Are You Following the Rules?

Authors hate negative reviews of their books. Criticism is hard to swallow, especially when we feel it is not deserved.

authors hate negative reviews

Since reviews are simply opinions, some authors choose to not read reviews. What they don’t read can’t hurt their feelings.

Other authors tend to get their undies in a bunch over negative reviews. They want reviewers to change their opinions. These authors tend to be concerned that a few negative reviews will ruin their sales.

In an effort to get their book to “look better” these authors will ask readers to make their review nicer. Whether the author does this in a polite or rude manner, reviewers can end up feeling threatened.

I recently stumbled across this tweet on Twitter:

tweet on book review

This reader was seriously concerned. In fact, she was so worried, that she ended up deleting her review.

Authors, do not forget that you are influential simply because you have penned a book. This influence is a sacred privilege. Don’t abuse it.

In fact, Goodreads recognizes that authors wield a tremendous amount of influence. The community’s Author Guidelines state:

 

  • Don’t engage with people who negatively rate or review your books.We cannot stress this enough. Goodreads is a community for all readers to express their honest opinions about the books they choose to read and shelve. Engaging with people who don’t like your book will not win you any new readers. Remember that Goodreads is a public space; other readers will see a reaction from the author and interpret it as hostile regardless of how carefully the response was crafted.
    • If you feel a review is in violation of our Review Guidelines, please flag it to our team’s attention rather than responding. To flag, click the gray flag icon next to the content in question and follow the prompts.
    • Remember that not every reader will love your book. It is unrealistic to expect that your book will only get four and five star reviews. Bestselling authors get one star reviews too.

Goodreads also posts the following note on their website:

Goodreads policy

If you are an author who gets upset over negative reviews, I suggest that you follow Goodreads guidelines for authors—not just for reviews on Goodreads—but also for reviews on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online stores that sell your book.

Christian authors, I urge you to never forget who is in charge of your book reaching the people who need its message the most. If God has called you to write and publish your book, then He is responsible for helping those individuals who need your book’s message to buy it in spite of a few negative reviews mixed in with the positive ones.

Related Posts:
One Technique for Requesting Book Reviews
Book Reviews Are Social Proof
Easy Ways to Get More Book Reviews

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Photo courtesy of Sebastian Herrmann.

One Technique for Requesting Book Reviews

“Dozens of good book reviews are a must if you want to sell print books or ebooks and create mountains of publicity.”  ~Joan Stuart, Publicity Expert

Book reviews help sell books. This is why I frequently talk about the importance of book reviews in marketing a book.

How to Ask Readers to Review Your Book

One technique to acquire more book reviews is to ask your readers to review your book. You can do this by including a plea in your email newsletter that you send out to your subscribers (those people who have signed up on your website to receive your content).

I recently received the following request from an author in my email box. It is a plea for his readers to write a review of his book on Amazon.

I am sharing it with you as a sample of what asking for reviews in your email newsletter might look like.


Dear Email Subscriber Name:

If you have a few minutes, I am asking for a favor. 

Book reviews on Amazon are important for many reasons including:

  1. They help potential buyers make their decision to buy a book based on the words of a reader. It is not just the number of stars that are given but the description of some of the content of the book.
  2. They help the authors to know how their book was understood and received which will improve the writing of their next book.
  3. Amazon uses the reviews and the number of reviews in their algorithm which they use to market books. The more good reviews a book has, the more Amazon will promote the book and show it more often to potential buyers.

Now the favor! There are currently 10 reviews on my book “name of book” I know many more have read it.

I need at least double that number of reviews.

If you have read my book and have not yet written a review, I am asking you to write a review now. Just a simple sentence or two in your own words is fine.

It will take less time than it has taken you to read this email. 

Just click this link to leave a review (Amazon.com link to book’s page).

If you want to leave a review and have any problem, email me and I will try to solve the problem.

Thanks in advance!

~Author name


If you need more reviews for your books, ask your email subscribers as this author did. People like to help others out. If you let your readers know that writing a review helps you out, they will be more willing to do so.

Did you know that book readers cannot post a review on Amazon.com unless they have an Amazon account and have spent at least $50 on Amazon? You can read more about Amazon’s rules for posting reviews on the retail website.

Related Posts:
Book Reviews Are Social Proof
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Are You Asking?

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Photo courtesy of JESHOOTS.

Book Review Scare

Reviews drive sales of books. According to one analysis of online recommendation systems: “Review systems have casual and positive effects on sales; to nobody’s surprise, books with more and better reviews are shown to sell better.”

Readers do look for reviews written by other reader to help determine whether a book is worth buying. Therefore, good reviews drive more book sales.

book-review-thumbnail

Recently, Amazon put out an update on Customers Reviews on their website. In the update, Amazon stated, “Today, we updated the community guidelines to prohibit incentivized reviews unless they are facilitated through the Amazon Vine program.”

Incentivized reviews refer to products given for free in exchange for a review.

Of course, this update scared a number of authors. Does this mean that authors can no longer give out free books in exchange for a review on Amazon?

Fortunately, at the end of their announcement, Amazon wrote, “The above changes will apply to product categories other than books. We will continue to allow the age-old practice of providing advance review copies of books.”

So, take a deep breath. Book reviews resulting from a complimentary copy of your book on Amazon are still safe.

As an author, you need multiple reviews to drive book sales. The more reviews your book has on Amazon, the bigger and better it looks to consumers. If you are struggling to secure reviews for your book or just want to learn some tips for getting more reviews, check out my new on-demand seminar Book Reviews: Tips for Getting More Reviews.

This one hour on-demand seminar covers the importance of book reviews, how to ask readers for reviews, how to find bloggers to review your books, how to secure more online book reviews, and how to respond to reviews. You can view this on-demand seminar for just $25 at http://www.marketingchristianbooksinc.com/university.

As always, members of Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA) have free access to this on-demand seminar on CSPA’s website at http://www.christianpublishers.net/mcbuniversity.

Learn how to get more reviews for your books. More reviews can help you sell more books.

Related Posts:
Easy Ways to Get More Book Reviews
Thoughts on Book Reviews
Are Reviews Really Important?

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