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Tuesday, February 7, 2017

"Can't you give me just 1 tip (for getting book reviews)?" she asked

The other day a newly published author who had befriended me 5 minutes earlier asked me if I could give her just one tip how to get book reviews from Amazon top reviewers.

I told her to read my book.

She came back with, "Can't you give me just 1 tip?"

Hmm... Apparently this author was not aware how much in demand these reviews are; on average Hall-of-Fame reviewers get 250+ review requests per month.   

So, I told her that getting a book reviewed by an Amazon top reviewer isn't a "1-tip thing, " especially if the book did not have any reviews yet. Getting reviews is a challenging task that encompasses many steps; which is why my book has 100 pages.

She immediately un-friended me. 

I guess that says it all. Just another wannabe author who does not really want to learn the trade. The indie author industry is overrun with people like that. The sooner they get out and make room for the people who really hone their craft and all skills, the better for all.

Of course, from experience I know that most indie authors work a lot harder than this one.
So, here is one tip for authors whose books received already a few reviews (including from top reviewers).

"Like/find helpful" the reviewers' reviews!!!
"Chapter: One Last Advice Regarding Reviews"  (page 92 of my book "NAKED TRUTHS About Getting Book Reviews")

Whenever I mention this item in author groups somebody jumps at me and says, "Amazon doesn't allow authors to like reviews of their books."

My reply is always the same, "I liked every single review of the more than 400 reviews my books have received and nothing bad happened." As it is their standard procedure, Amazon does not like any coordinated or organized efforts to boost a book's scores; their algorithm can measure this data input. Hence, if you tell all your friends to like your books' reviews chances are the reviews will disappear."

However, I have never heard that Amazon retaliated against a single liking of a review.


So, what happens if authors themselves don't even acknowledge reviewers' efforts by liking the reviews? (Disregard any friends' activities.) 

I have written dozens of reviews of indie author books whose authors did not like my review even though – or because – they know me.

Let's assume that these indie authors are also trying to get reviews from other top reviewers, but they either didn't read my book or they ignore this specific advice.

Especially the top-top reviewers (top 1000) are very interested in keeping their ranks. The more people like their reviews the better the reviewers' rankings will be. Most of these top-top reviewers aren't authors, they are happy with being a top reviewer.
  1. If an author they don't know approaches them with a good request email, they'll check out the book and read some of its reviews.
  2. They'll check how often the reviews were liked.
  3. If they see that most reviews did not receive a single helpful vote they know that not even the author liked any of the reviews, let alone any other reader.
  4. This implies that the author will also not like their review if they decide to write one. In other words, reviewing this book won't help their ranking. In a world where 3,000-4,500 books get published daily there is always an author who will do better. 
  5. Furthermore, the top reviewer will notice that (apparently) this book did not get exposed to too many other people who could have liked any of the reviews.
That's NOT a good thing!

Here are three examples of reviews of traditionally published, "controversial" books I penned.

2** for Jeb Bush's book. As it can be expected, a few fans of Jeb Bush disliked my review but the majority of people liked it. 11/14 likes.

5***** for an interview with Mike Tyson, who was a controversial boxer. 4/4 likes.

5***** for a highly recommended biography of Saudi Arabia's first king. This book's author is dead and the translator is an elderly lady who probably doesn't promote anything. 23/23 likes.

I discovered all three books because I read about them in an article or a blog. 

Clearly, though none of these books is famous even these reviews of controversial books scored with "the public." 

If I only reviewed these types of books my reviewer rank would be a lot better. 

Of course, the same thing happens to all top reviewers. 

Though I personally am fine with my own ranking #4,533 out of 41 million, other top reviewers might be working on improving their rank. Hence, they may think twice about reviewing a book from an author who doesn't value reviewers' activities enough to click "found helpful," a task that takes less than 1 second.

They might also wonder how much this author will do to expose their book and the reviewer's review to the public. 

Summing it up: Even though a particular book gets a top reviewer's attention they might decline this book just because in the same time they could read another book whose author seems to appreciate getting reviews more. 

~~ *** ~~~

Gisela Hausmann is the multi-award winning author of "BOOK MARKETING: The Funnel Factor: Including 100 Media Pitches""NAKED TRUTHS About Getting Book Reviews""NAKED WORDS 2.0: The Effective 157-Word Email" and other fine books.

Her work has been featured in the SUCCESS magazine, in Entrepreneur, on Bloomberg (podcast), in NBCNews, and other fine publications.

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© 2017 by Gisela Hausmann 


  1. Very interesting information. Thank you for sharing! I was liking my reviews when they first were coming in, but then I guess I forgot about it. So from now on I will mark all my reviews as helpful. Thanks!

  2. It is true - you learn something new every day. Thanks for the insight. I do "like" reviews of my books but only as a way to acknowledge the reviewer's efforts. The special ones are attached to memes and posted on social media. No one HAS to review our books. I appreciate when they do.