How to Get Book Reviews with No Blog, No List, and No Begging

How-to-Get-Free-Kindle-Reviews

You probably don’t need convincing on the importance of getting ebook reviews.

But, how does a new and budding author get those crucial Kindle book reviews that will help to drive up sales?

Most resources will give you common advice of:

  • Build a list and ask your subscribers for reviews
  • Reach out to your followers and ask them to review your book
  • Ask your friends, associates, colleagues and family for reviews

That’s all fine and dandy…if you have those resources at your disposal.

But what about the rest of us?

The ones who don’t have raving fans ready to drop reviews. Or those of us without a giant email list and oodles of friends that we ‘want’ to send our ebook to?

Then you find another genius piece of advice – just exchange reviews with another author!

How clever is that, huh?

Not very, actually.

First and foremost, Amazon will delete any reviews they suspect were the result of a review swap.

Secondly, most authors who engage in this practice don’t care about your book. In most cases, they won’t even read your book. And yes, their review will be dishonest and fake.

So, what the heck are you supposed to do then to get your first set of reviews? It seems every single way of getting reviews either requires you to have an audience or get sales

Despair not, my friend because in this guide on how to get book reviews, I’ll show you.

In This Article I Will Show You:

  • A proven step-by-step method how to get your book reviewed
  • Tactics to getting high conversions on ebook reviews
  • A simple time saving method on ebook reviews

A Proven Way on how to get book reviews (Despite Nobody Knowing You)

Reviews are much easier to get once you already have some. But, you need to get the ball rolling with that crucial 10-20 initial reviews before the sales. Then organic reviews will start appearing.

When I released my first book, How to Build Self-Discipline: Resist Temptations and Reach Your Long-Term Goals, I managed to get about 20 or so reviews thanks to the process I’m about to describe.

The remaining 30+ reviews, and growing every day, are organic. They come from people who bought the book and decided to review it out of their goodwill (I love you, guys!).

The thing is, I would have never gotten these 30+ reviews if it hadn’t have been for the initial 20 reviews I got.

How did I do it?

Here’s the process step by step using a fictional character to help highlight each crucial piece to this process. Our made up example is Billy, who wrote a book called 79 Secrets to a Powerful Morning Routine.

Step 1: Figure Out Which Books Are Similar to Yours

First, we need to find other books in our genre that have had success in getting decent reviews.

Our example, Billy, first goes to Amazon and starts browsing through the categories to find books similar to his work.

He goes to “Non-Fiction,” then heads over to “Self-Help,” and finds S.J. Scott’s books. He decides people who have read Scott’s books and any other books appearing on the list of “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought” will be a great fit for this book.

Step one done.

Step 2: Find Ebook Reviewers Who Have Reviewed Similar Books (and Who Want to Hear from You)

Now that we have found books in our genre, we need to find the ebook reviewers who not only like our genre but have a tendency and willingness to happily leave reviews.

So, for this step, Billy checks one of S.J. Scott’s books, scrolls down to the “Customer Reviews” section and clicks “See all 64 customer reviews.”What ebooks have good reviews(A special shout out to my buddy Steve Scott for being an awesome sport and allowing me to use his book as an example.  You can find more of his work here)

He sorts the reviews by “Most helpful” and filters by “All positive.”

Why “Most helpful” and “All positive”?

We sort by “Most helpful” to start with the best reviews which are usually written by serial reviewers who are most likely to share their email address on the reviewer profile (you can usually skip one-sentence reviews). We check “All positive” because we don’t want to get reviews from people who didn’t like a similar book.

Billy clicks on the first name and every single name below (it’s much faster if you open 10-20 profiles at once and then check each one).Finding the Right Reviewers for your ebookBoom, Billy’s lucky!

The first reviewer he checked shares his e-mail address on his profile page (email blurred to protect the reviewer).

Billy now looks at the profile to find out when was the last time this person posted a review.

We don’t want to contact people who haven’t left a review in years. In this case, the reviewer is extremely active and has been posting new reviews every single week.Amazon Reviewers and their contact informationBilly jots down the reviewer’s contact information in his spreadsheet and continues checking the profiles of other reviewers.

