After I began blogging, I started hearing about how important it is for authors to have their books reviewed on Amazon, so I decided that each Tuesday I would set aside some time to copy all my reviews from the week (or from ARCs that I’d previously reviewed that were releasing that day) and post them to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Edelweiss, etc.
But the thing is, I didn’t understand WHY I was doing that. So I reached out to my friend Shaila Patel, whose debut novel Soulmated came out earlier this year. And I’m so glad I did! Shaila did an amazing job explaining how posting reviews can be mutually beneficial for both the author and the reviewer.
Check out all the wonderful information she shared with me below and don’t forget to enter to win the amazing Soulmated prize pack!
Why Book Bloggers Shouldn’t Forget About Posting on Amazon
*Guest post by Shaila Patel*
Publishing is a business, and if you think about it, so is blogging about books. Whether you volunteer or you generate income from your blog, the goal is the same: to share your passion with the world.
Authors like me want the same thing—to reach out to as many readers as possible. Obviously, that’s where you come in, but how does helping authors help you? (Aside from getting to fall in love with great books?)
In any business (yours included) there’s a Return on Investment. That’s just a fancy way of describing what you get back for the time or money you’ve invested. (And if you’re getting really fancy, you can call it an ROI. Lol!)
Authors and/or publishers want to know what and how much they’re getting when they approve bloggers for ARCs, give away free books after the release, or consent to writing guest posts or being interviewed. They have to know if there’s a return on their investment. To increase your value in their eyes—and hence get more freebies, more access, and even more followers—you need to show you can reach the readers. Make them believe you’re a sure bet, and you’ll likely be forging a very fruitful relationship. That’s your return on your investment.
Bottom line: you get more attention when you help the publisher and author sell more books.
And who sells the most books online: Amazon.
Every retailer is an important source of sales for authors, but since Amazon sells the largest share online, your review there is potentially more influential—it also draws more visibility to you and your blog. (How? Hang tight. I’m getting to that, I promise!)
So here are four reasons copying your review from your blog onto Amazon is important:
- Because reviews matter.
Say you love, love, love a debut book, and your review is two thousand words of gushing praise for this sure-to-be bestseller. If it’s sure to be a bestseller, why did you bother with the review? Won’t everyone figure it out on their own? No matter your answer, the very fact your review exists validates this first reason: REVIEWS MATTER.
Readers look at reviews. They trust reviews. They expect reviews. If you came across a debut novel that had none and didn’t have anything else to recommend it (starred trade reviews, contest wins, blurbs by famous authors, or terrific best-seller rankings), would you take a risk on that book?
Most would move on.
Even if the book had a few reviews, who knows? Maybe they were written by the author’s parents, best friend, or a spouse. Hardly influential.
Lending your voice—whether you have a big following or not—gives the book some Amazon street cred. Encourage your fellow blogger-friends who also love the book to do the same, and now your lone voice is part of a team of fans. While you’re at it, share your review on other retail sites as well. Authors will love you for it!
And, by the way, you don’t have to buy the book from Amazon to leave a review there.
- To negate the negative review.
Some reviews will sting. If you’re entitled to hate a book, so are others. It’s the nature of creating art.
But if you like the book, why not give an alternative point of view where potential shoppers are browsing? Consumers are not mindless lemmings. Most know that every “business” will have a bad review here or there. But if that’s all it has, you’re less likely to buy—I know I am. What authors hope for is that readers will be influenced by what the majority of reviewers say.
Don’t let that one bad review derail your favorite author!
- To help authors increase visibility.
While no one really knows how Amazon’s super-secret, mathematical ranking system works, the internet loves to tell us that more reviews equate to better rankings on Amazon. And better rankings mean more visibility while readers are shopping.
It seems plausible. Amazon is out to make money, after all, and will capitalize on any sort of proof that your book is doing well.
More reviews and better rankings could also mean that Amazon will add that book to their “Customers also bought” suggestions on other popular books (cross-promoting), their targeted emails based on browsing and purchasing history (direct sales), or readers’ search results when they look for a specific type of book (search engine optimization).
Basically, anywhere on Amazon where a choice has to be made, their computers have to use math <shudders> to make it. It’s the only objective way Amazon can prove a book is worth promoting. No matter how they do it—or how we speculate they do it—numbers matter.
- To give authors credibility outside of Amazon.
Have you heard of promotional companies like BookBub? They have millions of subscribers who are looking for deals on books, and to be able to apply for an ad with them, one of the things they look at is the number of reviews you have on…wait for it…Amazon. Why? Because it means people have actually read your book. Why else would BookBub risk their reach to hundreds of thousands of readers for books that aren’t popular? (Psst…that’s a return on investment thing!)
So how does leveraging Amazon to benefit your favorite author help increase your visibility?
- As an Amazon reviewer, you can create a profile page with all your information. Just log in to Amazon, go to “Your Account,” find “Ordering and shopping preferences,” and click on “Profile.”
