Thursday, August 23, 2012

How to Get Reviews For an Indie Book

When I'm buying something on Amazon, I always look at reviews. Who doesn't? I want to know more about the product, if it's crap, has any issues, will catch on fire, etc. Since I started selling something on Amazon, I understood the importance of word-of-mouth but getting someone to look at my book and review it was a lot harder than I thought.

Here's some methods I've read about and/or tried myself:

Just wait: Without word-of-mouth or a lot of sales, my book was buried. So with no one reading it, there was no one to review it.

Give it away: KDP Select allows you to have up to 5 free days for you book. I put mine up for 2 days free and got over 2000 downloads. This resulted in 1 review. It did give me a little sales bump though.

Pay for it: For hundreds of dollars you can buy a review. This is cheating in my opinion and I can't afford it anyhow. Some places can make you pay $500 to get reviewed but can still give you a bad review. At least they're honest about your product but that's like taking someone's money and then kicking them in the shins.

Ask the Professionals: Professional reviewers won't touch books not represented by a middle-man with big marketing dollars, aka Indie, self-published books. 

Ask the Bloggers: The most popular bloggers get free stuff all the time. I've had a tiny bit of success with a couple but many rejection emails. Some won't review an ebook, a children's ebook, some don't have the time, some won't review without a giveaway for their readers and sometimes the email just goes to the spam box.

Ask the Writers: This has been a more time consuming but successful source of feedback for me. Other writers feel your pain and need reviews just like you do. Also, who knows more about writing than writers? Finding other authors in the same boat willing to swap books for a review got me several free books and a few great reviews. These are still real people with no big incentive to be dishonest and they write well. Of course, if you hate their book you might feel obligated to write something nice so they don't post a retaliating negative review of your book but the most ethical thing to do is just kindly decline the swap.

If you have a new book and would be interested in a review swap, you can email me a pdf and a amazon link at

Mary Lee

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