Friday, August 9, 2013

How To Get Good Reviews On Amazon

Critters at the Keybaord Reviews 
How To Get Good Reviews On Amazon: A Guide For Independent Authors & Sellers by Theo Rogers

Theo will be giving away a $100 Amazon gift card to one lucky commenter during the tour.  Leave a comment for a chance to win, the more stops you comment on, the more chances you have to win.

Theo Rogers

How To Get Good Reviews On Amazon is a simple, no-nonsense guide that teaches exactly what it says it does. Based on both psychological science and thousands of hours of conversation with some of Amazon’s top reviewers, it takes you behind the scenes into the reviewing subculture that has grown up on Amazon’s website. It gives you a deep, insider’s knowledge of how the top reviewers think and operate. It not only shows you what to do: it takes you inside the reviewers’ heads so that you can see for yourself both how these techniques work and why they’re so effective.

Lessons include:

·        A simple, four-part formula for writing emails that get your work reviewed.
·        Three things never to say when communicating with reviewers!
·        How to pick reviewers who are more likely to give you a good review.
·        How to reduce the chance that a reviewer you contact will post a bad review – even if it turns out they don’t like your work!
·        How people get caught out when receiving reviews from friends and family.

This book teaches an honest, straightforward approach that works. It works because it’s not based gimmicks or tricks but on a real understanding of how Amazon reviewers operate: most of all on what they expect from authors and other sellers. If you want to know how to talk to Amazon reviewers in a way that will make them respect you as a professional and see you as the kind of seller they actually want to help, this is the book for you. 

Enjoy this excerpt:

One of the most fundamental ideas in this booklet is that there’s a definite reviewing subculture that has grown up on Amazon’s website. Like any culture, it has its own particular values and mores: its own ideas about what’s right and what’s wrong. When we come to the issue of shill reviews, we collide headlong with the values of the reviewing culture. As you might expect, most reviewers see shills – and the sellers who use them – as very, very wrong.

Because this section is all about values, I think it’s important to stress that I’m writing here as your guide to Amazon’s reviewing subculture. I’m not writing as a missionary on its behalf.

Simply put, I believe that your journey through the Amazon Jungle will be smoother, easier, and more successful if along the way you’re respectful of the values of the natives who dwell there. For that reason, I’m going to lay out for you some of the more commonly held tenants: the basic beliefs that most of the natives would hold to. It’s not for me to tell you whether you should embrace these values to the core of your being and make them your own. I’m just telling you that as a matter of pure pragmatism, you are going to make trouble for yourself if you ignore them.

My thoughts: 

Every writer wants one thing, to sell books.  In order to sell books you have to market, and you have to have followers, and to gain followers you have to have good reviews. To me this always feels like those signs in the window that say Help Wanted, experienced staff only.

How To Get Good Reviews On Amazon: A Guide For Independent Authors & Sellers by Theo Rogers, is the experience needed in a short quick read, to give an author new to the game much needed advice in the world of reviews and reviewers.  Written essay style, it is straight up advice, but not told in a boring dry account.  The advice sticks with you, and makes sense. He explains clearly why getting those “5 star” reviews from friends and family aren’t good for you.

I did find the advice on how to score a review very interesting as it seems many reviewers base their reviews on the alignment of the stars. I never thought of the reviewers on Amazon as a reviewer culture until I read this book.

This book is for those new to the publishing and reviewing world.  It offers advice that many new authors and reviewers need to both get and give meaningful reviews.  My only quibble with it is that it focused on getting reviews from the reviewer culture on Amazon, and this reader would have liked to know how to get reviews from readers, not just the “professional” reviewers.

4 stars for a helpful informative book.


Theo Rogers combines years of coalface experience on Amazon's website with formal training and qualifications in a range of business and social science disciplines. He's spent literally thousands of hours talking with Amazon reviewers, getting inside their heads, and learning what makes them tick. He's spent almost as many hours observing the carnage that so often takes place on Amazon's forums. In the process he's developed a deep insider's knowledge of the reviewing subculture that's grown up on Amazon's website.

He's also seen a lot of authors and other would-be sellers make the same mistakes in their dealings with that subculture - over and over again.

As a result of his experiences, Theo has come to believe that yes, there is a simple formula that works: a way of dealing with reviewers that's honest, powerful, and extremely effective at winning reviewers over, getting them on your side, and making them actually want to help you.


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  1. I just wanted to drop by to thank you for featuring my book on your blog, and most especially for taking the time to read and review it.

    I have thought about your quibble. I suppose my response would be that having spent many, many hours immersed in the Amazon reviewing subculture, I know a lot about it and feel in a position to give advice on how to deal with it. It's also worth taking into account that some folks who have studied Amazon believe that reviews from active, highly ranked reviewers will benefit you more with Amazon's own internal search engine. Although to be clear, I don't myself claim to know if that is true or not.

    As for reviews from regular readers... Jeez, I dunno. I suppose the honest truth there is that I'm not quite ready to claim to be an expert on that!

    Perhaps there's an opportunity there for you to write your own book?

  2. Amazon, thank you.


  3. P.S. Quibbles aside, thank you for all the nice things you said! :-)

  4. Let me know what sites you want the review posted on. I did find hte book very informative, and I am recommending it to the authors I work with.

  5. Thanks! It's now on all Amazon's websites (,,, etc.). I'm not yet on Goodreads, but plan to be so within the next week. If you could post it on, plus as many of Amazon's other sites as you feel up to, that would help a lot! :-D

    Plus, I hope you'll keep an eye out for me on Goodreads!

  6. Just saw your review go up on Amazon. Thanks!