In this episodes, we’ll not only learn about reviews, and how they affect our sales, I’ll show you a tactic you can use to get book reviews even if you don’t have an email list, following or fans.
But even if you do have those things, this tactic will still help you get even more reviews and build our your email list with the right kind of readers who like to leave positive and happy reviews.
But before we get into that, we’re going to take a second and discuss what reviews are, and how they affect us, other than the obvious reason.
Two Types of Amazon Reviews
Unverified Reviews: Those reviews that came from someone’s Amazon account that has no record of owning the book.
Verified Reviews: Those reviews that are left by someone’s account that bought the book.
Benefits of Reviews
Having reviews of your book can do the following:
- Convince shoppers your book is good
- Increase conversion rates
- Increased conversion rates help to increase your rankings in Search Results which leads to more discoverability
- Helps to improve your ROI in advertisements
How to Find the Right Reviewers
Some Amazon shoppers have set up their Amazon account to show their email address. Therefore, you have the ability to see which reviewers of your books or others in your niche have decided to display their email address publicly.
By using this method, you’ll find a list of people who like, and review books like yours.
Here are the steps to doing this:
- Go through your book’s reviewers, and check to see if any of them have listed their email address.
- Send an email to them acknowledging that they liked your book and if they’d like for you to send them your next book for free.
- Go through the reviewers of any of your competitor’s books, and see if they’d be interested in a copy of your upcoming books.
If you’d like to learn more about what kind of email to send when asking for review, then check out my article on getting more book reviews.
Amazon Review Rules for Advanced Copies
You CAN send someone an advanced copy of your book. You just can’t incentivize it for them.
Here are the exact words from Amazon on this:
We don't allow any form of compensation for a Customer Review other than a free copy of the book provided upfront. If you offer a free advanced copy, it must be clear that you welcome all feedback, both positive and negative. If we detect that a customer was paid to write a review, we'll remove it.
The only type of paid review that Amazon supports is an editorial review. An editorial review is a more formal evaluation of a book usually written by an editor or expert within a genre, but can also be written by family and friends. If you've received an editorial review of your book that you’d like to post to the Editorial Review section of your book’s detail page, please visit our Author Central Help Page
Offering payment or any other incentive for a Customer Review is considered compensation. This includes giving someone money or a gift certificate to purchase your book. We consider incentives to be any type of reward that is given in return for a Customer Review, including but not limited to bonus content, entry to a contest or sweepstakes, discounts on future purchases, and other gifts.
A lot of people still put out some misinformation about the review policy. This stems from a change in the Amazon Review Policy that happened about a year ago.
In October of 2016, Amazon made a statement saying they would no longer allow reviewers to post a review in exchange for a free or discounted product, even if they disclosed that they got it in exchange for a review. Many authors took this to mean books as well. However, in that same statement, Amazon said:
The above changes will apply to product categories other than books. We will continue to allow the age-old practice of providing advance review copies of books.
So, let us dispel that notion and understand that we can send advanced review copies to reviewers.
Bio of the Author in the Case Study:
Lia Peele is a first-time author of the book Definition of Flawed and uses a pen name. Although this was her first book, she's seen success and will be writing more thanks to using the above tactic. More importantly, Lia now has a list of emails she can use again for book 2 as well as connections to other authors who are in the genre and love reading and reviewing those types of books.
Evan Shellshear has been an entrepreneur for more than a decade, and throughout that time he has always loved getting his hands dirty with building products from scratch and then commercializing them. Evan has a passion for innovation and not just from a managerial perspective but also from a doing perspective. He knows what it means and requires to start and grow a business as well as the best tools to do just that.
Evan has a Ph.D. in Game Theory, has published in fields computer graphics to politics, mathematics to manufacturing, and much more. Evan has founded or co-founded over half a dozen companies to commercialize different technologies. He has lived in Australia, Germany, and Sweden. Evan is a regular blogger on some of the world's biggest innovation platforms such as Innovation Excellence and Innovation Management. You can reach out to him on Twitter @eshellshear.