Getting honest amazon reviews for your books seems to be the holy grail for most authors. Well today, I’m going to give you my top 5 Book Review Do’s and Don’ts. So, stick around:
Whether you’re new to the industry or you’re a seasoned veteran in self-publishing books, I’m sure you have your opinion when it comes to the elusive honest Amazon Book review.
Some people spend every free moment they have in their search for getting more book reviews, while others pay it no mind at all and just move on to their next book to publish.
Regardless of your views or experience, I’m sure at some point you or someone you know has fallen victim to one of my top 5 book review don’ts. So, I’m going to share with those don’ts and what to do instead. So, here are my top 5 book review do’s and don’ts. Let’s get started.
1. DON’T Just put your CTA in the back of your book – Many authors understand the importance of having a call to action, requesting or suggesting the reader leave a book review. Unfortunately, most authors address this by simply putting a call to action at the back of their book. This is a huge, missed opportunity.
DO – Leave a CTA at the back and the FRONT of your book. I usually leave mine on the copyright page. Why? Unfortunately, many readers, especially of ebooks, don’t finish the books they start. In this crazy, busy world we live in, distractions happen and books get left unread. What this means is that if you only have a CTA at the back of your book, it’ll never get seen if the book isn’t finished. Plus, by putting a book review cta at the front of the book, it also serves as an initial introduction to the idea of leaving a book review. So, for those who do finish your book and see your reminder book review call to action at the end of the book, they’ll be even more likely to leave an honest book review.
2. Don’t – Use long links to your book. There are multiple reasons why you want to steer away from the long urls for your book reviews. First, it just looks bulky and will quickly deter a potential reviewer from reviewing your book on Amazon. Also, if you created the link by searching for your book, finding it and then copying that link. That link will most likely contain unique info such as time stamps that denote when you clicked on that link. Now if you take that link and put it in your book, everyone that clicks on it, is going to look like they entered your book’s page at the exact same second, which is going to throw up a huge red flag to Amazon and will most likely result in most, if not all, of those reviews being removed as fake book reviews.
Do – Use short book review specific links for that unique book. Now I’m not suggesting that you use link shortener sites, because people tend to be suspicious of links like that. Instead, use the link that goes directly to your book’s review page. This is so easy that you can store this base link somewhere in your files and then just append your book’s ISBN or ASIN when you add the link into your book. The link is: www.amazon.com/gp/product-review/(ISBN/ASIN)
3. Don’t ask for good reviews – While obviously most authors don’t intend on biasing their reader by asking for a positive review, eventhough, that’s really what everyone wants. Most inadvertently do this by wording their call to action as “If you liked this book, leave a book review” or some variation of that.
DO – Use more neutral verbiage to request and promote honest book reviews. Verbiage like, “Let me know what you thought of my book.” Or even better, “Let other readers know what you thought of this book.” Not only will this better your chances of getting honest book reviews, but by implying that they’ll be helping other readers, instead of just helping you, people will be even more likely to leave a book review.
4. Don’t respond to reviews – It’s really tempting to respond to poor amazon book reviews, fight that temptation. Not only will this most likely back fire on you in the eyes of future readers, but even if you’re responding to just the positive amazon book reviews, you’re setting a precedence that you’re going to respond to every review you get. So, unless you plan on responding to each and every review you get for the foreseeable future, it’s best to just leave the reviews as is. Everyone gets bad reviews, even Stephen King.
DO – Learn from your reviews. One of the great side effects from asking for HONEST reviews is the introduction of the 3, 2 and 1 star reviews. While most people take these reviews as a black eye to their book, this actually can help you sell more books as well as become a better writer in the long run. 1st human nature is to be skeptical and a book that has a few 3, 2 and even 1 star reviews looks a lot more legitimate than a book that has all 5 star reviews. 2nd while some people will just leave negative reviews to leave them, you’ll probably find some truths in the less than positive reviews you get.
Once you see a common theme or common complaint appearing, you can use this information to better your craft or your process to ensure your next book is even better. For example, if a common theme in your reviews is that there are a lot of typos, then you know that with the next book, you’ll need to be more cognizant of your spelling and should probably consider adding in a proofreader or a different proofreader, if the last one missed all these issues.
5. Don’t Let Getting Book Reviews Run your life – I’ve known many authors who spend every moment they can, finding new ways to get every book review they can for their book. If this is taking away from your ability to promote your book or start on your next book, you’re wasting your time.
DO – Have a few plans in place, as part of your promotional/marketing plan to get book reviews. And THAT’S it! Know what you’re going to do, perhaps getting Beta readers early on, that will, in turn, leave book reviews. Adding in the CTA in the front and back matter of your book. But that’s it. Your time is better spent promoting your book and moving on to your next book or series.
BONUS TIP: It should go without saying, but I’ll say it anyway … DO NOT Participate in Review Swaps! There are would be “gurus” that not only do this practice but will charge you money to teach you how to participate in this black hat tactic, that goes DIRECTLY AGAINST Amazon’s Terms of Service. Don’t Do It! It’s not worth losing your entire KDP account! And No, hiring VAs(virtual assistants) to do it for you does NOT protect you or your account.
DO – Think about the long game! The great thing about self-publishing books is the passive income that it generates. If you put out good, quality work, you and your family could be reaping the royalties for years to come. So Keep It Clean!
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Until next time, remember to Write, Right!