If you spend a little time to copy and paste all your reviews onto Amazon, your “Reviewer Ranking” (remember the math?) is sure to go up. That means, when companies are looking for Top Reviewers to send free stuff to, you’re more likely to catch their notice.
If you click the hyperlinked name of any reviewer of a book, you can check out their profile too. Here’s a snapshot of Krysti’s:
Notice the “About” section? That’s where you’ll add your blog, your social media links, and even your email, if you want. Shoppers can even follow your reviews! You can change the public name of your account to increase your blog’s visibility too. Notice how Krysti’s profile name is YAandWine? That’s what appears by her review of any book.
Also, get your followers to “Like” your reviews. It ensures that it stays near the top of Amazon’s placement under the book’s “Top Customer Reviews” section. Your review could be one of the first ones people read. Imagine the exposure your blog could get for a bestselling book!
- Reviews on Amazon offer authors wonderful sources for quotes to use on social media teasers, on their website, and on advertising. Here’s a snippet I’ve used from Krysti’s review of my novel, Soulmated:
“Liam is quite frankly the most charming character that I’ve read in a while, which is saying something, since as a book blogger, I read A LOT. I dare anyone to read this book and not fall head-over-heels for my new Irish book bae. He has set new standards for book boyfriends. Watch out Mr. Darcy!” — Krysti at YA and Wine
(Thanks again, Krysti!) Sorry…shameless plug. Lol! But do you see what I mean? I’ve seen review quotes on swag, publisher’s websites, in the book description on retail sites, and in the front-matter of printed books. Imagine the exposure!
I know what you’re thinking…will authors quote your review if they’re elsewhere? Of course, but why traipse around the internet when you can get them all from Amazon? Next to Goodreads, it will probably hold the biggest collection of reviews all in one spot.
And this brings me to my last point.
- Love the author? Wouldn’t you like to make it easier for them to find you when their next book comes out? If your review is only posted on your website, it’s an extra step for them to consult a list of positive reviewers (if they even made one!) to contact. The quickest and easiest would be to go to Amazon and contact those reviewers directly. And if you get your followers to like your reviews, Amazon will place them higher up, making them all the more easier to spot.
Helping authors achieve the visibility they need to sell more books helps expand your reach too. It’s a win-win for both sides of the business equation, and one that helps you create a productive, long-lasting relationship with some of your favorite authors.
(Okay, let’s get fancy.) And that’s good for your ROI and mine! 😉
I’d love to hear from you. If you’re a blogger, tell me where you post your reviews and how you promote them. If you’re an author, are there other reasons for bloggers to post on Amazon that I’ve missed? Where else would you love to see their reviews go up?
Happy Reading! <3
Enter the Giveaway
Click on the link below to enter to win everything pictured, including:
- One copy of Soulmated by Shaila Patel
- Whelan Crest Mug
- Irish Breakfast and Chai Tea Bags
- Signed Book Plate
Must have a U.S. mailing address to enter. Open through midnight on 08/01/17!
All eighteen-year-old Liam Whelan—an Irish royal empath—wants to do is stop the frustrating search for the elusive girl destined to be his soul mate. The rare union will cement his family’s standing in empath politics and give the couple legendary powers, painting a bullseye on Liam’s back—and hers.
All Indian-American Laxshmi Kapadia wants is to free herself from her traditional mother’s ultimatum: graduate from high school early and go to medical school, or have her marriage arranged. Neither allow her to pursue her dreams of a career in dancing or of falling in love.
When Liam moves in next door to Laxshmi—a non-empath, he’s immediately drawn to the purity of her emotions, and she sees in this charming Irish boy a future with the freedom to follow her heart. But Liam’s father will never consent if she’s not The One. And Laxshmi’s mom won’t even let her talk to their handsome new neighbor. But hiding their relationship can’t keep them from becoming targets of dark and ancient group determined to destroy the soulmated.
What will these two risk to choose their own fate?
About Shaila Patel
As an unabashed lover of all things happily-ever-after, Shaila Patel’s younger self would finish reading her copy of Cinderella and fling it across the room because it didn’t mention what happened next. Now she writes from her home in the Carolinas and dreams up all sorts of stories with epilogues. A member of the Romance Writers of America, she’s a pharmacist by training, a medical office manager by day, and a writer by night. Soulmated is her debut novel and the winner of the 2015 Chanticleer Book Reviews Paranormal Awards for Young Adult. She loves books, craft beer, tea, and cozy window seats—but she’ll read anywhere. You might find her sneaking in a few paragraphs at a red light or online gushing about her favorite books.
Agent Amanda Leuck of Spencerhill Associates
So there you have it! This is why it’s important to post those reviews to retail websites, particularly Amazon! Do you make a habit of posting your reviews? What sites do you post your reviews on?