Do you wonder why you're getting bad reviews even though you have good books? Let me tell you what I exactly did when I got a negative review on Amazon!
Most Toxic Kind Of Reviews
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 absolute most important thing you should be doing when it comes to negative reviews.
So what we're discussing today is "I got a negative review on Amazon!". By the end of this Blog, you're going to know the reason you're getting negative reviews on Amazon for your self-published books. You're going to have the necessary steps to properly handle these negative reviews.
You're going to feel great that you're doing everything necessary to keep your books going out and positively selling regardless of the reviews. Check out and grab a copy of my absolutely free Self-Publishing Checklist.
It includes all of the steps necessary to make sure that you're not only getting your books published but also getting them to sell which is a problem that many of my clients have experienced.
Moving on to the next thing here, from my personal story, I was very excited about getting my book onto the market. I was excited for my very first book and several books that followed that. I suddenly realized the importance of reviews.
In fact, a book with 3 to 5 stars is going to get at least from my experience about 10 times the number of sales than a book with no reviews. We need social proof and that is one of the reasons why reviews are so important.
And often, people will ask me and say, "Well, I don't want to use years and years to create my book before I put it out because it needs to be perfect. There's so much garbage being put on Amazon.
And my comment is to get your book onto the market as long as it's a three to five-star book. So, organically, people will be at least satisfied with the book that you're putting out there.
Check out this related article: If You're Able to Write, You Can Self-Publish a Best Seller
That's generally what I would say is a decent quality level for your specific book when we're getting it onto the market. But what do you do? For me, I got my first negative review.
And you know what was interesting was that the review wasn't that they hated my book. Or it didn't deliver the value it promised or "oh, this is a scam" or something like that. They complained because Amazon failed to properly put it onto their device.
Does that make sense? So they were complaining against Amazon and using my book review area to do this complaint against Amazon. It is completely insane when we see that happening. Then comes another negative review against a different book of mine.
This time, they're saying they hated the storyline. Well, I didn't publish a fiction book, it was a non-fiction book. There wasn't even a story.
So what am I supposed to do with that? I wrote back in the comments under the review and said "This isn't even a fiction book. So you're writing a review against the wrong book."
I also noticed other reviews where people would be giving five-star reviews for similar books like mine and then suddenly were hitting my books.
So, I noticed some people were being paid to leave negative reviews. This is a way to deal with competition for your book. You hire virtual assistants and have them bomb your opponents or your competitor's books.
It is a really dirty sleazy thing to do but this is something that people have dropped to. That was done in the past. A lot of the virtual assistants today have a lot of problems because their reviews are continually taken down.
So this is a terrible strategy. But in terms of reviews and this was something that was being done where you'd find somebody who'd be leaving reviews for all sorts of random books as five stars. And then other books that were like the competitor books out is one star which is a terrible thing.
These people never even read the book. The most toxic kind of reviews are reviews where they are very detailed explaining why the book is awful. And then breaking it down so that they actually can prove they've read the book and not just hated the book for some specific reason.
But the reviews I was dealing with were not complaining about these sorts of things. Another thing people can complain about is the book is too short. But it's listed on the thing how many pages it is, so it shouldn't be too much of a surprise.
Our goal when coming out with a book is to deliver the value that we promise. If you say "an exciting fantasy novel for young adults", well if a young adult reads it, they should find it to be exciting. Does that make sense?
So we're not trying to come out with the latest and greatest Harry Potter novel. We're trying to come up with something on the market that's going to be meeting or exceeding the desires of the reader who's buying the book. And with our non-fiction book, they have a problem for example with Puppy Training.
Does our book help them with puppy training? If so, then we've succeeded, maybe it's a three-star book. They find some grammar errors or things like that. This is what I would call The Good Enough and that's ultimately the goal.
I recently had somebody comment on my Youtube channel and say, "Oh, I can't believe it, you know there's millions of garbage books being put on Amazon and all you're doing is contributing to one more."
