Typically independent freelance book authors & self-publishers have a difficult time competing for “shelf-space” with the big book publishing companies on Amazon.com. We can all agree that Amazon has made self-publishing a viable income generator for self-published authors and publishers, but getting your book to show up high enough in the search results on Amazon is often far more difficult than actually writing the book was.
The other big problem for authors and self-publishers is that even if a prospective book buyer finds your book on Amazon, they may be a bit timid about buying a book that no (or very few) people have been so inspired by, as to write a good review for it. This might be tough to swallow, but that’s actually not the worst scenario. The worst scenario is that someone did take the time to write a review for your self-published book, but they gave it a one-star rating. I can tell you with no reservations whatsoever that having a negative review is far worse than having no reviews at all.
No one knows the credentials of the person that gives your book a negative review on Amazon because he can be completely anonymous. He doesn’t have to reveal his credentials. He doesn’t even have to prove that he actually even read your book. This is exactly the point; if this one guy doesn’t like your book, that’s fine. You obviously can’t please everyone, but his one negative review of your book on Amazon can stop all your sales if it’s the only review you have!
At some point we have to decide that business is business, and stop playing by their rules. After all, we didn’t make these rules. In fact, we never even agreed to play by their rules. I’d bet every cent I’ve ever earned that Jeff Bezos wasn’t caring about “the rules” when, via Amazon, he put every mom & pop bookstore on the planet out of business. I’d also bet every cent I’ve ever earned that a huge percentage of the reviews written for the “big authors” are placed there on Amazon by the paid employees of their big book publishers. How many times have you seen tons of reviews posted on Amazon for a book that hasn’t even been published yet? I’m always on the look-out for such things, so maybe I’ve seen it more than you have, but I’m telling you, it happens constantly.
I used to think that Amazon book reviews were a good thing, but over the course of the last few years I’ve figured out that Amazon book reviews are just one more tool the “haves” use to keep the little guys from competing. They pretend that the book reviews on Amazon are honorable, when in fact, they are just another sales ploy. And the evil genius of them is that not only does the average book buyer on Amazon think the book reviews are all real, but independent book authors and self-publishers think those Amazon book reviews are real too!
The “big authors” and “big publishers” make their money. Amazon makes their money. But how much do we self-published authors make? We pay their fees and commissions. Not only do we pay their fees, but we provide content for their website free of charge. Companies that sell their services to self-publishers hoping to sell their books on Amazon are in the business of convincing writers and self-published authors that they can compete with the big publishers for book sales on Amazon. I’ll bet they make a lot of money from selling most of us proof-copies, maybe even more than they do from the actual sales of our books. It’s a classic sales ploy. Our self-published books (with very few customer reviews) make their “big books” look more appealing. Businesses have been using this trick forever. The human brain is “programmed” to make comparisons. Nothing has value until you compare it to something else. That Caesar salad you just ordered may seem great until the lady sitting at the table next to you gets her filet mignon delivered to her table. And your self-published book might look great until the prospective book buyer spots a different one with a bunch of good positive reviews posted for it.
We self-published authors need to understand that business is business. Selling books is very competitive. It’s dog-eat-dog. Jeff Bezos doesn’t care one lick about us. He just wants his investors to be happy. Why play by the competition’s rules? When you finally get to the point where you understand that Amazon book reviews are a sham (a sales tool just like all the other sales tools big businesses use), that’s when you’ll start selling more of your self-published books, because you’ll stop feeling guilty about getting book reviews any way you can. If they don’t even play by the rules they try to force onto us, then we shouldn’t feel guilty about not playing by them either. If they can use their financial influence to get book reviews, then why can’t we?
Typically self-published authors care much more about what they write than they do about “sales”, and if that’s your situation, then, how many books you sell, probably doesn’t matter all that much to you. After all, if your goal is simply to spread your message or tell your story, you could easily sell your books for a very reduced price or even give them away for free. But if your goal is to make some actual money from your writing skills, then you may want to consider starting to think like a business owner (as opposed to an artist). Business owners don’t care one tiny little bit what “rules” other businesses “suggest” they follow. You have no obligation (moral or otherwise) to play by “their rules”. (For the moment at least) This is still a FREE country. Don’t let those currently holding the power “guilt” you into playing by “their rules” –that they set up to keep you down.
And thus, to conclude; the way that you get Fast & Easy Amazon Book Reviews (as this article title suggests) is to stop sitting around hoping that someone will like your book and then go to Amazon and post a good review for it. You need to actively pursue getting reviews just like you would actively pursue any other business endeavor, like getting advertising or getting sales. You need to be relentless and business-like. Get reviews any way you possibly can. Call on friends, family, online-friends, or even companies that provide such services (they do exist) to post reviews for your business’s product (your book).
Getting book reviews posted on Amazon is actually a lot faster, cheaper, and easier than you might think. The only thing that’s really holding you back is that fear that maybe you’re doing something wrong. That fear is what separates authors that self-publish for fun, and authors that self-publish to make some real money selling their books on Amazon. Get creative. That’s what great artists do isn’t it?
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