The Secret to Success With a Self-Published Book on Amazon: You Need Reviews

Listing Books for FreeGetting a book on Amazon isn’t difficult anymore. If you can’t find a publisher for your book today, you can easily self-publish for very little money and put it up on Amazon. While it’s very easy to bring a book to market today, it’s more difficult than ever to get in front of readers. Bowker is the exclusive issuer of ISBN book identification numbers in the US.  The company’s figures reveal that authors publish thousands of new titles every single day in the US. As a writer with a self-published book out on Amazon, how are you supposed to stand out in a crowd this size? The idea should be to get as many Amazon reviews as possible on your product page. But how do you do this when you are a new author?
When you are an unknown, only existing readers who write honest and convincing reviews can get you new readers. There’s no other way that potential readers can know what you’re like. The Amazon Algorithm pays attention to positive user reviews. The more reviews you have, the higher up in Amazon’s search results you go.
How do you get book reviews? A variety of reviewers exist:
Media Outlets: There are book reviewers at every major media outlet… The Los Angeles Times, Denver Post, BuzzFeed, Huffington Post, etc. They all have writers on staff that cover books. If you hire a PR firm to promote your book they will reach out to media contacts nationwide that cover books or your specific genre to see if they would be interested in reviewing your book. Book reviews in newspapers, magazines, or online are a great way to get the word out about your book. And most media contacts will be willing to publish a review for your book on Amazon as well, just make sure your publicist asks.
Amazon Top Reviewers: Thousands of customers on Amazon are very dedicated to writing good, honest reviews. It’s their way of giving something back to the world and earning the respect of the community. Many of them write 3 or 4 full reviews each day on every manner of product, books included. While it can be hard to get the attention of these reviewers, you may succeed if you are persistent.
To find these reviewers, you should head to This page offers a full listing of all the top Amazon reviewers. Once you find a reviewer who reviews books in your genre, you should click on their nickname to view their Amazon profile. They usually have contact information displayed. If you can’t find any address, you should try looking them up on Facebook or Google+. When you establish contact, you can ask them if they might be willing to review your book if you send them a copy.
Reader reviewers on Amazon: Amazon has many dedicated reader reviewers. Unlike the Top Reviewers reader reviewers only review books. Often, they stick to the genres that they know. They tend to write thoughtful, well-researched reviews that reach many potential buyers. GoodReads is another book website that has such dedicated reader reviewers.
Regular book buyers: Regular readers don’t tend to write many reviews. Usually, only 1% ever end up writing a proper one. If you make a point to include a heartfelt request for a review at the end of your book, you will usually get a few people to respond. They are not all likely to be five-star reviews, though. Getting plenty of honest reviews, though, can win people’s respect. The very fact that many readers would bother to review your book makes you look worthwhile.
Each time a reader writes a review, you should reply to it by clicking on the Add a comment button. You should thank them for their review and perhaps try to discuss something they’ve said. Reader engagement is a valuable public relations tool in the book business. It can attract many new reviews.
Book blogs: Many people who are passionate about books run blogs about the genres that they like. They tend to have thousands of fans who turn to them for advice. You should search on Google for bloggers in your genre and then write to them, asking them to review your book.
Many of these bloggers write reviews on their own blogs and then posts extracts from their reviews on Amazon. If you’re interested in filling your Amazon product page with such good reviews, you need to find bloggers who write on Amazon in this way.
Bloggers tend to be busy people. Usually, the best way to get a blogger’s attention is to write a personalized pitch. You need to go to the blog, learn the blogger’s name, read some of the reviews, gather information and use it all to tell them why exactly you feel they would be just right for your book. You need to look like you’ve done your homework.   
Amazon gives you a great deal of power
It can take time to build a following on Amazon. The retailing giant, though, gives you powerful tools. When you decide to learn to use them and stay the course, success as an author turns out to not be as hard to come by as it first appears.