Struggling to get raving reviews for your book? Are you getting sick of begging and pleading for family members, friends, and fellow authors to leave you reviews? Wondering why no one who reads your book actually bothers to post a review?
In this series of articles, I’m going to reveal why the vast majority of new authors are completely misguided in their approach to getting reviews, followed by the top ways I’ve found to get unbiased, quality reviews and testimonials – no begging required.
But before I reveal the strategies, it’s much more important to cover a key principle to success. That principle is as follows:
If You Want To Get Anything Of Value, First Give Something Of Value
There’s nothing wrong with asking yourself, “How can I get more reviews?” But this question alone is leaving out the fact that if you want to get something, you must first give something. And as you’ll find out, I’m not simply talking about review swaps.
So what do you need to give in order to get great reviews?
For starters, you need to give great quality content in your book. Ask yourself, “Would people recommend this to their friends?” If the answer is no, then expecting people to leave five star reviews is essentially asking them to lie.
Hopefully, this should be obvious, and I’m assuming you already know the importance of having a great book, so let’s consider another reason why people may love your book and not review it.
It’s The Why That Motivates People To Action
If you find your request for reviews goes unfulfilled, it could be because you haven’t given a clear reason why someone should post a review. And more importantly, you haven’t given a reader a reason to write a review that applies to them.
Imagine someone comes up to you and says:
“Hey you! Go take 5-10 minutes of your time and write a review so I can sell more copies of my book!”
Doesn’t that come across as a little selfish? Even if you’re happy to oblige because you’re a very generous person, might you be wondering, “Why should I help you?”
Now imagine someone says:
“If you enjoyed my book, it would be greatly appreciated if you left a review so others can receive the same benefits you have. Your review will help me see what is and isn’t working so I can better serve you and all my other readers even more.”
Let’s break down why something along these lines is much more likely to get positive results.
First of all, saying “if you enjoyed” gives people a condition that respects their personal opinion. Whenever people ask me to leave a five-star review of their book before I’ve even read it, I’m instantly turned off because they’re not respecting that I may not consider it to be a five-star book.
On a side note, it’s also clear they’re not interested in genuine feedback about their book, but are simply wanting a good review. Successful people are open to all feedback – positive and negative. That honest feedback is part of how they became successful.
The next thing in the request is the phrase “it would be greatly appreciated.” This is a non-demanding way to let people know they don’t owe you anything. It also gives them recognition ahead of time. How likely are you to do favors for someone if you don’t feel like they’re going to appreciate you for it but rather just feel entitled to your generosity?
Following the request for a review is the phrase “so other readers can receive the same benefit as you.” The key word here is “so” which now directs the reader’s attention to a clear understanding of why leaving a review is a good thing to do. In this example, the reason why is to help other people.
The reader now sees how their review isn’t about helping you sell books (which isn’t what reviews are for anyway), but rather they see how their review is a chance to serve all readers at large by sharing their feelings about the book.
In the last sentence, the benefit is brought back to the reader by saying their review will help you as an author write even better books for them to enjoy. Now the reader realizes leaving a review will actually benefit themselves and not just the author.
Applying This To Your Books
In the back of my books, I have a review request page that links to my book on Amazon. I learned to do this from Tom Corson-Knowles in The Kindle Publishing Bible. This gives people a reminder about leaving a review, it gives them an easy way to do it by providing a link directly to the book page, and finally, it gives them reasons why leaving a review is beneficial to them and others.
One of my fitness books says the following:
“The first way to pay it forward is by writing a review of this book to let others know of the benefits you’ve got from it. This will not only help others reach their health and fitness goals, but it is incredibly rewarding for me to know how much work has benefited others, as well as learning any ways I can improve…. This way you can help empower others in the way this [book] has empowered you.”
Notice how I keep the focus on others and the reader more than just what I get as an author from them leaving a review?
Whether you’re writing this in the back of your book, sending a private message to someone, or posting on your blog, it’s important to understand that the way you phrase your request goes a long way toward how people will respond to the request. I also suggest you use your own words rather than following a script – just be sure to keep in alignment with the principles outlined here.
In upcoming articles, I’m going to reveal the best and worst ways to get reviews quickly, how to manage bad reviews, how to get real genuine feedback for improvement, and the two best types of reviews to get on your book.
Stay tuned for Derek’s upcoming articles on how to get more Amazon book reviews.
Latest posts by Derek Doepker (see all)
- The Ultimate Guide To Getting More Amazon Book Reviews (Part 5) - March 24, 2014
- The Ultimate Guide To Getting More Amazon Book Reviews (Part 4) - March 9, 2014
- The Ultimate Guide To Getting More Amazon Book Reviews (Part 3) - March 3, 2014