SNM048: Getting Book Reviews

With my first book launch, I reached out to friends, family members and business partners.  More than thirty people said they would buy my book at ninety-nine cents and leave me a review.

I ended up with 3 sales and 1 review.

I learned my lesson the hard way.

Do NOT Use Friends and Family

Amazon wipes reviews that they think are biased.  The Amazon Crawler is constantly sifting and looking for reviews to remove.  If you are even Facebook friends with someone, Amazon may delete the review.

Personal relationships between author and reviewer are suspect and Amazon errs on the side of deleting those reviews.

No only will your social circle disappoint you with reviews, Amazon will delete the reviews you do get.

Seek New Methods

I share quite a few new methods for finding book reviews in this podcast, but it is just the beginning.  The learning never ends.  Earlier today I read a new book of methods for getting book reviews.  It contained four methods that I had never even heard of before.

No matter how much you think that you know, there is always somebody smarter out there.

Key Points:

  1. Start Getting Reviews Now
  2. Do Not Depend on Friends and Family
  3. Add as many new review techniques as you can find

Resources Mentioned:

Breaking Orbit

Serve No Master on Amazon

Send in your questions to podcast [at] servenomaster [dot] com



Read Full Transcript

Getting book reviews for your new book on today's episode today's episode is brought to you by get response are you a small business owner professional blogger or marketing agency response can help you connect with your audience in a meaningful way to see how get response can help your business and get your first month free go to\get response are you tired of dealing with your boss do you feel underpaid and underappreciated if you want to make it online. Start living your retirement dreams now then you come to the right place welcome to serve no master pod how to open new revenue streams and make money while you sleep presented life from a tropical island in the South Pacific by best-selling author Jonathan Greene now your post the hardest part launching a new book the hurdle that stops 99% of authors new authors inexperienced authors independent authors at the same while we all headed can't get reviews to kickstart the book books behave just like high school fight two people start fighting and no one cares until that first bit of a crowd shows up if the crowd that brings a bigger crowd no one wants to read a book and Amazon with no reviews no one wants to read a book which is 12 or three reviews if I see less than 10 is a book I even take it seriously unless the book is two or three days old if a book is more than a week all I need to see at least 10 or 20 reviews before I pay any attention to it and this is how the entire network works as your number views crosses certain thresholds the way people respect you will continue to rise and hit new levels when you break 20 reviews then it's 50 than 100 when people see anything above 500 another level anything above a thousand really shows your top books on Amazon so how can you become one of those people to get reviews today's episode is not about longevity reviews this all about laundry is how to get those first 20 to 30 reviews of a brand-new book and you're hitting that wall well it's my very first book several years ago I approached everyone that I knew I message all my friends on Skype I message I want to do on Facebook I message people that I am business partners people that I make tens or hundreds of thousands dollars with in our relationship I messaged 50 people that I have a deep relationship, this will do it three weeks later I three reviews you really discover that it's way too much effort for people to do a review based on friendship or family relationship none of my family members of ever let me book review getting people to do all of this is way too hard to have to buy your book read your book and then write a review most of those people if you wrote the review for them and said hey just upload this Amazon they would now that's a big Amazon violation you in a lot of trouble and you don't want to do that too many pieces people are glad to buy a book from you because of your friends you can get a few sales but when you need more than that friendship isn't the right lever you need to find ways to get reviews that don't depend on friendship because trying to get reviews that way leave you disappointed dissatisfied and you won't have enough areas to support your business you end up with a real problem today were to cover nearly a dozen my freshest ways of getting reviews right now if you implement these never give up on his ever again the key before you start this process have a book that's good have a look at having spelled right have a book with few mistakes as possible even when you said about to enter two or three times sometimes are still couple misspellings is nothing you can do it's almost impossible to have a book 0 grammatical zero different types of air especially because we put things in there that we consider artistic we want to sense look a certain way sometimes were copying and pasting a piece of information quote that has misspelling or typo and we have no choice but to leave it in there because it's quote don't depend on family and friends because of your break your heart instead follow me with a couple these methods the first and easiest method is simply going to let Galli it's a service that allows you to most books that people download and in exchange for dilating their expected lever views depending upon your niche this can be really good service it's not so great for nonfiction I mostly nonfiction writer I know that a large percentage of fiction in my spirit that galley you end up with sometimes one or two reviews at the end of the month the service cost around $30 a month and usually you six books up at a time so you could join groups that are doing and that Callie run so someone has a net galley count every month they put together six books one book around five other people's books each person pays $30 to cover that one any dollar monthly so what I did net galley I got a really good review and a really bad review serve no master cost $30 I paid $15 for bad review and the guy who wrote the bad review had the courtesy to copy and paste that review to nearly every form he wrote the review and posting all over the place and the weird thing is he gave me low stars and then you read the review and is like at first this book is terrible but that arose it's really good he has it motivated me to change how I approach