He then moves on to another similar book and keeps going until he finds 100 or so reviewers (in some genres, you won’t be able to find more than 50 or so reviewers).

This step is by far the most time-consuming. It will probably take you at least several hours to find 100 reviewers as most people (95% or so) don’t share their email address on their reviewer profile.

But later on, we’ll talk about how you can reduce this time consumption but still get the results you need.

If you want someone to do all this for you, then check this out!

Step 3: Reach Out to the Potential Reviewers

Now that we have this amazing email address of willing and able reviews, it’s time to connect.

But you better do this step right or else you will have poor conversion rates and lose out big.

By the time Billy has a list of 100 people, he’s probably so tired and exhausted that he’s not in the mood for another step. But hold on Billy, it’s the last thing you’re going to do and then you can sit back and wait for your reviews (well, almost).

Billy goes to his email account and starts sending out review requests.

The hard part is that Billy is going to do this the right way. Instead of a spammy copy and paste tactic using a script, Billy is going to write out a personalized email.

A few things you should include in your message:

  • introduction (“I’ve read your review of X”)
  • why you are reaching out to them (“I wrote a similar book you’ll probably enjoy reading”)
  • request (“I’ll be happy to send you a free copy in exchange for an honest review”)

Write 5 sentences or less. Most of these people are busy reading and reviewing other books, so they’ll appreciate if you respect their time.

Step 4: Send Your Book to People Who Want to Read It

Out of 100 sent emails, you should get at least 20-30 replies. Send your book to the people who are interested in reading it (I suggest sending it in three formats – EPUB, MOBI, and PDF), and tell them when you’d like to receive a review from them – 2 weeks is a good time frame.

If you’ve yet to launch your book, let them know you’ll send them a link to the product page once your book goes live.

Step 5: Send a Follow-Up

Not all of the people who have told you they’ll review your book will review it.

Expect about 20% to post their review within your time frame. To squeeze a few more reviews out of this process, send a polite follow-up a week after your deadline reminding people to post their review.

This additional step should generate a few more reviews

In the end, one out of three people who initially replied to you should post their review.

Boom, you now have your initial 10-20 reviews… which is nice!

With this initial amount of reviews, you should have no problem getting those organic reviews and increasing your sales as well.

Skip the Most Time-Consuming Part (and Work on Your Book Instead)

Now, for some of us, we’d rather be writing our next book or employing other ebook marketing tactics than searching for useful email addresses.

But there is no denying the importance of those initial reviews.

Thankfully, Book Review Targeter can help.

Instead of you having to use your time looking for potential reviewers, this program will do it for you.

After buying the program, all you have to do is:

  1. Type in a search term as you would an Amazon search
  2. Then a list of books will appear and you need to choose which ones you want the program to extract the emails of past reviewers from.
  3. Once the results are ready, you can choose from which group to extract the emails.
  4. Now, enjoy having a list of reviewers who have favorably reviewed other books like yours.
  5. Get to writing those emails and enjoy the increased of reviews.

Pretty simple huh?

Go Get Them Reviews Now

No matter which route you’ll go, there’s no easier way to get the initial reviews, especially if you’re an unknown author. An additional benefit of this approach is that you’ll get to speak with your readers directly, thus getting valuable feedback and building new relationships.

I hope you enjoyed this guide on how to get book reviews.  It seems pretty straight forward, but can be a little time consuming…but as most authors will tell you, getting your book reviewed can be a powerful metric that should have a positive effect on your kindle sales.

About Martin Meadows

Martin Meadows is a bestselling self-help/psychology author. He's the founder of BookRazor.com, a company that helps self-published authors achieve more success in the book publishing world.

  • I vote for the effectiveness of this approach. I did something similar on the smaller scale last year and success ratio was somwhere about 20-30%..
    And yes, it’s very time-consuming, that’s why I abandoned this tactic.

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  • Jeremiah Boehner

    This is Great. why didn’t I think of this. Thank you for sharing I’ll be sure to apply this on some of my future books.

