Amazon book reviews come organically with time and patience, and perhaps from a few free ebooks.
Every author wants more Amazon book reviews, as they are one of the elements in making a book potentially more appealing to book buyers. But the hard truth is that organic reviews are very hard to get, as only a small percentage or Amazon book buyers ever leave a review.
From reading quite a few entries on the KDP Community Forum on the subject, it would seem that authors who have been around for a while are obtaining on average one review per 150-200 sales. That tallies with my experience.
Giving away ebooks can help a little, but the ratio of free ebooks to reviews is even lower than for real sales. Free ebook hunters are often merely hoarders of anything for free, so you would need an awful lot of downloads to attract any reviews.
What can you do to give reviews a push along?
While a great book and patience are the best ways to get Amazon book reviews, there are few things you can try that might give your book a better chance of gaining more reviews.
Even though Amazon includes a call to action page at the end of Kindle ebooks to remind readers to add a review, it is very often not seen by readers as it often comes after an about the author page and probably a list of other titles.
To get a reader’s attention, and hopefully their review, you can add a line or two after THE END’ of your book asking politely for a review. Here is an example.
If you enjoyed this book, your review would certainly be most appreciated.
Another means is to build a small troop of beta readers. Yes, this takes a long time, but it can be very useful in the long-term in creating a group of people who will post reviews when you release a new title. Leverage social media to connect with readers who would appreciate free books from you, and would then be willing to add a review for you when you release a new book.
Should you pay for reviews?
No, no, no and well? I have to say from the outset that I do not pay for book reviews and that I do not agree with paid reviews of any kind.
However, a quick search of social media and Google will give you lists of providers of paid reviews on Amazon. Even though Amazon tries to take action against paid reviewers, it is clear that it hasn’t fully succeeded.
There is a sense for some authors that well, everyone does it, so why shouldn’t I?
While not wanting to pass judgement, my concern with buying book reviews is that they could well be deleted by Amazon. But more seriously, Amazon could also take action to terminate an author’s KDP account.
Paying for book reviews might seem like a quick fix, but in the long term, I believe it carries far too many risks.
Sell more books, and you WILL get more book reviews.
If you want more Amazon book reviews, the best way by far is to sell more books. It might sound like putting the cart before the horse, but it is the only method that consistently works.
Concentrate on all the other factors that will improve your book sales and the reviews will follow. Yes, they will be few and far between, but they will come.
My advice is always the same when it comes to selling books. Write a great story, buy a killer cover, write a fantastic book description and make sure your categories and keywords are working effectively.
By the way, I received a glowing 5 star Amazon book review earlier today, so I must be doing something right.