You know that friend/author who’s always
pleading harassing asking you to leave them a book review on Amazon? The one whose book you read? Possibly you even got the book for free? Okay, so ME for some of you.
This is just a little tutorial/explanation of why it is so important and how to do it. One more encouragement to get you over there, leave the review, and drop the guilt. 🙂
First of all, is one more review really important? YES! Unless the book has over 100 reviews, it’s important. And the author checks
every day on occasion to see if there is a new review. And it really makes the author’s day to see a new review (unless it is 2 stars or less and then they feel kind of bummed).
I. WHY REVIEWS ARE IMPORTANT
1) When a potential buyer goes to an author’s book’s Amazon page, one of the first things he or she does is look at the star rating and the number next to it (number of reviews). The higher the number, the more likely the trust in taking a chance on a new book he/she hasn’t heard much about. Social proof.
2) Most advertising sites that authors turn to require that a certain amount of reviews be posted before they will even accept the book for advertising. BookBub, the mother of all book advertisers, is very hard to get a listing on, even at over $200 for a listing. They actually will REFUSE TO TAKE YOUR MONEY if they don’t see enough reviews posted.
3) Reviews keep your authors going in times of despair. 🙂
II. WHY PEOPLE PUT OFF LEAVING REVIEWS
1) We are all just human (well, except for the aliens among us); we procrastinate. It’s our nature. We are busy. There is always so much else to do. Is it really that important? *see section one above
2) We’ve never left a review on Amazon before and don’t know how to do it. *see sections three and four below
3) We are not writers! We cannot leave reviews! We hated book reports in school and blast it if we are going to write one now! *see sections one and three
4) We read the book too long ago and can’t remember enough now to write a decent review. *section three
5) We don’t want to leave our real name out there on the internet! (You don’t have to; *section four :))
III. TIPS TO GET THOSE REVIEWS WRITTEN AND MAKE SOMEONE HAPPY!
The first thing you should do is realize that your review does not have to be the be-all and end-all of reviews. Chances are that your author has already contacted several book bloggers and there are numerous lengthy reviews complete with synopses already posted. And remember, your 7th grade teacher will not be grading your review and neither will the author. TWO OR THREE SENTENCES ARE FINE! TIP: Look over the reviews already posted; you will see that people focus on different things. It’s all good. (well, unless people are nasty; don’t be nasty)
What kind of things can you say if you liked the book?
You can say what your favorite part is. Did you like the plot? A particular character? The themes of the book. Did you think it was well-written? If you feel like you read it too long ago, just think back and if you remember you liked it, try to remember the general feeling. Did you read it all at once? Did it make you cry or laugh? When you were finished, did you want to read more? Who else might enjoy the book?
If you read the book but it wasn’t really your cup of tea, can you at least give the book 3 stars? You may certainly leave bad reviews, but remember to leave fair and constructive reviews if you go this route. If you dislike a book because that’s not the kind of book you enjoy, but it was well-written and you think a different audience might enjoy it, say that. “This book wasn’t that appealing to me, but it was well-written and ________ would probably enjoy it.” If the book is full of spelling errors but the story is good, say both.
Take Away: Just two sentences is fine if that’s all you can think of or have time for. Every time the number goes up, it helps the book and the author. *section one above
IV. ACTUAL STEPS IN LEAVING A REVIEW ON AMAZON
1. (Make sure you are logged into your Amazon account.) Go to the book’s Amazon page. Scroll down to the bottom of the reviews. You will see a gray box that says “Write A Customer Review.” Click the box.
2. For those of you who want a secret identity (don’t we all?), the first thing to do on the new page is look in the upper right-hand corner. Here is where you can change your public name to something other than your real name.
3. Next, you fill out the star rating. Click on the number of stars you wish to give the book.
4. Then make a short headline for your review, such as “Love This Book,” or “Good Book for Kids and Adults,” whatever, be creative or not. See what others have done.
5. Now it’s time for your review. There are even some little questions in the box to help you if you can’t think of what to write. Remember, you can keep it short and sweet. “I really enjoyed this book. It was well-written and interesting. It made me feel like eating a big, fresh tomato from my garden.” Seriously, that’s enough. The author will be grateful. *see section one
6. Click the submit button and you’re done! Wasn’t that easy? Now go and do it again for the other books by your favorite author. 🙂
Here are the links for my books. If you have read them, I’m expecting your reviews. TODAY IS MY BIRTHDAY. MAKE ME HAPPY 🙂
S. Smith is the author of the awesome and award-winning middle grade series, Seed Savers. Visit her Facebook and Pinterest pages. Follow her on Twitter. Sign up for the newsletter!