business and how I approach my life and I making some changes my business is a read this book but I still think it's good what can you do a book about changing your life the person says I'm changing my because the book but I still didn't like it I achieve the results the guy from that galley still wrote a very harsh review that appears all over the place. Only 20 different websites upset because having a bad review of the turns out to be good reviews really good for business we have a two star review and I will read it seems it's actually good review that's great net galley is a great service though if you're doing fiction science fiction romance there's a lot more people who are interested in those platforms so it's easier much easier to get a lot of reviews of get a lot more bang for your buck great place to start first and consider now you're wondering where can I find someone running motion working to find a group people to join go to K case stands for Kindle K L mentioned them a few places that this episode that's where a lot of end of it all to take out and that's right on the last leg I brush in a joint very simple now speaking of forms for every type of book you want to write for every niche for every topic there are forms that fit if you write romance novels is very strong will Stella forms same thing for science fiction whatever your topic is good and find people that are on forms for your topic for your category we talked with this in the research phase use the same forms and get review several different ways the first way is you can simply put a signature on your profile and every time you post a message it allows people to visit a laying 4 PM you asked for free copy of your book easy and very passive and then you're just an active person posting on the boards lot over time you'll start to get a lot of really great reveals the system is very casual because you're asking people but you do have to post the lots of people see your form threats many of these forms also like to post a thread in a commercial sector advertising section where you can say Avenue book I love to give away copies to members of this for my liking member this form and I wrote a book for people's form your respect level and form will determine how people respond if even posting for a couple weeks or couple months you little presents when you now to have a book you get a much better response than if you join the form just Casper views the third way is to send a private message to people that are highly respected on the form you can see the people that write the best posters most eloquent are the most active and just in a premise and say I saw the way you posts you are expert I would love to get your honest feedback on my new book for really announcing to the world I love free to be an early reviewer an early reader because you know what you're talking about*over the coming more likely to get the result you want is a great website called library they run a contest every single day you go there is had of hidden log in the library first you have to build up elaborate some of the good reads you have to select 50 books you like until you have your 50 you are allowed to run a contest so that step one once you have selected 50 books you like go to the bottom right-hand corner below everything hid in the footer itself early reviewers if you click on that and then click on members give away your letter in a little contest and either in a contest for week and give away copies and you'll get quite a number of reviewers actually display again different genres get different response rates that's why we have some different methods the great thing about library thing is they reviewers are very very serious about what they do you'll get the most eloquent was high quality was honest reviews from people and very rarely get negative review survivor thing usually some of the library think you hate your book will email you someone from library thing felt that Servicemaster was a four-star book that a five-star bucket emailed me to say you want to post my review on Amazon are just everywhere else as I know for sure you can sometimes turn your sales my professional and she gave me a lot of great feedback that returns from the master knew better book but at the end of the day I didn't really want a painful four-star review to be my first review so I just told her posted everywhere else still totally findable anywhere else and then if I want I can use the best parts as an editorial review I mentioned keyboards before it's always worth going to keyboards and doing a search to review the great thing about this platform is this author's were very very active on there so they're trying every service to try every tool to trying every technique you can see all the time new posts discussing every review technique possible so maybe see a new company offering to help you get reviews to keyboards and seeing other authors I tried it and find out if it's any good is very valuable and will help you save time and will help you avoid losing money on techniques that don't work you can also find people that are looking to do review swaps looking to read and review other people's books who have other vice in your genre you can find a lot of great things on this platform including editors and other types of designers is one of the best platforms out there and Stephanie my favorite forum for authors another source to just keep these Ronan is good good raises just like Larry think it's a social network for people who love books good reads is a very strong and very large social network and in fact Amazon acquired the company is it so successful so now like everything else we use it on my Amazon good reads has forms where people discuss specific genres you can become someone who posts in these forms or groups and develops a little bit of a presence before you start asking for reviews there also groups for people who want to review books you can find just by typing and review groups a bunch of groups were people want to review books in each different genre again it's a little easier to get reviews for fiction and nonfiction which is why as a nonfiction author I have so many many different techniques make sure you are very respectful of each group on good reads people and good reads do not like when you break the rules if you join a new group and thrown in inappropriate commercial posts you can really hurt your book when you upset about your people they grab review copy and they decide to write how your some who breaks rules on good reads so I would say be very hesitant and when in doubt don't ask for reviews on good reads if you're sure you