Book Reviews

December 11, 2020

One of the main focuses of your book launch is getting book reviews. Why are reviews so important? These days, before anyone buys anything, they look for social proof. People want to make sure that other people are saying good things about something before they buy it. Just like reading the reviews of a product before purchasing, a reader wants to know what other people say about a book before they are willing to pay for it. In preparation for your launch, you want to make sure you will have plenty of reviews (preferably good reviews that are more than just a few words) right from the beginning. Another thing to consider is that most websites won’t promote your book unless you have a certain number of reviews. Remember that everyone is busy, so to make sure your book is getting reviewed, it’s your responsibility to follow up with people and remind them to leave a review.

Here are tried and true ways to get good book reviews:

  • Ask Your Book launch team
  • Use Your Email lists
  • Ask for a review inside your book
  • Reach out to reviewers of similar books
  • Get editorial reviews
  • Host a book giveaway in exchange for a review

Review Rules:

Stop Amazon reviews from being deleted.

Reviews left by friends and family: A few ways Amazon might flag a review is if the person leaving the review has ever used the same shipping address or credit card number as you. This tells Amazon that you live with this person, so it is not an honest review. Also, keep in mind that reviews that sound too personal can be flagged as bias reviews because it looks like this is someone who knows you personally as a friend or family member.

Amazon’s Policy:

“We don’t allow individuals who share a household with the author or close friends to write Customer Reviews for that author’s book. Customer Reviews provide unbiased product feedback from fellow shoppers and aren’t to be used as a promotional tool. Please refer to our Help Page for more details. Your family and friends are welcome to share their enthusiasm for your book through our Customer Discussions feature.”

Reviews that aren’t verified: If someone tries to leave a review, but according to Amazon they never purchased this book or opened the digital version of the book yet, it will get flagged and deleted. This is something to keep in mind when sending out ARCs of your book because you sent your book out as a gift these people didn’t buy your book before writing the review. Make sure that your launch team knows that they need to buy your book (on launch day during your 99 cent campaign) before leaving the review so that it is a verified review.

Reviews that you paid someone to write: To be clear, in most cases, this is illegal. You can’t pay for a review or offer someone compensation in any way for a review. You can provide prizes, contests, and giveaways but not in a way that is in exchange for a positive review. The safest way to avoid reviews getting deleted for this reason is to be clear in your verbiage that you want honest reviews, and although you’d appreciate an honest review, this book is a gift whether they choose to review it or not.

Amazon’s Policy:

“We don’t allow any form of compensation for a Customer Review other than a free copy of the book provided upfront. If you offer a free advanced copy, it must be clear that you welcome all feedback, both positive and negative. If we detect that a customer was paid to write a review, we’ll remove it. The only type of paid review that Amazon supports is an editorial review. An editorial review is a more formal evaluation of a book usually written by an editor or expert within a genre, but can also be written by family and friends. If you’ve received an editorial review of your book that you’d like to post to the Editorial Review section of your book’s detail page, please visit our Author Central Help Page.”

You are sending the wrong URL to your launch team: There is an easy fix to this; you want to make sure you are sending the right kind of link to your team. Essentially, a super link on Amazon contains different markers that so the time the link was copied, the current standing of the book when the link was copied, etc. If you are sending this super link, Amazon will be concerned that reviews are left through a link that was copied days before and doesn’t have current information on it, especially if multiple reviews are being left through these links. To make sure your reviews aren’t getting deleted for this reason, only send the portion of the link that you need.

A super link:

The section of the URL that is bolded is the section that contains the keywords searched to find the book, the time the URL was copied, and the ranking of the book at that exact moment. Simply leave that section out of your link. Instead of sending the super link to your team and email list, send the base link.

A base link:

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