“How do you get a good job?”
“You acquire experience and a track record of solid work.”
“And how do you gain experience?”
“You get a good job.”
This lament is so common for kids entering the workforce today, that it's almost a bad joke.
Unfortunately, it's kind the same for success as an author on Amazon.
“How do you become a Bestselling author on Amazon?”
“You need to get a lot of good reviews.”
“And how do you get tons of reviews for your book?”
“Well, first you need to sell a lot of books…”
The Amazon review-getting process is a Catch-22, a chicken-and-egg situation — a frustrating conundrum that many first-time writers never figure out how to get past. But what if I told you there’s a workaround? A simple way to start out strong with plenty of good reviews so your book gets a head start?
Well, here's the good news: it's possible to generate dozens of glowing 4 and 5-star reviews on Amazon — even before you publish your first book. I’ll tell you all the details in a minute, but first, let’s talk about why getting book reviews are so important in the first place.
Why Reviews Matter
A new book goes up on Amazon every five minutes, every day, all year long. As of March, 2019, Kindle alone has over 7 million titles. That’s more people than who live in Istanbul. It’s more people than who live in Laos. Standing up in either of those places and hoping people pay attention to you is not a winning strategy.
Amazon reviews act as a megaphone, a broadcast platform, a tool for you to get attention among the masses, in two important ways:
- The reviews provide social proof, indicating to potential readers that this book is better than the other 100 self-published works that seem just like it. The review model is one of Amazon’s greatest strengths, and the reason it’s the largest online retailer in the world. People trust the review system.
- Amazon uses reviews to fuel its search algorithms and recommendation functions. The more reviews you have, the better you will rank. The better you rank, the more people will leave reviews.
“Okay, I get it!” you’re saying. “I need reviews. Can we move on to how I can get them?”
Sure thing, buddy. Here we go.
Your Top Ten Tips
Getting reviews is a matter of convincing people to read your book and tell people about it. Begging friends and families is a sucker’s game. Most of them are too close to you to respect your work as a writer, and they’ll feel free to joke around in the review. Worse, Amazon gets more sophisticated every year in figuring out who your nearest and dearest are, and they remove those reviews from your page.
Instead, use these ten steps to open strong on launch day: