how to get book reviews for kdp

How to Get Book Reviews for KDP

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Would you like to know how to easily get book reviews for Kindle Direct Publishing and not go broke in the process? After all, getting reviews for your book should be an integral part of your author business, but you shouldn’t go into serious debt while doing it.

According to the Amazon Advertising Certification Courses, 91% of shoppers read product reviews and those reviews influence their buying decision. Furthermore, they stated that for a product to be retail-ready, it should have at least 15 reviews with an average rating of 3.5 stars or greater.

amazon ads certification courses about reviews
Credit: Amazon Advertising Certification Course

Why Should Authors Get Book Reviews for KDP?

Getting reviews for books is important for several reasons:

  1. Social Proof: Reviews provide social proof that the book is worth reading. Positive reviews from readers can influence potential readers to give the book a chance.
  2. Credibility and Trust: Reviews help to build credibility and trust in the author and their work. When readers see others have enjoyed the book and found value in it, they’re more likely to trust the quality of the book and the author’s expertise.
  3. Validation and Feedback: Reviews provide validation for the author. Positive reviews indicate the author’s work is resonating with readers and meeting their expectations. Reviews can also provide valuable feedback for the author, highlighting what readers liked or didn’t like about the book, which can inform future publications.
  4. Increased Visibility: Books with a higher number of reviews are more likely to be recommended by online platforms and retailers. Reviews help to increase the visibility of the book, making it more likely to be discovered by potential readers.
  5. Marketing and Promotion: Reviews serve as a form of free marketing and promotion. Authors can leverage positive reviews in their book marketing efforts, including using them in book descriptions, promotional materials, and social media campaigns.

Overall, reviews play a crucial role in the success of a book by influencing readers’ decisions, building trust, providing feedback, boosting visibility, and supporting your marketing efforts.

Let’s cover five of the best, most cost-effective ways to get reviews for your books on Amazon.

5 Ways to Get Book Reviews for KDP

#1 Back Matter

Right after “The End” or the conclusion to your book, request a review. Keep it simple and neutral as possible. Something like:

Now that you finished reading this book, it’d mean the world to me if you left your honest thoughts about it on Amazon.

Here’s where you can really take it to the next level. Create a review-specific link through Amazon using this link, followed by the ASIN of your book:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product-review/INSERT ASIN HERE

As an example, if I wanted readers to leave a review for my latest publication, How to Write a Book in 48 Hours, it’d be this:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product-review/B0CNNDLFC5

For other regions, switch the .com for the top-level domain (i.e., .co.uk, .ca and so on). The less friction you create for readers, the more likely they are to leave a review or, at the very least, provide a universal book link and you could rephrase the request to say:

Now that you finished reading this book, it’d mean the world to me if you left your honest thoughts about it on your preferred retail platform.

Side note: Create a free universal book link with Books2Read.com. The service will create a link that provides all the retail options and guide visitors to their region-specific marketplace.

#2 Email Newsletter

An email list is crucial for indie authors because it provides a direct and personal way to connect with their readers. The email marketing service you use doesn’t matter, so long as you’re actively gathering your readers in one place and directly communicating with them.

You request review from quite a few angles, but for the sake of brevity, let’s focus on two ways.

Every good email marketing service comes with automation—where you write a series of emails that trickle out to subscribers over a specific period of time. Personally, I wouldn’t lead with asking for a book review since new subscribers are just getting to know me. Instead, I’d opt to send a review request at least a few weeks into an automation sequence. By then, the subscriber should have been active and engaging in my emails.

Start by showcasing a snippet of a review—be it good or bad—then going for the ask. It doesn’t need to be fancy and like mentioned before, keep it neutral. You don’t want to seem like you’re leading your readers to leave a positive review. Amazon gets a little testy about coercing readers to leave positive reviews.

The best way, by far, is to assemble an advanced reader copy team—also known as an ARC team. Send a request to all subscribers that you’re looking for readers willing to read your book in exchange for a review on launch day.

In my five-time award-winning book, Amazon Reviews for Books, I shared how you should give your readers enough time to complete the book before launch. Think about how long it would take the average reader to complete your book, then send out a request for ARC readers a few days ahead of that budgeted time.

Let’s say I have a 30,000-word manuscript. Generally, it’ll take readers about two to four weeks to read. So, I’ll send out a request for ARC readers about a month or so before launch. Once launch day comes, cue up your ARC team to leave a review and you should see a fair amount of reviews pouring in.

Give it the rule of thirds. At least 30% of your readers will leave a review, so if you’re looking for fifteen reviews on launch day, you’ll want to have forty-five readers. If you want to scale beyond that, go for it!

#3 Editorial Reviews

Editorial reviews are expert evaluations of books that provide credibility and help readers make informed decisions. These types of reviews aren’t posted directly on Amazon, but can go a long way when you’re marketing your book anywhere online.

When is the best time to get editorial reviews? Usually ahead of launching your book, but don’t let that stop you from gathering them post-launch.

Just a quick note—you can take those editorial reviews and post them on your book through Amazon Author Central. Simply find the book in your dashboard, hit edit, then insert the review and credit the source.