Well, we're not talking about garbage, we're talking about books that are getting three to five-star reviews when we're shooting for that. So this would be the minimal standard I would be talking about with a book.
Putting Garbage Books Out
But even if you put out a garbage book, they're not going to make sales. So we're going to want to improve on the book. So that we can get it up to that standard where it's actually meeting people's things.
But sometimes, we don't know what the quality of our book is, maybe our book was a five-star review book six months ago or a year ago. But we're still for some reason continuing to edit this book.
It makes no sense but how would you know the quality of your book? Whether it's meeting your readers' desires and their minimum standards unless you've put it onto the market. That's the reason why you will find me saying "look, put it on the market".
The same goes for ads, you could put a terrible ad on the market and then we can fix it. We can see the ads not getting very many impressions and clicks. But how would you know? That's one reason why I don't want things to be perfect.
I want things to be on the market and then I want us to improve upon them. The difference between us and a lot of the fake gurus who just throw some garbage books out there is that they'll tell you "I'm sure it'll make you millions of dollars" which is nonsense.
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I'm telling you, "Take your books, do the best you can in a reasonable amount of time. Don't use years on this stuff. Put it onto the market and let the market tell you whether the book is good or not."
In reality, you're going to find that the hardest thing is getting anyone to read the book. So let alone worried about "oh my goodness it's a bad poor quality book" or something along these lines. And again, if you do get started, we'll take the book off the market, fix the book, and then put it out there.
Let's see if we can do a little bit better with your book. So we are not talking about putting garbage books out. What's the point? It's just embarrassing and you're not going to get any sales on it.
But we will use it to let the market tell us. The same goes when you're doing content marketing. You're putting a podcast or Youtube video or you're putting out blogs on the internet.
When I first started putting Youtube videos, I had grainy videos where I was a little teeny picture at the bottom of the screen. My audio was out of sync and it was low quality and people started telling me that.
So I was working with getting better lighting and better audio recording equipment and better cameras. I'm still working on things like syncing the videos properly. So it's a continuous process.
What's my advice for you? If you're an author and you're wanting to create Youtube videos or produce any videos, let your audience tell you what's terrible and slowly improve. As the money starts to come in, buy better equipment, listen to your audience and improve.
This is important because this is also the key to getting better reviews as well. We're not talking about putting garbage on the market and thinking that's going to somehow be a win for us. We're talking about putting anything on the market and then improving upon it.
I want to stress on this and I have been pushing it. But I do get feedback regularly from different viewers who comment on "there's enough garbage being put on Amazon". I don't want to contribute to that so I'm going to use five years to get everything perfect.
So the next thing though is that I was working hard to get reviews from people who like the book. That's something I discovered which is don't tell everybody to leave a review. Tell people if they like the book, leave a review.
You'll find that people like almost anything. So, if we are continually asking people, some of those people are going to leave a review. But the thing is we're not hoping that book lovers will review my book.
In other words, we're not just hoping and leaving it to chance that it's going to happen. That's the reason why I started doing things like building email lists and asking people to leave reviews. Even giving people advanced copies of books to leave reviews.
You cannot give them a gift card or something in exchange for reviews. Because now you're buying, you're paying for a review and that is in violation of Amazon's terms and agreements. The other question that recently came up from one of my Coaching clients was the question of "I have zero reviews, what do I do?"
Well, I've discussed the issue of friends and family. The reality is if you have no reviews, you're not going to get any sales. So that means you're not going to get any reviews.
If nobody buys your book, they won't even hear your "call to action" in the book to leave a review or to get on your email list. You can ask them to leave reviews so we have to seed it at some level. So I'm telling you, I probably would take the chance asking friends and family to leave a review.
Not people who are in your very house, your friends and family should try to support your business. So, when you put your book out there, they download and buy the Kindle version. They have to at least purchase 50 worth of things off of Amazon.
