SPQ 002: Organic Book Reviews: How Do I Get Natural Reviews (without Asking Family and Friends)?
Many readers don’t realize how important interviews are for independent authors. In this episode, Steve outlines his process for encouraging readers to review his books on Amazon.
Rama from PublicSpeakKing.com wants to know how many sales an author needs to make before readers start leaving organic reviews. Organic reviews are very important, especially for independent authors. These are reviews written by people who don’t know you. Steve says he has seen it take up to 1,000 downloads to get one review while doing free promo does, but he uses a process to increase his chances of getting organic reviews from readers. He feels this process is 100 percent white hat (ethical) because he’s not asking readers for positive reviews.
There’s a lot you can do to get organic reviews on your self-published books.
First, explain why reviews matter. Readers who aren’t involved in publishing often don’t know how much reviews help your business. Tell them reviews make it easier for other potential readers to find your books. Steve adds a review request to the back of every book he writes. It is just a simple page explaining why reviews matter and a link to the book on Amazon so it is easy for readers to leave their reviews.
He also has a system in place to encourage the people who write to him to review his books. If someone writes to him and says something complimentary about a book, he answers their question and asks for a review. Steve continues building the relationship by getting to know the person. He then asks the reader if he or she wants to join his street team, a group of people who promote his books.
Next, Bryan Cohen, author of Ted Saves the World, looked at the top 1,000 Amazon reviewers and found people who liked other books in his genre. Then he asked if they would mind taking a look at his book and writing a review. If you try this technique, don’t bombard people with spam. Target people who already like similar titles and try to get them to review your book.
Finally, Authors should also put review requests in their email autoresponders and the book blurbs they use in blog posts and on social media networks. Email marketing is incredibly important, so use autoresponders to explain why reviews matter and ask people to review your books.
Bryan Cohen: The website of Bryan Cohen, author of Ted Saves the World
How to Get Honest Reviews: Shelley Hitz and Heather Hart detail seven strategies for getting honest reviews from readers
Build Creative Writing Ideas: Bryan Cohen helps writers find the motivation they need to be creative
SpeakPipe: Submit a question to the Self-Publishing Questions podcast