can do really really well wait until you're sure before you take that action something interesting that I always keep my eyes on our new book apps recently about 10 or 15 different book social networks have begun growing on iTunes and the Google play store these new social networks all have different angles but the key element is that each of them is built on people's love of books if you dial into one of these new social networks that no other authors are using at known as figured out yet because they're so new they're slowly developing you can jump in fast though a little bit of a presence over the social networks and start recruiting reviewers people who love your genre anyway you can find reviewers that other people are doing it is going to be very powerful and very financially successful you want to be the first one not the last and the reason I give you big list of these new book*as her changing all the time I have about 15 thermic scrimmaging with a little bit with an intern and insistent haven't made any final determinations so right now they're still in that testing phase but I've seen a lot of good and interesting things there there's also new social networks developing all the time that are similar to library thing good reads and worth checking out if you are proactive getting views is very easy to challenge forgetting reviews is getting reviews about working hard every author really wants to do what we really want to do is just push a button and in whom our reviews are taking care I find getting reviews to be harder then writing the book then editing the book in any other part of marketing because you have to be very proactive it takes a lot of effort there are a lot of pain services that will help you get reviews and they run the spectrum there are about five or 10 right now and they change every few months new ones open almost close that stay on the up and up with Amazon's terms of service they don't break any of the rules in order to do that all they can do is offer people free copies of a book and asked them to leave abuse they can't force people he reviews so you'll send out hundred free copies if you're lucky you'll get 40 or 50 reviews if you get 100 book requests mostly services usually generate between 10 and 30 reviews and they charge you at the end of a $10-$15 per view it's really expensive and takes a really long time my launch formula depends upon generating all of the necessary views in the first two weeks your book is live on Amazon the shorter the time window is the better if you get all those reviews in one week that's even better some of the services I got email from when yesterday they're having a big promotion hey 30% off despair hundred dollars instead of hundred $40 for 10 to 20 reviews and run your book in 4 to 6 weeks by the time the promotion is ready to run it no longer matters either my book is been successful it's not so I don't really recommend going that route because it takes a long time in $10-$15 review is quite expensive they make no guarantees because it's not allowed it will break their relationship with Amazon so it's hope you spend all this money and you hope you get some radius some of the services are larger and smaller but at the end of the day all the services I know about end up costing you 10 to 15 review even at galley $30 I only had two reviews and it cost me $15 per view I thought I was can get like 30 or 40 review because I would sing to praise Annette Galli but I think fiction does way way way better on their one of my favorite ways to get reviews is by approaching Amazon's top reviewers and in fact I have a new book out the sequel to serve no master I'm working on getting more views for now and I'm about to today go through a spreadsheet of 1400 relevant reviewers here's my process I look at 20 books that are similar to mine and I go through all of the reviewers every single reviewer who has left her contact information the profile wants something about half of the reviews on Amazon have their email address in the profile another half have website you have an email address or website to contact people not have to reviewers but the split of people who live contact information task email at half website you will be really quick and easy you just use people who have left her email address but I like to do both so go to everyone's website and see how hard it is to contact them many of these people have a contact form or their email address on their website they want to be successful reviewers Amazons platform rewards good reviewers if you're good enough reviewer you can become a top 1000 top 500 top 100 reviewer you can even become what's called a fine voice and we are in these categories you get more and more free stuff if your vine voice stuff you get for free is awesome you get televisions PlayStation's hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of stuff couches 3D goggles all sorts of cool brand-new technology just because they want your honest review because your reviews are so respected so reviewers who take the job reviewing seriously rise to the top if you get a review from someone in the top 1000 that's great the higher the rating is even says about their profile every review they leave it will say find voice or top 100 reviewer that's goal people respect those reviews review from one of people's worth about 50 regular reviews because are so respected enzyme gives a really nice stuff and they loved and free stuff that's with these people love email them with a very simple template hey my name is Jonathan Avenue author I saw that you reviewed this book and I mentioned the book where I saw their review I would have a new book out called this I would love to have someone like you review what would you like me to send you, better copy for every 10 to 20 send out you'll get what are two responses so it might take you 21 sometimes you Centeno you get to I can't give an exact amount but right 5 to 20% other people respond and asked for copy that you will get a percentage to astrophysical copy of make a decision if you want to spend two or three dollars mailing a copy of this person were you just wanted to the people that will take a digital copy that's the first question asked yourself question it could take a while to generate these lists it can seem overwhelming I use a piece of software cost a couple hundred dollars Sedona force you to do it quite yet until you've gone through three or four books is not worth investing in that but you can manually do it it takes to generate 100 names probably take an hour to two hours is opening new tabs with each person for your profile once you have this list of