How to Get Reviews for Your eBook the Ethical Way

How to Get Reviews for Your eBook the Ethical Way

Do you find yourself begging and pleading with people to write a review for your eBook? Are your calls for help going unanswered? Then you are not alone. We all know that reviews can influence a reader’s decision to buy an eBook. What can also be as harmful is having no reviews at all.

We know from our surveys conducted in the past and also from research produced from other independent sources that readers do look for and consider reviews written by their peers when it comes to deciding whether or not to buy an eBook.

Amazon places a lot of emphasis on their review system, so in order for your eBook to sell you must generate reviews. If you do not your sales page will look bare and show that no-one has bought your eBook or felt compelled to write a review.

How Else Can Reviews Help the Author?
Reviews also serve the purpose of providing feedback for your eBook so you can learn what your readers are thinking. This allows you to make positive changes to your next eBooks based on their feedback.

If you are afraid to ask for reviews or feedback because you may receive some negative comments then you need to change your mindset and think of these comments as a way to improve your writing.

The Current Problems Involving Reviews
While reviews are still very important, there has been a lot of negative publicity surrounding the legitimacy of many reviews as some authors find less than honest ways to generate reviews.

These include:
1.    Some authors getting all their family and friends to write reviews even they have not read their eBook.

2.    There are authors who have opened up multiple user accounts and submitted multiple reviews for their eBooks under false names.

3.    There have been authors who have used paid services where they use their network to write false reviews.

…. And many more dubious ways to gain reviews that can ultimately destroy your reputation.

What You Shouldn’t Do!
I am amazed at how often I get unsolicited and generic emails from unknown authors wanting me to write a review for their eBook. While I love helping out authors, it is just not viable for me to devote so much time to reading and writing reviews.

In fact, many people view these types of emails as a form of spam and will likely blacklist your email address. Also, you should not try to coerce people into writing ‘great reviews’ for your eBook. You can request they write a review, but do not try to influence what they write.

You also need to be careful about sourcing reviews from fellow authors. While it nice to write a review for another author, a number of issues have arisen from the practice of ‘exchanging’ reviews.

Essentially this is seen as a less than ethical method for obtaining reviews. Amazon has caught onto this practice and will punish those authors who are found to engage in such tactics.

How to Source Authentic and Legitimate Reviews for Your eBook:

Connect with Influential Bloggers
Self-published best-selling author Amanda Hocking will tell you that it was her marketing strategy in connecting with influential bloggers that launched her publishing career.

With a multi-million dollar contract to her name this is one proven strategy that all authors should consider. These influential bloggers can help you gain reviews through their network of subscribers just by talking about your eBook.

Leverage Your Social Media Network
The earlier you start in building your social media network the better off you will be when it comes time to publish your eBook. If you have obtained a significant following then you can send out a ‘tweet’ or post notifying your followers of the publication of your eBook and requesting them to write a review if they happened to like it.

Join Forums and Communities
Online forums and communities are a great way to connect with your audience. First you must find those sites that targeted your ideal readers. Avoid the ‘everyone’ forums. Enter the discussion and start to connect with fellow members. Slowly you can work in a mention about your eBook or request feedback and reviews.

Use Your Own Blog
Why not place a banner or post in a highly visible position on your blog encouraging your fans to submit reviews.

Build Your Lists
This is why your author platform is so important. Imagine having 10,000 people from your audience as subscribers to your blog. When you publish your eBook you can send out an Email inviting readers to submit reviews.

You can also send out 100 free copies of your eBook and in return ask for a review. Just make sure you are seen as coercing the reader into providing a positive review.

The Time to Start Collecting Reviews is Now!
Don’t wait until your eBook is published before trying to source reviews. If you can publish your eBook and have 100 reviews from readers ready to publish to your eBook sales page on Amazon then that will be a great way to kick-start your sales.

Time to Target the Top Reviewers on Amazon
Amazon loves reviews and so do many of the readers who buy from Amazon. If you can receive a review from one of the most popular, credible and prolific reviewers then it could just boost the sales of your eBook.

Visit this page to get a list of the top reviewers – Amazon’s top customer reviewers

How Else Can I Use Amazon to Find Reviewers?
Your Amazon Author Page is a great way to find authors who also write eBooks in your genre. You can find these authors by searching through Amazon’s feature ‘Customers Also Bought Items By.’

Search authors in your category and check out their eBooks. Click on one eBook to check out the reviews received for this eBook. Then you can click on the name of a reviewer to find their page on Amazon which will provide you with a list of the eBooks they have already reviewed.

But how will this help me?
1. Your next step is to try and find a link to their blog, website or their email address.

2. If there is no email address then click on the link to their blog and find the ‘Contact Us’ page.

3. Send a carefully structured email asking if they would be interested in reviewing your eBook and in return you would be happy to send them a free copy. Structured and written in the right way it will not come across as spam.

eBook Giveaways Are a Great Way to Source Reviews
If you are an author who is opposed to giving away your eBook for free then you are missing out on some great opportunities. Many authors and sites use Rafflecopter which is a free tool to use for giveaway promotions.

This is a fantastic tool and one you should look into. The idea behind ‘eBook Giveaways’ is that the more people who notice your eBook, the more sales via referrals and viral marketing you will eventually receive. If you do not wish to conduct your own giveaway then you can use Goodreads‘ Giveaway program.

Request a Review at the End of your eBook
In order to obtain great reviews you must write and publish a quality eBook that ticks all the boxes. I know that after reading an eBook that I thoroughly enjoyed I will often find out what other eBooks that author has written.

I have noticed the increasing trend of authors placing ‘Review Request’ messages at the end of their eBook. For example: ‘If you enjoyed this eBook I would love for you to write an honest review and post to Amazon.’

There are many ‘ethical’ and ‘honest’ ways to source reviews. And these reviews can come from fellow authors, your fans or winners of a giveaway. As long as you steer clear from any dubious methods and only request reviews without trying to influence the reviewer (or engage in exchanging reviews) then you will be OK.