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Book review: How to Get Good Reviews on Amazon

How to Get Good Reviews on Amazon: A Guide for Independent Authors & Sellers by experienced reviewer Theo Rogers takes readers into the subculture of prolific Amazon reviewers.

It’s a book about how to get reviews from those experienced reviewers, not a book about how to get reviews from anyone who can post them on Amazon. His advice is limited to working with those who consistently review books in your genre or category on the site.

As he notes in the introduction when referring to those who are regular reviewers, “The really interesting traffic often goes on outside the public forums, once people get to know each other and start using more private channels of communication.” (This observation, by the way, sent me to Facebook to see if there are groups for Amazon reviewers. There are, which underscores this sense of subculture I got from Rogers’ book.)

Avoid the pitfalls of the review system

Rogers wrote the book to help authors avoid the mistakes he sees being made either by well-intended but misguided authors, or by those trying to beat the system. He says that “It’s about both how to get the good reviews and how to avoid the pitfalls.”

It’s a quick read — underscored by the author’s constant reference to it as a “booklet,” rather than as a book — packed with useful insights and advice.

A few of the key messages I pulled from it include:

  • Regular reviewers take their work seriously — so seriously, in fact, that they frequently check their rank in Amazon’s list of top reviewers. Their ranking is influenced by the number of times that site users select “yes” when asked “Was this review helpful to you?” at the end of a review. More “yes” answers helps them move higher up on the list, a coveted status.
  • Most regular and prolific reviewers review books and products in their free time because they want to help people make informed buying decisions. If your book gets a less than four- or five-star review, it’s because it didn’t deliver on its promise.
  • The experienced reviewers know when your five-star reviews were written by friends and family and aren’t exactly “honest.” If you load your page with these less-than-honest reviews, you’re not likely to get a review from a prolific reviewer. They don’t want to be associated with authors who seem to be trying to fool people into thinking that their book is anything but what it truly is. (And yes, they apparently do a little checking to confirm their suspicions — another indication that they take this whole reviewing thing seriously.)

After explaining the culture and motivation of reviewers, Rogers explains how to find and contact them.

His advice includes a four-part formula for writing emails that get your work reviewed.

Will it help you?

If you’re not interested in learning more about and connecting with those in the Amazon reviewer subculture, How to Get Good Reviews on Amazon: A Guide for Independent Authors & Sellers isn’t for you.

But think twice before turning your back on these amateurs who function like pros. If you’re writing a fiction series or a collection of nonfiction books on the same topic, it could be well worth your while to establish relationships with regular reviewers who read and review the types of books you write. If you write good books that a regular reviewer likes, you’ll likely have a friend in your review corner every time you release a book.

If you’d like to learn more about how to generate reader and literary reviews in general, whether they’re shared on Amazon, Goodreads, or other popular sites for readers, see what’s included in my 60-minute audio training program, “How to Get Honest Reviews in 3 Easy Steps” at this link.

What’s your best tip for getting reader reviews?

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  1. Hi Sandy,

    Thanks for reviewing this important book for indie authors.

    We know we need to seek reviews of our books but few know how to go about it properly. As a matter of fact, few realize there is a serious culture of Amazon reviewers. I look forward to using Theo’s tips.

  2. You’re welcome, Flora. It’s an enlightening read, for sure. I found it both interesting and helpful.


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