Reviews are a frustrating metric. The more positive reviews you have, the more attention your book is likely to get. However, people are only likely to leave a review if they absolutely hated the book or absolutely loved it. That leaves out almost everyone in between. So, how do you balance things out and increase the number of reviews you get?
Why Amazon reviews are so important
First, you need to know why you’re looking for reviews. There is often a lot of weight put on Amazon reviews. You might think it’s just vanity, but these reviews actually do a lot for the author. First, and maybe most importantly, reviews are taken into account in Amazon’s algorithm, meaning that the more reviews a book receives, the more likely it’s going to come up on people’s recommended lists and on Amazon’s top picks. In addition, reviews help to generate attention for the book, helping to advertise it through word of mouth.
Ask for them
At the end of your book, you could ask your readers to leave an honest review. This could encourage people who may not have been planning on leaving a review to write one out for you. This is an especially apt suggestion if you have published an eBook, as you can put a clickable link directly on the page.
Target book bloggers
While you are likely already promoting your book, targeting book bloggers is a great way to increase reviews. Offer the blogger your book for free, if they’ll leave an honest Amazon review. Not only will you get a well-rounded review from someone who writes and analyzes books already, they may also write about your book on their blog, leading to more readers and more reviews.
Seek out Amazon’s top reviewers
You can access a list of all of Amazon’s top book reviewers, and reach out to them privately to ask them to read your book. Before you head out and send messages to them all though, you’ll want to do your homework. Target top reviewers who are interested in your genre, otherwise you’re inviting someone who is less likely to enjoy your book to write about it on a public platform.
Sign up for book review sites
There are dozens of these sites available, just search “free books for reviews” and you’ll immediately find more than 40. The idea behind these sites, typically, is that you offer the book for free, and in return you expect reviews. Now, all free books do not translate into reviews – there is no way to revoke the book once it is in the hands of the reviewer, and there is no way to force them to read it or ultimately review it. But they do increase reviews, and you can usually indicate where you would like the review to be posted.
Ask your direct contacts
You’ve likely got a lot of friends, family, and acquaintances out there. So, when you publish your book, promote it on your personal network, and ask people to check it out. If you’re comfortable offering it to free to some of your contacts who show interest, do so and ask them to post an Amazon review in return.
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