After reading a blog post by author Nicholas Rossis about this book ‘How to Get Good Reviews on Amazon: A guide for Independent Authors & Sellers’ I downloaded it during its free promotion. Being an official Top 500 Reviewer (currently #227) on amazon UK I was keen to see if this book really did have some useful advice for potential authors and sellers. Here is my review:
As someone who’s been reviewing on amazon for more than a year now I was keen to see what Theo Rogers’ advice would be to sellers and authors. As the title suggests this book is intended to help people understand how to get good reviews on amazon for your book or product.
The book is a short read at 74 pages but has a lot of useful advice and told from the point of view of a reviewer and not a seller as many other books on the subject are. The book contains practical advice such as how to contact reviewers but it also contains information about what makes people review on amazon and gives a little insight into the amazon ranking system for both reviews and reviewers.
The first chapter is about why people review and although a seller or author may want to by-pass this chapter for the practical advice I would strongly urge you to read this as it does explain the different reasons that people review and knowing this can help you understand the actions of some reviewers. For example I fall into the category of wanting to help people with my reviews but the book also highlights that some reviewers are simply there to play the ranking game and raise their rank. The book also explains the ranking system for amazon reviews themselves which can help you to understand why some reviews stay on the front of a product page while others never appear.
The practical advice is really not to be ignored. Rogers gives you template examples of emails to send to reviewers as well as ideas on how to sound less impersonal and make a connection with a reviewer. He also explains what NOT to say to a reviewer. All this information is very important and I can first hand say that I agree with everything in these chapters having been contacted with both ‘Dear Sir’ and ‘Dear Malcolm’ before – in case you don’t know my name isn’t Malcolm and I am female!
The end of the book has again more information on what to do with reviews once you have them. While I agree with most of the advice here, I don’t like the suggestions Rogers gives to say authors, for example, that their own fan base can help ‘neg’ (give negative votes) to negative reviews of their work. While this does happen and of course no author wants to have a negative review of their work, I dislike the fact Rogers has suggested this method as I can only see a potential increase of negative voting on less than 4/5 star reviews and sometimes a detailed 3 star or negative review has valid remarks in it and serves as helpful to new customers.
The book is titled ‘How to Get Good Reviews on Amazon’ and I think it should have been just titled ‘How to Get Reviews on Amazon’ given the fact that sometimes there are products and books that just simply aren’t any good, though this I find is rare.
This is a short read and overall, despite my criticisms, it’s a great book for anyone new to amazon or who is lost on how to get amazon reviews. There’s nothing offensive to read and it can be read within an hour or so which makes the current price tag of over £2.50/$3.30(rrp $3.99) on amazon UK and US respectively seems a bit much for a short book. It’s up to you whether you feel the need for this advice at this price or if you can find it elsewhere.
EDIT: I forgot to add that although it’s mentioned briefly in the book I would like to give a bit of my own advice and urge any potential seller and especially author to check out a reviewers own website/ blog/facebook etc if they have one. This can help you target the right reviewers and make you stand out better with them as many book reviewers like me have a submissions page which details the books I will or won’t accept for review plus additional info and an easy way to contact me! 🙂
How To Get Good Reviews On Amazon is a simple, no-nonsense guide that teaches exactly what it says it does. Based on both psychological science and thousands of hours of conversation with some of Amazon’s top reviewers, it takes you behind the scenes into the reviewing subculture that has grown up on Amazon’s website. It gives you a deep, insider’s knowledge of how the top reviewers think and operate. It not only shows you what to do: it also takes you inside the reviewers’ heads so that you can see for yourself both how these techniques work and why they’re so effective.
• A simple, four-part formula for writing emails that get your work reviewed.
• Three things never to say when communicating with reviewers!
• How to pick reviewers who are more likely to give you a good review.
• How to reduce the chance that a reviewer you contact will give your work a bad review.
• How people get caught out when receiving reviews from friends and family.
This book teaches an honest, straightforward approach that works. It works because it’s not based on gimmicks or tricks but on a real understanding of how Amazon reviewers operate: most of all on what they expect from authors and other sellers. If you want to know how to talk to an Amazon reviewer in a way that will make them respect you as a professional and see you as the kind of seller they actually want to help, this is the book for you.
Feel free as always to comment. How important are amazon reviews to you and would you buy this book? Anything you’d like to say please do 🙂