Monday, March 31, 2014

Review of How to Get Good Reviews on Amazon by Theo Rogers

Just finished an interesting read by Theo Rogers, How to Get Good Reviews on Amazon: A Guide for Independent Authors &Sellers. It’s an insightful look at book reviews and how to get them, written by an Amazon, top reviewer. (Full disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from Mr. Rogers in return for posting an honest review).

The first thing you need to know, it’s a short read – 48 pages. It’s packed with tips about what motivates Amazon’s top reviewers, how to approach them, what to say / what not to say – when you get a bad review and more.

Interesting facts you probably didn’t know.

·         There are certain categories reviewers tend to shy away from – Religion and politics. Why? Because people are emotionally invested in these topics, and they are often magnets for negative votes, which can quickly sink a reviewer’s helpfulness rating.

·         “Most reviewers, even the bad ones, are honestly calling it like they see it.” You may think they’re out to get you, but the truth is – they didn’t like your book. Get over it!

·         “Reviewers take reviewing seriously.” Much like writers, reviewers are serious about their craft. Remember that when you approach them.

The rest of the book explains how to find the right Amazon reviewers for your book, how to make sure your book is a good fit for them and the right way to ask a reviewer to check out your book.

Believe it or not, the approach Mr. Rogers gives is very similar to what most guides suggest for marketing your book on Amazon…

1.      Find reviewers who like your book
2.      Set a fair price, relative to your content
3.      Make sure Amazon is the right place for your book

In other words, give your readers what they want; under promise, and over deliver on content and value; and, target the right audience for your book.

If your book does all of these things, it’s time to start contacting reviewers.

The book explains how to find reviewers who are a good fit for your book. It shows you how to tailor your pitch to the reviewer, so he/she is more likely to accept your request. And, it has sample emails you can use.

Mr. Rogers also offers one important tip to help you close the deal. “If you want to be successful, I strongly suggest that you write your initial contact letter to a reviewer as if you were the one asking the reviewer to do you a favor.”

Pretty simple stuff.

Even if you don’t plan on contacting Amazon’s top reviewers, this book gives you a great look at reviewing from the other side of the table. It should help you understand that good reviews happen, and so do bad reviews. You need a balance of good and bad reviews to sell your book. Too many good reviews and readers will think you stacked the deck. Too many bad reviews and readers will realize there may be something wrong with your book.

The perfect balance of good and bad reviews will help readers decide if your book is right for them or not.

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