Reviews in Google Forms

One of the smarter things an author can do is get feedback on their book. Reviews posted via a verified purchase on Amazon carry the most weight, but getting reviews can prove to be a challenge.

Let's dive into why this is and what we can do about it.

1. You are not sending out review copies.

Before a title lands on the bestseller list, hundreds of review copies are mailed out. The reason it takes a publisher a year or more to publish a book is because they'll typically spend 6 months sending out advance copies waiting for reviews. They knowing readers are not going to drop everything they are doing to read a new title that arrived in the mail, so you have to account for both queue time and reading time. This is why when we run an ARC Campaign, I explain to authors in advance that it may be 6 months before reviews arrive for titles we send out.

Important: Amazon gives heavier weight to 'verified purchase' reviews. Thus, I suggest gifting a Kindle edition to the reviewer so their review shows up as a verified purchase. Gifting your book to a reviewer does not violate any terms, but the reviewer should state in their review that they received a complimentary copy of the book.

2. Your reader is unfamiliar with the process of posting a review.

Use reviewer prompts. A well crafted form can help the reader build a review for your book. You can help guide the reviewer down the path of mentioning specific things that will help his/her review sell for you.

Point the reader to the review page for your book.

3. Your book doesn't resonate with the reader

If you are honest with yourself, you'll see that your ideas and opinons are not shared by everyone. If a reader loses interest in your book (or was never truly interested), encourage them to pass your book along to someone else.

Good reviews stem from putting your book in the hands of the right reader. Bad reviews stem from putting your book in the hands of the wrong reader.

I recently stayed at a hotel that had plenty of bad reviews. However, my experience was positive given what I wanted to get from my stay - location, quiet, and a great restaurant onsite. An opinion is heavily weighted on the expectations we go in with. Because of the poor reviews, I went in with low expectations. As a result, I was easily impressed.

When you oversell what you wrote, you run the risk of getting a bad review.

Here's a review worth reading:

Love this review!

Readers are directed to a website for a free copy of the PDF version. The website immediately directed me to a place to leave comments. I tried to find the PDF by venturing off the path, but ended up coming across a series of "on switch" tip videos. I was rather disappointed. The author is not a professional speaker and the content of the "on switches" is something that has been said before. When I first heard the term "on switch" it seemed like it would be something new and groundbreaking. "Choose success" is the first on switch, followed by "define success". That just seems like a no brainer. I tried to access all the on switch videos, but some had the same situation as when being redirected to the PDF version of the book - the audience is provoked to write a comment. At any rate, the website needs to be completed. The book also needs to be completed/formatted for Kindle. It is a sign of disrespect to charge any amount of money (currently 99 cents) for something that a person can't access without difficulty. It should be seamless and the kinks worked out before being released to the public. Really? You want your brand to say to the world (Amazon is global) that you don't care about your presentation and material?

I feel highly disrespected as an audience member. Authors need to have things in a state of completion. Something that I would have most likely highly praised (even though it is a repeat of ideas), gets my disdain and I will not be buying, downloading, or any other way investing my energy in this author or his products in the future. Sorry, but don't publish something until it's right. That doesn't mean you can't have any errors (although that would be ideal). However, have the respect for your audience to present your best self, applying the golden rule at the least. (Would you want to buy an ineffective medicine, tainted food, date a woman who is really a man?) Then don't charge for something that's not professional. Presentation is everything.