The number of Five Star reviews can make or break a Kindle or any product on Amazon.
This is what people usually do to get reviews:
- bother or cajole their friends and family
- beg their email subscribers
- engage in “review swaps”
There are several problems with the above: they are time consuming, make you look a little desperate and, above all, you are asking for favors that you will eventually have to repay.
But there is one way of getting reviews that will always work. It isn’t time consuming, doesn’t make you look desperate and helps you create a better product.
Engage a tribe of raving fans
Hey, stop rolling your eyes! You can do this, it sounds difficult but it’s very easy. You are doing this already.
We all have tribes online. You communicate daily with people you “know” by email, updates, forum posts, blogging, email marketing and various other social platforms. Maybe you’re not doing all of the above, but you have a tribe and it’s growing.
Tell everyone about your book before you start writing it
Marketing used to have to wait until a product was born but now it starts before conception.
As soon as you get the idea of the book, start telling people about it. Share it with others every step along the way.
I’ve starting to write a book about … what do you think of this topic?
People will immediately identify with the project. Imagine how you’d feel if an artist you admired asked for your thoughts on their latest work?
Keep the tribe engage during every stage of the creative process
How do you get people interested? Ask them questions about it.
- Publish quotes of passages from the new book and ask people what they think
- Show a synopsis or list of chapters and ask people what they think
- Show the book’s cover – show two options and ask people what they think
- Present the working title of the book and ask people what they think
A great Facebook group for advice (but not for self promotion) is Pat’s First Kindle Book (From Start to Finish). There’s an easy-to-remember redirect for this group: Pats1stbook.com. I regularly ask this group for advice:
Look at that for engagement – 10 Likes and 77 Comments!
Ask these questions everywhere. Listen to the answers and act upon them. And, if someone has given you advice that you have acted upon, tell them that you have incorporated their suggestion.
Send FREE copies of the book days before publishing
Before the text is finalised, send either Word documents or PDFs of the book to the most engaged members of your audience (as well as some influencers) and ask for yet more feedback.
Some of them won’t have time to read it but they’ll be flattered you asked their opinion. Some of them will read and make comments and suggestion. Again, this feedback will often be very useful. Act upon it. Tell them how much you value their opinions and thank them.
After publishing on Amazon, I usually schedule a five day free promotion period which only available on KDP Select.
Send FREE copies of the book during the KDP Select free promotion
Again, these emails and books will go out to most engaged members of your audience (as well as some influencers). Send the PDF version you make for CreateSpace (Amazon’s paperback print-on-demand service) which will look quite nice and will be easy to read. Here is the text of the email I send:
It just occurred to me that you may be interested in my new Amazon booklet. If you get round to reading it, I would love to hear what you think and I would love, love, love if you left a review.
This is the most crucial period in the publishing cycle of your new book. Now is the time to ask for reviews. Because you’re asking a group of people who’ve already been consulted and have contributed to the project, they are much more likely to leave a (Five Star) review.
It’s all about getting people to identify with your project
How do you get people on your side? Ask them for advice and act upon it. Everybody wants to be listened to.Everybody wants to have a positive impact. Everybody wants to be loved.
Show people love by valuing their input and then you don’t have to ask to get some love back.
You can do it now!
Share an idea you have on social media or with your audience. Look at who responds and engage with them. They are your evangelists.