This is an actual conversation we once had with an author.
My novel isn’t selling.
That’s because you have two reviews and one is a one-star tirade about how bad your editing is. Would you buy your book?
It’s Amazon. Amazon is hiding my royalties.
Doubt it but would be a cool book idea.
This is a real problem with indie authors. Any time you publish a new book, we believe that Amazon will give you a little traffic right off the bat to see if your book will float or not. This traffic isn’t going to convert into book sales if you don’t have any reviews. Your book is like a restaurant.
Them “Welcome to our fine dining establishment! Would you like to order seafood?”
Contrast this with a full restaurant. You trust it more. You might even order lobster instead of tap water. The Kindle store isn’t much different, but on a more subconscious level.
How many reviews do I need to sell books on Amazon?
5-10 is a good starting place to actually make some conversions. 100+ is when you really start crushing the sales. Advertising converts less if you don’t have at least 10 reviews.
How do I get Amazon reviews for my book?
- Fans/Friends- Big authors call them fans, small authors call them friends. This is perfectly acceptable and is exactly how big publishers get reviews up on launch day. Chances are there are a few people in your life who are excited about your work and won’t mind sharing their opinion on Amazon. What is not acceptable, and what will get you in trouble is author review swaps on Facebook, buying reviews on Fiverr, and fake reviews in general.
- Goodreads Giveaways- They work. In our experience about 30-40 percent of people who you give away physical copies to will write reviews. For the new ebook option, we will see, but if it’s over 15 percent the program is an unqualified win.
- Outreach- Emailing top reviewers, bloggers, etc. Worth a shot but not plan-A.
- R&R services. The way some of these services are advertised, you are lighting your money on fire. Others are pretty effective. Do your homework!
- Free days and promos- Move a bunch of free copies of your book, and you’ll get some love in return. Here’s a great list of book promotion services. https://blog.reedsy.com/book-promotion-services/
- Organically. You’ll average a review for every 100 sales you make to the general public, and one review for every 600 to 1000 free downloads you drive.
Good luck out there, and happy hunting!