people don't merely email them I wanted to get this process very carefully the next process is to go and look at each person's profile in detail so you can do this during the initial phase or you can do this once you have made your spreadsheet what you make a spreadsheet in your spreadsheet you have the person's name their email address the name of the book that they read and left a review for those three pieces of information were to use later in a tool called mailmerge well look at someone's profile what I look for is someone who only positive reviews there were reviewers who if a product is three stars or worse will email you and tell you and then there's reviewers who delight in only leaving bad reviews I always check the battery is settled get Raymond and I recently got an new bad review on several master and I thought what's going on pretty harsh review I went and checked the person's profile never left a good review for anything day this tells me everything I know you know about the person there's no point in messaging them or falling upward trying to improve the customer experience because they don't leave good reviews they've never left a good review and a 10 year's event in Amazon look at people's profiles and get a feel for if there a good person or jerk jerks don't care if their bad review puts you at a business good people will give you the advice you need to fix your book sometimes bad reviewer will proceed to write about will email you and see you have to fix Graham in this book I would have to give you bad review it's not okay give you a chance to fix and you have a choice making Effexor using not do it that's really valuable so much better to get the chance to fix it so go through these lists I only message people that do 90% five-star views not by look for the only positive reviews because I want the odds be my favor I'm not going to send a free copy my book to someone who might just give me a three-star review I'm not paying someone to give me a bad review that insane this is your chance to a little bit ensure that you either get that good review or that they email you and tell you why build up a spreadsheet of people that you like the reviews like the quality there is like the way they leave reviews and then you can use a tool called a mailmerge you have a spreadsheet it will automatically send each of them an email and will fill in those different names hey name this is so-and-so ice Avenue book called this I saw the red and it's another thing for the spreadsheet so pull that whatever book there for the spreadsheet I would love to have you do that I love have you read my book slab you might look to place pretty simple would you like copper a copy of my new book is the title and then the rest of the email is very simply I saw you read a book someone might have a new book out I would love to get feedback from someone who's smart as you and is good reviewing the cyber book and understands the genre if you would like to come in a copy just reply to this email tell me what format works best for you the reason I do this instead of just sending them a PDF copy of my book is that I would much rather pay $0.99 Inc. gift them a copy of the book for $0.99 so that when they do leave a review it's a verified view and it's more valuable much much much more valuable to use this format plus when you send books with emails to a new personally sent an email with your book attached with a link to your book often times those end up in the spammer trash folder emails from a stranger should not come with an attachment or with the link and professional reviewers also have an email account that's just for their Amazon review profile so they treat that email address as a business address that's just for getting requests for free stuff so you don't have to worry about being annoying but you do want to keep it very simple and short you don't need a right 75 paragraphs they know what's going on because IMA them from Amazon the are used to getting his office most people get several of these a week top reviewers probably hundreds that's when the best methods it's time intensive but the results really really pay off another way to get a few more views is to find bloggers who like your topic message them by podcast people message them and said love your free copy book I love to do an interview with you I would love to do something where I get your feedback to unseal your talk about love your expertise and sending professional groups or groups for other authors to connect with each other as Facebook groups around every different topic find the best groups the form for people that are in your niche readers in your space romance readers science fiction readers nonfiction readers bricks business readers whatever finder they congregate and then approach the head of the Facebook group and said let's run a contest or group give away free copies of my book when you think WK run the contest and then the people when you just asked to leave a review once they write you get that great feedback if you take these action steps if you follow these paths you will never have to complain about hardest to get reviews you'll never have to email me saying take enough reviews for your book if you really inflate all 15 of these and can't get enough reviews you have a serious problem it's nearly impossible to do all of these methods there sometime intensity will take to take two or three weeks actually do all of these can imagine someone working eight hours a day writing out of he is not being able to generate 20 reviews really easily and in fact if you just been one full workday on this you should get 10 or 20 reviews set up on the very first day your book is launched in most of these techniques you can also use prelaunch before you book as a relaunched you tell people it's coming out and start generating reviews that way I'm very excited fall this method generate reviews you return your book into a bestseller thank you for listening to this week's episode no master make sure you subscribe so you never miss another episode be back tomorrow with more tips and tactics on how to escape the rat race to serve no now for your chance to win a free copy of Jonathan's bestseller serve no master all you have to do is leave a five star review of this podcast see you tomorrow thank you for listening this episode of the serve no master podcast to find out how to get a free copy of my new book head over to serve no\podcast right now

Jonathan Green

Living the dream on a tropical island, Jonathan is the author of Serve No Master and the host of the Serve No Master Podcast.

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