If you’re a writer with a book on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or any book seller, then I feel ya. You have all these friends and family (ehem, are you listening parents?) who have read your books and stories, talk about your writing to strangers in the Target checkout line, and will even gloat about you to their 127 Facebook friends. But, do they leave an Amazon review? Not a chance.
This blog post was actually prompted by a discussion with my mom, who for years I have been subtly – and not so subtly – to start leaving reviews for my books and stories. I know she reads them because she sends me a list of “issues” she’s found in my writing. I also, know she reads my blog, so I am expecting a phone call this afternoon – maybe sooner, she is locked up in her house and doesn’t sleep.
A couple weeks ago her and I were on the phone and I asked if she was going to leave a review on Amazon, and I told her which books and stories I am trying to build reviews on:
The Dark Wood short stories (The Dark Wood and Kneedrop) because those short stories supplement the Dark Wood fantasy book series which starts release in 2021, and The Treasure at Devil’s Hole because that is also going to be released as part of a book series in late 2020.
Mom told me that she wanted to and tried, but couldn’t figure out how to leave an Amazon review. So, I asked her to pull up one of the books on her Kindle App. She did. I asked her to scroll to the last page of the book. She did.
“Oh, there it is!” she said, “at the end of the book.
To be fair, I didn’t know this feature existed in my Kindle Apps either. But, if you scroll to the end of any of your books you’ll recieve a pop-up from Kindle asking if you would like to rate or leave a book review.
Our conversation has me thinking about book reviews and why people don’t leave them when you know the books are being sold. The couple reasons I came up with are:
- The book has been sold but not read yet
- Readers often don’t leave reviews unless they love or hate something, and books are often in the “meh” category.
- Readers don’t understand or care how important reviews are: good and bad.
- Readers don’t know how to leave an Amazon book review.
While I am a full-time writer, most books I write for myself are more for fun. My income comes from writing books for other people. Ideally in the next couple years that changes a little. So, as I progress into focusing on my own books, reviews are going to become more important to me than they’ve been in the past.
So, you – I’m pointing at you Ma – and everyone else who reads, please don’t forget the importance of leaving a book review on Amazon. I tend to publish several short stories too and they enjoy reviews as well.
- Help writers understand what you enjoy as well as your critical thoughts on a book.
- Help other consumers decide if they want to buy a book or move on.
- Book reviews, even short ones, help lift books in search engine algorithms, meaning more potential buyers will see the book.
- Reviews make me feel good.
How do I write an Amazon Book Review?
To leave a book review from your Kindle App, scroll to the end of your book in the app, and you should recieve a request to leave a book review on Amazon and Goodreads. One review will post to both.
Writing a review from the Amazon webpage is easy too. Just go to the book’s Amazon page and, under the heading Customer Reviews, you will see a button for write a customer review. Click on that and you will be taken to a page set up for ‘Your Reviews’ where you can write reviews for your purchases.
What you do is:
- Select the rating of the book from 1-5 stars, with 5 being the best score.
- Write your book description in the box provided.
- Create a headline for the review.
- Hit submit. Your review will go live within a couple of hours, although it could take up to 24 hours.
One point to note here is that, with Amazon’s policy for posting reviews, you have to have an account that has made a purchase of at least $50 using a valid credit or debit card.
I hope this helps. Leaving reviews are a great way to help writers learn what readers want and to promote books and short stories, If you leave reviews, I thank you and my clients thank you.
And Mom, I’m sure we;ll speak later today after I put you on the spot:)
I am a full-time freelance writer specializing in books, though I also write blogs, web-content, and handle several other types of projects. To see what I offer visit my rates page or contact me with specific queries and questions. I’m also available to help mentor you through your first book. I’d love to work with you, and if you know anyone else looking for a writer I offer a generous referral fee.
Curious which books and short stories I am currently seeking reviews, click on any of the links on the covers below. You can check out a full list of books and short stories on my author page. Don’t forget to follow me for updates on new books.