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SPQ 002: Organic Book Reviews: How Do I Get Natural Reviews (without Asking Family and Friends)?

Written by Steve Scott on December 22, 2014. Listen to SPQ: iTunes | Stitcher | RSS Feed
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Organize Book Reviews: How Do I Get Natural Reviews

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.

The Question…

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.

Biggest Takeaway…

Steve’s Answer…

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.

Key Takeaways

SPQ 002: Organic Book Reviews: How Do I Get Natural Reviews? from Steve Scott

Resource Links

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

  • Steve,

    Thanks for being all for white hat tactics to get book reviews. I’ve come across so many people who want to use deceptive tactics just to get reviews that I think all it does in the long run is undermine people’s faith in the whole review system, especially on Amazon.

    I’ve read over 50 books in the last couple of months on Kindle publishing and I look at some of the reviews they got and I just have to shake my head.

    I’m going with a slow-and-go approach and actually made getting reviews one of my resolutions for 2015. Once per day I will reach out via email to a reviewer/influencer, tell them what I like about their work (because I actually took the time to read it) and ask them to review my book(s) because I think I can offer them some value. Not too glitzy, but honest and worth a shot.

    One book that was informative to me on reviewers and the reviewing process was Theo Rogers’ How to Get Good Reviews on Amazon.

    BTW, I’m currently reading three of your books and will post my reviews on Amazon/Goodreads when I finish.

    Keep up the excellent work.

    George

    • Steve Scott

      Yes…unfortunately it’s very slow going to get those organic reviews. Like you, I think that gaming Amazon’s system will get you nowhere. I like your daily approach to getting reviews. Especially since it can be turned into a habit. Thanks for the book suggestion…haven’t read that one.

    • Yes…unfortunately it’s very slow going to get those organic reviews.
      Like you, I think that gaming Amazon’s system will get you nowhere. I
      like your daily approach to getting reviews. Especially since it can be
      turned into a habit. Thanks for the book suggestion…haven’t read that
      one.

  • Ramakrishna Reddy

    Hi Steve,

    Thank you for being kind enough to answer my question and that too in the second episode :). I feel so proud of this. As always, you rock with your content!

    • Steve Scott

      My pleasure Rama! You were one of the people on my list to email about your episode. Hope you enjoyed the content and found it useful.

    • My pleasure Rama! You were one of the people on my list to email about
      your episode. Hope you enjoyed the content and found it useful.

      • Ramakrishna Reddy

        Yes, Indeed. It was the first thing I did after getting up in the morning. Talk About daily habit – Listening to your podcast would be one of the top items!