Review is a very important ranking factor for any amazon product, not just books. Reviews help shoppers confirm if the book actually contains what the author claims that it contains. In this article, you will learn how to get positive reviews, how to get test reviewers and how to handle negative/poor reviews for your kindle books.
What are the Importance of Positive/Quality Reviews for Kindle Books?
Here are the 3 main importance of good reviews for your books:
- Your books will start making sales as soon as it is published because they will rank high on search results.
- Buyers will hesitate to purchase a book without reviews. It just looks iffy, not trustworthy, and no one wants to be the first to buy or leave a review.
- Most good promo services won’t accept you without a minimum number of reviews. At least five – some even ten.
Because of the important role book reviews play in Amazon product ranking, I advise you to start planning on getting reviews for your books as soon as you publish the book.
The easiest way to get quality reviews for your books is to build a team of test readers or reviewers; that is reader who will drop reviews for your books few days after they are published.
Best Ways to Get Test Reviewers for your Kindle Books
Join Relevant Facebook and LinkedIn Groups
These are where your target audience and fellow writers hang out. Engage, interact, help people, become a valuable member of the community. No pitching! – Also, ask for feedback on cover and title choices. Or problems/frustrations they might face that you could address in your book. People love to give feedback and share their opinion and this is a much more elegant way to get others engaged in your launch.
Make sure that your posts are not just about you and your book though. Support and help others first and be an active member of that group. Then, when the time comes and you need reviewers, you will have plenty of sign-ups for your launch team.
Before your book goes live, you can create a sign up form and share the link to these social media groups. Tell them what you need and also let them know the day your book will go live. Keep in touch with them and let them know your plans. Target as many people as possible because not all of them will live up to your rules, some will give up on the way. So if you are planning to get up to 10 quality reviews using this strategy, you might need up to 50 people in your team of reviewers.
Note that amazon reviewers need to have spent at least $50 in their country’s Amazon store in the last 12 months. Most countries have their own amazon store, so reviewers can only drop reviews in the store where they spent the $50. This is a policy amazon uses to combat review abuse, as many authors buy thousands of fake reviews on Fiverr. Some authors even pay virtual assistants (VAs) to give them reviews.
It is always advisable to have most of your reviews from the US store (amazon.com). So try to have majority of your reviewers located in the US.
I usually utilize the free promo days that Amazon KDP offers to authors. A day after my book was published, I will set a free promo day and inform these potential reviewers about the promo day and its duration. I also encourage them to download the book for free as soon as possible. I also advise them to finish reading the book so that they can write a quality review and that they should give at least 2 days from the day they purchased the book before publishing the book.
To ensure that the review is tagged as “verified”, encourage them to sign into their amazon buyer account before dropping the review.
Note that you are not allowed to review your own books or buy reviews. Any of these acts can get your KDP account banned.
As strict as these rules may seem, they are beneficial to all of us, because we all use reviews to make buying decisions and we want to trust that those reviews are genuine and not biased.
If you wrote a great book that really helps people, most reviews will be positive, you don’t have to ask for it. A few negatives will happen to everyone down the road (unless your book is not selling) and are not that big of a deal. I’ve never seen them hurt sales or ranking.
3-stars are considered negative in Amazon’s algorithm while 4-stars are “OK” – just as a side note. If someone in your launch team leaves you a 3-star or less, just let it be. Remove them from your launch team.
Also let your review team members know about these amazon quality reviews guidelines because amazon is very strict with reviews and will not hesitate to remove reviews that violate their policies.
- As much as you would love wonderful, positive reviews, but hymns of praise with little substance or specific reference to your book are not really helpful and can even be a little suspicious to other readers.
- Reviews should be relevant and objective, with helpful, detailed information specific to the book – helping a buyer decide whether this is the right book for them.
- They should not address you personally – or even worse – thank you for the book. They can say “the author” or use your last name, but keep it objective and neutral.
- Also ask them to write at least a few lines, not just “Amazing book. Very helpful”. They should cite some examples of what they liked or how the book helped them. What their experience level is with the topic, etc.
- 7 Best Online Self Publishing Alternatives to Amazon KDP
- 15 Helpful Tips for Self Publishing Best Selling Kindle Books
Other Legit Ways to Get Quality Book Reviews
Through networking in Goodreads groups, you can ask people to leave reviews not just on Goodreads, but also on Amazon.
2. Readers’ Favorite
A Readers’ Favorite review can lend prestige to your book. It should not appear in your regular reviews, but can be used in the “Editorial Reviews” when setting up your Authors profile at Author Central. The review will also be featured on the Readers’ Favorite website for a month, giving you additional free publicity.
Readers’ Favorite has a pool of thousands of reviewers – all regular readers – who select books they are interested in and write a review. They are not professionals and the level of proficiency can vary greatly, but a 5-Star review can provide you with some nice quotes for your book page or website. You can even get a 5-Star Review seal. Readers’ Favorite also holds an annual book contest that has high prestige in the publishing world. Past winners include famous authors like James Patterson and celebrities like Jim Carrey. A great way to get additional PR and the label of “Award Winning Author”.
Reviews are free, but can take up to 3 months. If you want them faster (within 2 weeks), pricing starts at (currently) $59 per review. Please note, the money is not paid to the reviewer, but instead to Readers’ Favorite for being the connector. So it does not violate Amazon KDP TOS.
3. Ask your Book Reader for a Review at the End of your Book
Always, in every book, have a page at the end where you ask readers to leave a review with a direct link to your Amazon book page. The majority will still not do it, but even a slow, regular stream of new reviews will be helpful.
Getting more reviews will be a continuous effort – long after your book has launched. For now, your goal is to get a minimum of 10 reviews in the first 2-3 days after you publish. Aim for at least 3-times that number. It will always be less than you expect, even if people commit.
Best Way to Handle Negative Reviews
Every selling product or book on Amazon has some negative reviews, and that’s OK, so long as they are very few and are outweighed by good reviews. Never attack a reviewer or try to argue with them. In most cases, I would just ignore them and move on.
The only time I would comment is if the review is clearly misrepresenting your book. That should be clarified and you can also report them. Sometimes Amazon removes negative reviews, especially when they are clearly from a competitor as that is a violation of their policies. In that case, thank the reviewer for the detailed feedback and then calmly and politely, correct whatever they misstated, close by thanking them again and leave it.
Your response is not for the sake of that reviewer, but for others who might read it. They will watch carefully how you respond and how you handle criticism. Are you professional and polite about it or do you turn into a petulant crybaby? You can win over quite a few new readers if you handle this with grace and class. Most times, even the reviewer themselves might be swayed by your response and change their mind. They don’t usually get notified of your comment though, so don’t expect too much.
Also, negative feedback when genuine can be helpful. We sometimes miss things, don’t cover something thoroughly enough or it can even be a topic for a new book. Not all bad review are created equal and they are most certainly not the end of the world.
NOTE: You can also remove a negative review on amazon by contacting Amazon Author Central Support. Login to your Amazon Author Central Account and contact support. If you feel the bad review was dropped by a competitor, you can inform the support team and give your reasons why the review should be removed. If your reasons are genuine and does not go against Amazon review policy, the negative review will be deleted.
You can learn more about how to handle negative reviews from this SellerApp article.
Reviews play a very important role on the ranking of your books on Amazon. That is why you have to be write quality books in order to reduce the rate at which the book gets bad reviews. Feel free to apply these tips revealed in these articles. Enjoy!
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