Author: Theo Rogers
I was approached recently to review a book, a booklet really, about the practice of getting good reviews on Amazon. I'm disclosing this up front, as one of the practices mentioned in the book is that reviewers on Amazon are obligated to disclose if they'd been given the book for reviewing purposes. (And even off Amazon, any good reviewer worth their salt should be mentioning this!)
The book is only about 40 pages long, but then I've always felt that when you're discussing a specific topic such as this you really don't need 200+ pages when a smaller amount will suffice. The chapters in the book are as follows:
- Inside the Head of the Amazon Reviewer (This chapter talks about what the reviewer wants, what they're looking for, and things to avoid when interacting with them. It's fairly general in tone.)
- Selecting Reviewers (This chapter talks about what authors/publicists should do when deciding which reviewer to select for your work.)
- Contacting Reviewers (As it suggests, this chapter gives recommendations on how to approach reviewers and how to phrase your query letters.)
- After the Review (This chapter talks about what you should- and shouldn't- do after receiving a review and how to talk to people if/when you get a negative review.)
My big take on the piece? Much of this is material that seasoned and experienced authors should already know about seeking reviews on Amazon and approaching reviewers. I say should, because I've seen several authors make some serious mistakes, such as leaving snide comments on a negative review or canvassing people off Amazon to leave reviews to make up for a negative one. (The implication here is that the author says something and people leave reviews for a product they haven't read, which only lowers people's estimation of both the product and the author.)
That's probably why booklets like these are fairly necessary, especially if you're a fledgling author that just uploaded your brand spanking new book into the CreateSpace system. If you're someone that has been around the block a few times, there are some interesting things in the book that you might not otherwise be aware of. The uber veterans? These are usually the ones who already know the lessons in this booklet and will already be (or should be) following these practices.
In short, this is a decent booklet and something I'd recommend for newbies or those who aren't fully familiar with how to approach reviewers. I especially recommend the "Contacting Reviewers" chapter because as someone who reviews and has several friends who review, many of them are easily turned off by poorly phrased query letters.
I'd give this a star rating on my blog, but this will be something that will be pretty subjective for the reader. For newbies it'll probably be a 5 since the basics are fairly clearly phrased and to the point. For those who are more experienced, that rating might go down depending on what expectations they had going into this.
(Copy provided by author)