial reviews. But understand that those reviews will not be verified.
By including the Verified Purchase badge, it becomes much more likely that that review is genuine. This leads to increased trust from the customer. The more verified reviews, the greater the likelihood that the reviews are accurate.
And the more a reader trusts that a high volume of reviews are genuine, the more likely they are to convert (aka buy your book).
How to Get Verified Amazon Reviews for Your Books
Since verified reviews require that the Amazon reviewer purchase your book, you cannot simply send your book out for free to an ARC team.
Instead, these reviews have to come from people who have genuinely bought your book.
There is a fine line to walk here, because you cannot pay someone to buy your book and leave a review.
In other words, you can't encourage a friend to buy your book, then refund them.
So what can you do?
Well, you have two options.
- Encourage reviewers yourself
- Pay a company to do it for you
1. Encouraging Reviewers Yourself
The first option is to encourage people to review your book. This is something you should do even if you pay a company to help you.
Warning: remember you cannot pay or refund someone to leave a verified purchase review. Doing so is against Amazon's terms of services and could get you banned.
Ultimately, the best way to get more reviews is to make more sales, because the higher the volume of sales, the more people you have that could leave a verified review.
However, there are ways that you can increase the percentage of buyers who leave a review, including:
- Include a review request in your book: make sure that every book has a request for a review at the back of your book, with a link (if it's an ebook) that goes directly to your review page. This should be one of the first things that a reader sees after finishing your book.
- Reach out to your email list: every once in a while, you should reach out to your email list and request that they leave a review. Do this frequently, so your list is used to hearing about it, especially when launching a book.
- Schedule book promotions: book promotions are still one of the best ways to get readers to buy your book. The more readers buy your book, the more likely you are to have reviews.
- Create a quality product: it goes without saying, but the better your book is, the more likely it is to be purchased and reviewed.
Additionally, you should use a tool like ReaderScout to track when reviews are left. This is especially important when requesting reviews from your email list, because you can then track the number of reviews that are left.
ReaderScout is a free Chrome plugin that will notify you every time you have a new review, and it tracks a few other things as well. Plus, it's free!Check Out ReaderScout!
If you have already done all this, and you still want to get a few extra verified reviews, read on.
2. Pay a Company to Encourage Verified Reviews
Your second option is to pay a company to get you verified reviews.
Important: these companies cannot pay or refund readers to leave verified reviews either. That is why you are not paying them to guarantee reviews. You are paying them to encourage readers to buy your book and leave a review.
It is difficult to find a good company that will stay within the boundaries Amazon has set and still get you quality verified reviews.
When looking for a company like this, we recommend you focus on two criteria:
- Companies that have lasted a while
- Companies with a public face (i.e. real people and not a faceless corporation)
One of the companies that we recommend is Bookvertiser.
Verified Review Service: Bookvertiser
Bookvertiser has an audience of highly engaged readers/reviewers in a variety of different genres.
What Bookvertiser does is reach out to this list to encourage them to buy your book and leave a verified review. They will continue to do this until you have reached the threshold of reviews that you select when you purchase.
Note that the costs are not always cheap. It takes a lot of work to guarantee a certain number of reviews, especially when you cannot pay a reviewer or refund them for leaving the review.
They also can't guarantee that every review will be a positive review. While my experience tells me these reviewers are often kind, you might still get a negative review.
But using a service like Bookvertiser is one of the best ways to rapidly gain verified reviews without putting in a lot of the hard work yourself.
If you use this link and input the code KP5, you’ll get 5% off your purchase order.Use Code KP5 and Get 5% Off Bookvertiser
Reviews can be an uphill battle, but they are absolutely worth it.
If you can convince as many people in your audience to buy your book, then review it, you are well on your way to being easily discovered on Amazon.
Get enough sales, and a high enough conversion rate, and Amazon will begin marketing your book for you.