Call To Action
But just ask them "please support me by leaving a review". The review should be saying something specifically 100 words with proper grammar. Run it through Grammarly and take that review, making sure it says "look, I love the book, it solves a problem".
Remember all books are about solving a problem so that's what I would do. And one of my Coaching clients said "Look Amazon could have problems if I were to ask my friends and family." But my thing is if nobody's purchasing your book, who's going to review it?
You're on a Catch 22 here, Amazon's created a little bit. But I'm also not talking about putting out thousands of reviews and then they're taking them down. And then paying people or something.
We're just talking about asking all of the friends, family, acquaintances, co-workers, or club members to please purchase the book. That makes it a verified review and then leave a review on that specific book. So that's exactly what we're asking you to do here.
Not to get a thousand reviews but to get at least one or two. And if Amazon were to ban your account, I can't see this has never happened. Usually, they warn people about these sorts of things if they see the person's using your same IP address at your house.
But this is in my opinion, what would be considered fair practice, the reasonable use of the system? Just ask your friends and family to leave a review. But let's get into it, I got a negative review on Amazon!
The first thing is that you need to ask what is the biggest way to counteract your negative review? It is to make sure that you're getting positive reviews. So that we have the total average review being three to five stars.
We have an average of three. So ask for reviews inside your book. If they like the book, ask them to please leave a review. You have an entire page dedicated to this request at the end of the book.
You could even do it at the beginning of the book as well. So the thing is people need a "call to action". People simply won't do it, even on Youtube.
I ask you to do me a favor if you're finding this content helpful. I've done you a favor and you do me a favor, that's a little reciprocity. Subscribe to my Youtube channel.
I don't tell you to do that, most viewers will not do it. So that's one of the reasons, share whatever with these videos to make sure that you will do those things. If you don't tell people to do it, they simply won't do it.
Calls to action are incredibly important. The same goes in your book description at the bottom call-to-action "hit the Buy Now button and purchase this book". If your description doesn't include those exact phrases at the bottom of your book description, you need to get that in there immediately.
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The second thing is to never respond to a negative review. So don't do it in a hostile way but notify Amazon if the review is against for example their delivery process or their pricing. Or whether they charge you for something that is not your fault.
If it's an Amazon issue or if the review is completely irrelevant to your book, tell Amazon about that and ask them. They probably will do nothing but it's worth a try.
Secondly, leave a comment on the review and say "oh thank you for your comment but this doesn't seem to apply to my book. I would appreciate it if you took this down since I have no control over the thing you're complaining about".
Even if they do leave a negative review, never get overly defensive. Just say "Oh, thank you for your comment/review but I wish you would reread the book". You can also say "I think you must have missed something" or "I'll make sure I change the book or update it based upon your comments".
So it shows other readers who go through those reviews that you're reading them, you're taking them seriously and you're going to do something. The same goes for Tripadvisor for example for a hotel, they should respond to every single comment that comes in.
They'll say "oh I'm sorry you had a bad experience but we'll do the best we can to improve upon that". Never start attacking the reviewer. Number three and the secret answer of the day is like I mentioned, build an email list.
I use ActiveCampaign, just click on that one. It's my affiliate link so I do receive a small portion of the total money that they receive. However, it does not affect your price and it helps me to keep producing videos and blogs like this.
So go ahead and check out that ActiveCampaign. It is amazingly easy to use and integrate directly into your website. It is easy to create a page, you don't even need a website if you want to use them.
They'll create a page where you can generate the leads in exchange for people's email addresses. And once they're on the email list, you can then ask them to review in exchange for early copies of your book.
You are making them part of your advanced review team. This is by far the most effective way to deal with negative reviews. It is to flood your books with positive reviews from people who know, like, trust, and love reading your books.
So that's the top-secret tip of the day. My question for you though is have you ever received a negative review for your book? If you have, write "Yes" below in the comments.
If you've never received a negative review, write "No" below in the comments. Because I need to know where you're coming from and how things are going on the review state for you. Check out my other blogs and videos for more answers to your self-publishing questions.