Amazon is frequently changing its review policies, so it’s important to stay up-to-date and visit its official review guidelines. Unfortunately, the restrictions on book reviews leave many authors finding that reviews have been removed. While these guidelines can often be frustrating, they are in place for good reasons and will lead to more authentic reviews.
Who Can Review A Book?
The better question may be who cannot review a book. There are several instances in which Amazon will delete a book review. If the reader leaving the review is someone who knows you personally or has a relationship with you (even if it’s solely on social media) the review will likely be removed. You may think that Amazon wouldn’t know who knows who, but they often do! With this in mind, it is important to consider who you have review your book. With Amazon’s guidelines, you’ll be excluding friends and family. You might even consider to warn them of this.
Other restrictions include paying or otherwise offering a reward (such as entries to a giveaway, prizes, etc) in exchange for a review. Some authors offer free Advanced Reader Copies in exchange for an honest review. If this is the case, it must be stated clearly in the review.
This is why it’s so important to establish a readership and will gladly review your book(s) without any personal connection to you.
How to Write a Review
Perhaps you’re on the other end of things, and you want to leave a review. First, make sure you’re allowed to review the book. Did you know the author personally? If not and you purchased the book without any existing relationship with the author, open up Amazon and express how much you enjoyed the book! Be honest, provide information about the content, writing style, and other information you may deem necessary. Avoid revealing major information related to the book, or what would otherwise be considered “spoilers”.
If you work or have a personal relationship with the author, you will need to post your review elsewhere – Facebook, Instagram, or a blog post. You can still express your honest opinion of your friend or family member’s book on other platforms!
How to Get Reviews
At this point, you may be wondering how is it possible to get reviews if there are so many stipulations in place. Establishing a readership and a successful marketing plan is key to gaining reviews. Refer to our previous posts about having an author page and the importance of being a bestseller. We recommend hiring a professional to create a solid marketing plan to reach readers that do not receive any compensation for their reviews. You can also share your book in groups on social media, such as Facebook or Goodreads to reach a larger audience.
While it may seem discouraging when it comes to reviews on Amazon by following these best practices and staying up-to-date with their guidelines, you will see success and less deleted reviews. Not only that but by adhering to these rules you increase your credibility and readers know they can trust your practices and therefore trust your book and any potential services you offer.