Sadly, not all editorial reviews come on the cheap. Places like Kirkus or Clarion cost upwards of $500 or more. Other places like Reader’s Favorite provide a free editorial review, though they’ll try to upsell you on their other services. To me, that’s not a big deal. It costs nothing for me to say “no.”

get book reviews from Kirkus
Kirkus Book Reviews come at a higher premium.

However, what if you’re working on a limited budget and want to get as many editorial reviews as possible?

My preferred marketing tool, Storiad, has you covered. With over 40,000 contacts in their database, authors have access to all sorts of marketing needs.

how to get book reviews for kdp
Storiad’s Contact Database

I simply hit the dropdown for Contact type and sort through the list of options. Or, I can type “review” and Storiad presents me with a host of options including:

  • Blogger/Reviewers
  • Book Review Blogs
  • Book Review Sites
  • Book Reviewers
  • Free Book Reviews
  • And so much more

I’ll select “Bloggers/Reviewers” and can circle back around to the other options. Also, I could narrow it down even further by entering a keyword, but for now, I’ll do some sifting. I hit the “Find” button, and Storiad presents me with options.

Now, I have a little work ahead of me. Though it’s tempting to blindly contact everyone on this list, I’ll avoid it because I don’t want to come off as spammy. Every contact has their name, site name, brief bio, and relevant contact info including the website, email, and sometimes contact form. I simply have to visit each site to see what works and what doesn’t for what I need.

get book reviews with storiad
Storiad’s Contact Database info

Yes, this will require some upfront work, but I won’t have to sift again when I look for potential reviewers of any future publications. I can hit the plus symbol to add it to a list within my contacts, I can create a new list or add it to any current lists I have. Once I’m done, I hit “Save to List.”

I’ll repeat this process until I have a rather sizeable list. It’s up to you on how many contacts you want to sort out. I’m sure Storiad is constantly sourcing new contacts for their database, so when I return later, that number could be higher.

Side note: If I have book reviewers I’ve already established a relationship with, I can import them to Storiad. Then, when I send out a review request, I can handle everyone in one fell swoop.

My work isn’t quite done yet, because now I have to email my contacts. I’ll visit the Email Outbox tab in the Contacts Database, then hit “New Email Outreach.”

get book reviews with storiad for kdp
Storiad’s Email Outbox in the Contacts Database

At this point, I can select the list I filled up and the book I’m looking to get reviews on, then hit “Next.”

Storiad has a variety of email templates to choose from, but I can also fill it in myself. Of course, I add an enticing subject, then hit “Next.”

Now, here’s the cool part! I can personalize each email based on the contact. It’s a good idea to put a personal touch on each email, so don’t rush this step. When I’m all set, I hit send and sit back and wait for reviewers to contact me.

My sponsors, AppSumo, have a limited time deal of Storiad for only $59! And, that’s lifetime access. Normally, Storiad costs $29 per month or $280 for lifetime access. The AppSumo deal is about the same cost as two months with Storiad and 79% less than Storiad’s lifetime access.

Get your hands on my preferred marketing tool, Storiad, when you visit my affiliate link at DaleLinks.com/Storiad. Get it now before this deal goes away forever!

#4 Social Media

Social media is another fantastic resource for getting reviews. Of course, Storiad has contacts for social media platforms like Twitter or YouTube. Feel free to follow the same steps as listed in the previous option for review gathering.

For social media, you could simply promote your book and ask for the review, but it might not attract as many readers and reviewers as you’d like. So, let your already established editorial reviews or current reviews do the heavy lifting.

You can make a simple graphic through Book Brush or Canva with your book cover and a snippet of a review. Then, create a call-to-action as simple as:

Have you read this book? If so, do you agree with this review? Drop a rating or review on Amazon at [INSERT LINK HERE].

In an interview with famous video creator and comedian Brad Gosse, I learned he leans on his one-star reviews to sell more books and gather even more reviews from his devoted fans. Reviews reveal precisely what some people like or dislike, so holding back those low reviews is sometimes not a good idea. The old adage of “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure” holds true for reviews. So, tell the world precisely what other readers think.

You get bonus points if you become a viral TikTok or YouTube star by sharing your low reviews in a video like Brad does.

#5 Website

Much like social media, you’d think this option would be a given, but quite a few authors miss the opportunity to ask for a review.

Hey, remember Storiad? With their author website feature, they automatically bake in a review request feature. When visitors click the request a review copy, the site redirects them to their email account. All they have to do is include their name and contact details, then it’s up to you on who you gets a review copy.

get more book reviews on kdp
Storiad’s Author Website features a request for reviews.

In the event you don’t like that feature, you can always edit it or put your own spin on the feature. Don’t overthink it. All you have to do is simply ask!

And, Storiad also provides a landing page for every book you upload. You can include a review copy link. For that feature, I can use a review copy link from StoryOrigin or BookFunnel. Then, when visitors check out my book’s landing page, they’ll have the option to get a review copy.

Final Thoughts

Instead of me bloviating anymore about how sweet of a marketing tool Storiad is, why don’t you check out my full review video of it below. You’ll discover that the Contacts Database and Author Website are only two of the many features this service offers. I’ll see you there!

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