Book Reviews Benefit Your Bottom Line

Bring In Book Reviews that Benefit your Bottom Line

August 3, 2018

Having book reviews can do the following:

  • Convince shoppers your book is good which increases conversion rates
  • Increase your rankings in search results to improve discoverability
  • Improve your ROI from advertising

Tips to find reviewers for your books:

Some Amazon shoppers allow their email address to be seen. Therefore, you have the ability to find people who like, and review books like yours and create a list of possible reviewers.

  1. Check to see if any of those who reviewed your book have listed their email address.
  2. Send an email in appreciation of their review of your book and ask if they’d like you to send them your next book for free.
  3. Look through competitor’s reviews, and email them as well to see who would be interested in a copy of your upcoming books.

Amazon review rules for advance copies:

You CAN send someone an advanced copy of your book. You just can’t incentivize it for them.

Amazon made a statement saying they would no longer allow reviewers to post a review in exchange for a free or discounted product, even if they disclosed that they got it in exchange for a review. Many authors took this to mean books as well. However, in that same statement, Amazon said We will continue to allow the age-old practice of providing advance review copies of books.

This memo regarding changes to policies regarding customer reviews from Amazon came out in October 2016. However, these changes to review policies applied to all product categories other than books. So, let us dispel that notion and understand that we can send advanced review copies to reviewers. The following above words came straight from the bottom of that update memo.

Reviews are important on Amazon, so it’s tempting to ask friends and family for them to help your rankings. However, Amazon is picky when it comes to reviews accepted. If they suspect the review came from someone close to or paid by the author then the review can be removed.

Amazon Algorithms:

We are not privy to the exact algorithms used by Amazon to determine if your book reviews follow these rules, but there are theories. Two things that may affect this are if a reviewer is connected to you on Facebook or if the address of the reviewer is an address you have previously used as your own. But this is pure speculation we’ve heard.

Amazon uses advanced algorithms and we don’t know the exact logistics. However, when an appeal is filed, a human looks at the review and determines if it falls within the guidelines or not.

See Below for more information on rules regarding reviews, advance copies and more.

Highlights from the Customer Reviews Guidelines Frequently Asked Questions from Authors

Can I pay for someone to write a Customer Review for my book?
No. 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

What do you mean by compensation?
Offering payment or any other incentive for a Customer Review is considered compensation. This includes giving someone money or a gift certificate to purchase your book. We consider incentives to be any type of reward that is given in return for a Customer Review, including but not limited to bonus content, entry to a contest or sweepstakes, discounts on future purchases, and other gifts.

Can I write a Customer Review of my own book?
No. You can’t write a review of your own book, but there are other ways to communicate with your readers on Amazon. Please visit our Author Central Help Page to learn how to benefit from the ‘Book Description,’ ‘Editorial Reviews,’ and ‘More About the Author’ sections of your book’s detail page. 

Are authors allowed to review other authors’ books?
Yes. Authors are welcome to submit Customer Reviews, unless the reviewing author has a personal relationship with the author of the book being reviewed, or was involved in the book’s creation process (i.e. as a co-author, editor, illustrator, etc.). If so, that author isn’t eligible to write a Customer Review for that book. Please review our Customer Review Guidelines for more information. 

Can I ask my family to write a Customer Review for my book?
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. 

To find Customer Discussions, go to your book’s product detail page and scroll past Customer Reviews. Click on the ‘Start a Discussion’ button to provide your feedback. Anyone who visits can read a discussion. For more information, check out our Customer Discussion Guidelines

Is there anything I can do if I disagree with a Customer Review on my book?
Yes. If you believe the Customer Review violates the Customer Review Guidelines or doesn’t seem genuine you can report the review as inappropriate. Below each review you’ll find a question that asks, “Was this review helpful to you?” If you answer “no,” you can let us know why the review should be removed. We’ll examine the review and take action if necessary.



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