It's incredibly important to have book reviews because it is most likely the first thing that customers will look at when buying a book. Learn how to get reviews for your books as well as some helpful tips to make self-publishing easier for you.
Today's topic has three points and you're going to want to stick around for the third point. Because it is a secret as to the things that you can choose to do that will get your account banned on Amazon for reviews.
Perhaps you're an author, you've written your very first book and you've heard that it's incredibly important to get reviews on your book if you wish to see sales. Because they serve as social proof for your books that you're trying to sell or any product for that matter.
So the question you may be wondering is how exactly do I go about getting these reviews? In a way that is in line with what Amazon has established as their rules. And also legally so that it doesn't violate any laws.
That is what we're going to hit in today's article. But before we get into the answers, grab a copy of my free Self-Publishing Checklist. To make sure that you are not skipping any of the important steps that are necessary to get your books published and selling on the market.
When I first got started, I had no idea about reviews. How exactly to go about doing reviews? What exactly was expected if you're going to get reviews for your books?
Check out this related article: How To Get Amazon Kindle Self Publishing Reviews?
The thing is that I anticipated that organic reviews were the way that you should go about doing. You just put your books out there and they will slowly come in over some time. But the problem is organic reviews tend towards being negative.
So your negative reviews are going to create a problem for you. Since these negatives are going to drive down your sales if you don't have a mechanism to go about bringing in positive reviews on your site. I asked my friends and family if they could leave reviews for my books.
The problem is they're connected to me on Facebook and in a lot of places. And Amazon is not stupid, they see there's a connection there and your friends and family are not going to be able to give completely honest reviews for your books. So those reviews will be taken down under violation of Amazon's terms.
You're simply not allowed to do it that route. The next thing that I learned about is "swapping". I remember the very first time somebody on Facebook contact me and said "hey I can review your book if you review my book" then I thought "well this sounds like a really good idea".
Violation Of Amazon's Terms
So I started doing some reviews swapping. But there is one little problem with this which is that Amazon ends up bringing down the hammer. Something like a warning message to everybody who's involved in this practice.
Because Amazon is not stupid. They can see that you have one author over here who exchanges a review with an author over here. The problem is that they're expecting how can reviews be completely honest if you're getting something in exchange for the review?
So that creates a problem from Amazon's standpoint and so they started warning authors about doing reviews swapping. Another option is hiring virtual assistants to get reviews and swap them with another virtual assistant.
That also creates several problems because those people are reviewing lots of different genres all over the place. It's creating chaos for your books because when they're going to also recommend your books, they don't know where to even place those books. The AI's will see it all over the place.
As a result, they can ban your account for that. So going for a more organic approach, running ads was what I found for myself. It was the most effective way of doing that.
Where we will just simply asking our books for people to leave reviews. At the same time get people on the email list and ask them to leave reviews for the books. Whenever I come up with a new book, you put it out on a free promo and you ask for reviews.
And for the most part, it hasn't worked as well as the review swapping method. But it's not in violation of Amazon's terms, so this was something that I found a lot more helpful. So how to get reviews for your book?
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The first thing is using an Advanced Review Team, you've got an email list of people and you give them a copy of your book to leave an honest review. This is completely acceptable in Amazon's terms. And this is probably the most effective way to quickly build it up.
But it requires you to understand how to do an email list, how to contact these people? And for every 100 people on your team, maybe 4 people will leave reviews. It's very difficult to get them to read and review the book.
The second thing is you can ask inside your book, this should always be done. You show us a page dedicated saying "thank you for buying the book, could you please review the book if you found it helpful?".
Then the other thing is "reviewing services". There are several websites where they will review your book but some of them also violate Amazon's terms and services. Where they're paying the reviewers to review your book or giving free books out to them.
But this is a little bit of a great area. You have to be careful because they also can get warnings and have their review status shut down and this has happened. But I'm not going further to any specific site, I do not wish to have anybody sue me for pointing that out.
But I know there are some sites out there that are still recommended as very trustworthy when getting reviews. The third and secret answer of the day is that getting banned. There are many things to do it.
Review swapping over a large number of reviews. Have you ever seen Amazon force arbitration coming with a loss of a hundred thousand dollars against a person but they were getting thousands of reviews to virtual assistants? So that's one challenge that they were having.
Another was paying for reviews on Fiverr, which will get you in big trouble. They will do legal action against those. That's illegal also not just against general terms because one of Amazon's main credibility issues is the fact that you can trust the reviews.
Check out this related article: What Are Self Publishing Alternatives To Amazon?
But when 30% to 50% of our reviews on Amazon are fake, this is a problem. People don't buy products that don't have reviews and this creates the loop that we have seen. The other is when you have these virtual assistants or people, they're reviewing books on a lot of different genres.
And it confuses the artificial intelligence and the algorithms in Amazon. So they don't know where to place your book when they see all of these reviews coming from strange directions. That is a red flag for Amazon.
The other thing is even the top reviewers on Amazon, you'll see them doing 5 book reviews a day which is an insanely high number of reviews that can create a bit of a problem. So, how to get reviews for your book? Do you have a problem getting reviews?
If you do, write "Yes" below in the comment. And if you have no problem at all and you're doing a wonderful job there, then write "No". That will let me know what I need to do to help you better in future articles. Check out my other blogs and videos for more answers to your self-publishing questions.