Digging for Gold – Getting Those Coveted Amazon Reviews
by Lois W. Stern
Reviews have a more important function than stroking our egos. A decent number of reviews shows readers that our books are stirring interest. How do we go about acquiring reviews? We’ve already dropped subtle hints to our circle of family and friends. Now what?
Like it or not, Amazon is still king of the book industry, so you might as well use what they have to offer. Amazon keeps lists of their frequent reviewers. Click on http://www.amazon.com/review/top-reviewers to find their top reviewers. You will discover a daunting list before you which takes time to sort through. Click on any name, and you will be taken to a page listing all their reviews – not just of books, but also products. You can find each reviewer’s e-mail address in the lower left corner of that screen. Take your time and be selective. Approach the reviewers you think might be interested in your genre with a personal e-mail request.
It doesn’t hurt to ask and sometimes you strike gold. Case in point, I contacted THE FAMOUS Dr. Bernie Siegel and he responded generously with reviews to two of my Tales2Inspire books. True, he didn’t post those reviews on Amazon, but when I asked him if there were any restrictions to how I might use them and he responded “none at all”, you can bet I spread his words far and wide. Did you know that you, the author, can still place those unposted reviews yourself under Amazon’s Editorial Reviews?
You can also use Amazon to locate reviewers by searching for books with similar key words. For example, I would look under “Motivational stories” and “inspiring stories” for my Tales2Inspire books and “Anit-aging”, “Cosmetic Surgery” and “Beauty ‘ for my books on those particular topics. Once you discover someone who has reviewed books of your specific genre, follow that reviewer’s link to their Amazon profile page, look for an email address, and send them a soft sell request. You can also suggest swapping reviews with other authors whose work you admire.
After publishing eight books, six in the Tales2Inspire series, I am facing a new problem. After all, how many times can I approach the same people to review just one more book? Furthermore, Amazon has gotten tough, warning that they will remove reviews that seem collaborative or bogus, so I knew I could no longer rely on my winning authors to write and post reviews. I am now experimenting with a limited time FREE coupon offer through Smashwords. If you care to try it out, you can request a coupon for a FREE Kindle or Nook e-book of Tales2Inspire ~ The Crystal Collection (Stories that Tickle the Funny Bone) in exchange for an honest review.