Book reviews matter.
If you’re a self-published author and you’ve uploaded a book to Amazon, you’re probably wondering how to boost your book’s reach and drive sales.
While many marketing techniques and tactics increase your chances of success, one of the most effective is to receive book reviews.
If you can add positive reviews to your Amazon book, you can significantly boost your reputation as an author and drastically improve your sales.
In this article, we’ll show you how to get reviews of your self-published book and enjoy the benefits of your bolstered reputation.
How to get reviews on Amazon book
You can try several methods to get more reviews on your Amazon book.
Below we’ll advise you on the most effective and ethical means of receiving reviews so that you can boost your book’s visibility and reputation, as well as your own reputation as an author.
1. Identify your target audience
It’s important to note that the earlier you get reviews for your book, the better.
You’ll want your review ready by the time the book gets published to drive sales and boost your visibility and reach as early as possible.
So, to get started, identify your target audience.
Who will read your book? Is it aimed at a young adult audience or experts in a given field? Is it aimed at science fiction or fantasy fans, or more toward romance or mystery readers?
Once you’ve identified your target audience, find where they spend time online.
Consider forums, Facebook groups, Reddit, Twitter, and other reader-based online spaces and establish a presence in these areas. Doing so will help you find readers already interested in your book’s genre, and what you have to say or the story you want to tell.
2. Reach out to book bloggers
Book bloggers have an established reputation among their followers, so they’re a great option when you’re seeking an Amazon review.
Bear in mind that reviewing your book requires reading it first, so you’re asking this blogger to spend their precious time on your book.
The first step in finding a blogger to review your book is to find those who are popular reviewers of your genre.
Find social media accounts or conduct a Google search to find bloggers in your niche. Once you find an active and popular site, it becomes easier to find other sites and bloggers through that site’s blogroll.
Once you’ve found a blogger with potential, write them a query letter. Explain that you believe your book is one they will enjoy, and relay information about their blog site and how you like their previous reviews of other books.
It’s important to connect with the blogger and not just view them as a source of reviews.
3. Connect with Amazon Top Reviewers
Amazon Top Reviewers are known to leave high-quality reviews on books in a given genre or field. If you can identify a top reviewer you believe may be interested in reading and reviewing your book, reach out to them with a review request.
Note that Top Reviewers receive an abundance of review requests regularly. As such, only reach out to those whose interests lie in your genre.
It will damage your reputation if you spam top reviewers with review requests about books they have no interest in.
Further, don’t send multiple review requests to the same reviewer if you don’t hear back the first time. Your reputation as an author is essential, so don’t damage it with spam and desperate attempts to get a review.
4. Use paid book review services
Typically, self-publishing authors want to save as much money as possible.
Given the costs required to cover editing and proofing, designing, layout, and other essential publishing steps, you may be hesitant to add even more to your expenditure by paying for book reviews.
However, several online book review sites can help you gather real, honest reviews for your book for a fee. Given that reviews drive sales, it may be worth investing in book reviews.
In general, paying for book reviews may seem unfair. It’s fair to think that way, and Amazon generally frowns on obtaining reviews this way. So directly buying reviews is not recommended but subscribing to services or purchasing ads on Goodreads or Bookbub and paying for such a service is not cheating. These services will put your book in the hands of readers who will read your book and write honest reviews.
Moreover, those who read and review will already have plenty of experience in reviewing books, so you can trust that the reviews you receive will have been thought-out and based on a seasoned reviewer’s opinion.
5. Distribute advance reader copies (ARCs)
An advance reader copy (also known as advanced reader copies, advance review copies, and ARCs) is a free copy of your book that you send to readers in exchange for an honest review of your book.
The great thing about advance reviews is that those you send your ARC are already engaged readers and like to review books as a hobby. The rule is that these readers are not paid to leave a review and benefit only from receiving a free copy.
6. Seek editorial reviews
Editorial reviews are powerful marketing tools.
While customer reviews are exclusive to those who have purchased and read your book, an editorial review counts as a review from someone who has received a copy of your book for free and agreed to review it.
The great thing about editorial reviews is that you manually add them to your book’s page, meaning you can choose which reviews go there.
7. Ask friends and family for support
If you haven’t got much of a social following just yet (and even if you have), don’t be afraid to reach out to friends and family for support.
Your close friends, family, and acquaintances will probably willingly write a positive review for you, but make sure they read the book.
8. Reach out to your followers
If you’ve got a following on social media platforms such as Twitter or Instagram, don’t hesitate to post about your published book and ask for honest reviews. Establishing and cultivating a social following is essential, as doing so helps bolster your book’s reach.
Your loyal followers will not only be excited to read your work but will also probably be happy to give you a review.
You may be reluctant to ask for Amazon reviews, but you don’t get them if you don’t ask. It doesn’t take much time or effort to leave a review once a reader has read your book, so ask your followers politely to take that time and help you out.
9. Reach out to your network
If your book is about to be launched but not launched just yet, it’s wise to reach out to your industry network with a brief email and ask them to review it.
10. Add an author note at the end of your book
Some authors don’t like to ask for reviews within the book’s pages, but doing so can help you gather more reviews.
These sites publish your free book reviews, so they don’t count as Amazon reviews. Still, this is a great way to get more readers, and when avid and committed readers get to the end of your book, they may be willing to take that extra step and leave a review on Amazon.
How to see your review on Amazon
Unfortunately, Amazon does not notify authors when their book receives a review. You’ll have to visit your book’s Amazon page to see how many reviews you’ve received.
The benefits of Amazon book reviews
Amazon book reviews boost both your credibility and visibility, increasing your chances of success as a self-published author.
Book reviews establish credibility.
Readers who notice that your book has an abundance of positive reviews are more likely to trust you. This principle applies to most products and services, and books are no different.
While some readers don’t read reviews, many will assess your reviews if they’re on the fence about purchasing a copy.
Reviews are one of several factors that influence a potential reader’s purchasing decision. Other factors include:
- Your existing reputation
- Word of mouth recommendations
- An impactful blurb
- A foreword from another credible and reputable source, such as an established author
- Effective marketing
Of course, just because a book has few reviews doesn’t mean people won’t buy it. Any combination of the above factors will positively impact your book’s success, but reviews will have a further positive impact.
Google and YouTube are the two biggest online search engines. After those, in third place, is Amazon. So, when people search on Amazon, their results pages are influenced by the Amazon algorithm.
The more reviews you have on your book’s page (including both positive and negative reviews), the more likely you are to see your book by a potential reader: the higher your ranking and online visibility for every review you receive.
One of the most effective marketing tactics is to gather an abundance of reviews on your book’s Amazon page.
If you decide to reach out to book bloggers or social media influencers, make sure that you ask with politeness and a genuine interest in that reviewer’s work.
If you decide to pay for your book reviews, weigh the cost per review against how much you expect to make from your book.
Moving forward, understand that reviews work wonders for your reputation, so the reviews you receive for your first self-published book on Amazon will positively affect the success of later pub