  • I just did this for my upcoming mermaid novel; got a few hundred names – sometimes you only get the website address, so you have to go to their site and leave a message or contact them that way. It’s smart that there are services for this now, since most authors are too lazy to do it. In my case, I’ll also be contacting a few hundred YA / paranormal romance blogs and book reviewers, but offering them better offers than just a free book (like a big giveaway for YA readers, or a bigger project they can be involved in). They get enough requests for book reviews, see what you can bring to the table, offer more than any other author is willing to.

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  • Matt Haines

    Hi! I appreciate the tips. A little confused about the part where you suggest to send the book in different file formats. If the reader reads it outside of the Kindle ‘system’, they won’t be able to review it. Right?

    • That is correct…they won’t be able to leave a “verified review” but they can leave a review. An unverified review isn’t as powerful in terms of rankings, but the number of reviews still shows, which is nice. All up to you though.

      • Matt Haines

        Thanks! Just wanted to make sure I understood.

  • Elizabeth Osipova

    ok I get it but as I was searching through reviews following your method step y step I didn’t find any emails. There is no information there….. am I looking at the wrong screen? I can’t understand what am I doing wrong.

    • Hi Elizabeth, you often have to go through pages of reviewers to find an email address. You also need to be logged in to your Amazon account in order for email addresses to be shown.

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  • Paul

    How is using Goodreads.com and the “technique” used in this post diffent form spam ? You contact people who have no idea about you, and ask them to review your book ( with crap like “here is a free book you’ll benefit from” )

    • Hey Paul, great question. With regards to Amazon, you actually have to go out of your way to ensure that your personal email address is connected and shows with your review. Therefore, most of the people who have their email show up with their review are those that are doing the reviews professionally or are just interested in doing them for free products…or the random outlier. But you are right, to an extent. Since I operate in niche areas and am heavily invested into the proper marketing of my works, I don’t just mass email people. I personally reach out and build connections….but not all people put forth the extra effort. In essence, any marketing tactic used without tact, respect or completely overused in mass quantity can quickly become spammy.

  • Ali Ekbatani

    Dave, any way of using this tool and having the reviewers leave a verified review and still comply with the Amazon TOS? Or is the number of reviews (say 10-20 unverified reviews) enough to push the book forward and the sales will follow after that? Thanks for the informative article.

    • Unverified reviews help with showing the book is legitimate and is like testimonials to a potential buyer. Verified reviews help push books higher up in the rankings (amazon’s algo rules). No issue against Amazon TOS using this method, so long as if you are giving them a free copy that they state that in the review.

  • Derek Smiths

    I have had very little to zero luck contacting Top Reviewers. Use Goodreads review service or HUGEOrange. Both get results quickly and are approved by Amazon. There are also email lists for free you can use which sometimes help.

    • newsrants

      What is Goodreads review service? Finding groups and posting?

  • newsrants

    Wish the Book Review Targeter was more affordable. $197 is way out of most people’s price range.

  • newsrants

    I write in a particular genre and one of my books has 75 reviews. I just went through all “top” “positive” reviews for emails, found 12. I then just sent a BCC email which I tried to make sound personal and told them how much I appreciated them reviewing my other book. Let’s see if I get a few bites for reviewing my current book in same genre.

    I have tried this method with a non-fiction book using another service where you pay them $35 to do the same thing. You give them 3-5 similar books and they do the searching. In a few days they supply a spreadsheet with the reviewer name, email, book they reviewed. I sent out personal emails to all of the 100. Exhausing. From the constant follow up I got 7 reviews. Not worth the time and effort.

  • Camilo

    Hello Dave, I was wondering how does this work with the new rules of Amazon in regards to reviews.

    Thank you

    • Shouldn’t be a problem. That change was in reference of products and they specifically state that the changes aren’t for books.

  • Just too difficult to find emails on there and like he said, if they went through the trouble of adding their email address, they are professional review writers (for hire). So you might as well hire the same thing on fiver or upwork.

  • OK, This way was not working for me as there was no email on normal accounts, and Top100 reviewers have enough to review. I have another idea, offer to review unreviewed books of similar authors and thus make friends. Indirect, but good karma.

  • Andrew Joseph Marmion

    Woohoo!!! I’m interested if the offer is still there. Email: andymarmion@gmail.com

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