Lesson #1: Don’t Fake Amazon Reviews

what not to do as a newbie writer

Faking reviews of your own work is always wrong, no matter what. An author who has sold millions of books was caught last week faking reviews for his own books and his competitors. R.J. Ellory would log on to Amazon under assumed names and leave himself glowing reviews, and his competitors scathing critiques. Read all about it here.
Getting amateur reviews on Amazon is one of the most important things an author can do to market their book. Here are a few quick lessons to make sure that you do it the right way and don’t get the wrong kind of publicity (like R.J. Ellory).

Lesson #1: Don’t Fake Amazon Reviews. Simple enough, but many authors have been caught doing it. Don’t do it, no matter what. Also, never have your family leave a review for your product or anyone who could benefit in any way financially from book sales, like your publisher or editor. Never leave a review if you are an author, not even if you are upfront and use your real name; it’s not a good habit.

Lesson #2: Get Top Reviewers To Review Your Book. Here is a list of the top reviewers. They know how to write reviews, and if you can get a few of them to leave you good ones then your book will sell more copies. I am currently in the top 1,000 reviewers on Amazon, and receive a dozen review requests every week. My advice is to write personal emails, not generic ones, and be detailed about your book. If someone is actually interested in it, they’ll ask for it. Don’t try and force it – if they don’t respond, they probably would not have liked your book and you don’t want a bad review.

Lesson #3: Find Similar Reviewers. Look at the books that are like yours on Amazon. Contact the reviewers who have given those books positive reviews in the past. This is one of the surest ways to connect with influential people who are in your scope of marketing. Don’t skip this important step.

Lesson #4: Ask For Reviews, Don’t Beg. Never ask for positive reviews, and don’t bug people to leave them. If you have more than a 20% success rate (amount of reviews you receive vs. amount of books you give away for free), you are doing great.

Lesson #5: Fan Base. Have your fan base to leave reviews. There is a good chance they will be positive, and you will sell more books this way. Don’t be shy about asking the right people to leave reviews, but never ask the wrong people. We have a sample letter that our authors can use to request reviews – if you would like a copy, contact us here.

Lesson #6: Say Your Thank You’s. Email everyone who leaves a review and thank them for spending their time reading the book and reviewing it. Even if the review is three stars instead of five, you should always contact your reviewers. You may turn some negatives into positives, and some positives into life long fans.

Lesson #7: Attack Negative Reviews The Right Way. If someone leaves a negative review that attacks you as a person or has clearly not read the book, complain to Amazon. Don’t leave your own review to combat it – engage the right way and Amazon is pretty good about taking care of things for you.

Amazon reviews are a great tool when used correctly. Good luck getting good reviews, and don’t make the same mistake Ellory did. If you already have made that mistake, its not too late to remove the reviews and do it the right way.


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