Welcome to this edition of the Real Fast Results Podcast! If you are an author, or want to be an author, or even if you have a book or physical product on Amazon, you are going to want to read over what we have for you today. Debbie Drum is a content production expert. Not only has she produced and published many books, but she also takes action when it comes to marketing her business. In this session, Debbie is going to share her secrets on how to get more and better reviews for your products, specifically on Amazon.com. This training will focus on getting book reviews, but the information found herein will not only apply to books. Debbie, thank you for taking the time to be on the show today.
Today’s Promise: More Amazon Book Reviews
The big promise for you is to simply get more book reviews because the equation is “More Book Reviews = More Sales”. While there are many ways to go about getting book reviews, there are more effective ways than others, and we are going to be outlining those ways today. You definitely want to keep cracking away and taking action because if you keep at it, you know, that’s what made me where I am today. I never quit. Every single day I wake up doing, doing, doing…failing…succeeding. That’s what it’s all about.
A Bit About Debbie
I started internet marketing in 2010 by literally Googling the words, “How to make money online”. It all started from there. The very first week that I started making money was actually with publishing. I was working a full-time job, and I was traveling a lot–in sales. I have a sales background. I was working and publishing a book a week. I loved it so much because that’s where I was seeing real results. And, the sales person, of course, came out and said, “Hey, I’ve got to teach people what I am doing.” So, that’s a little bit about how I got started.
The Process of Getting More Book Reviews
Basically, the big picture, and the “Why” behind this is having more reviews is essentially like having an army of people selling your book 24/7, 365 days out of the year with you being hands-off. They never sleep. Reviews stay there forever. The more reviews you have, and obviously the more positive reviews you have, will work in your favor for more people to click that “buy” button.
The reason is that we live in a very social world. I don’t have to tell you that. Everything is about, “Well, what are other people saying?” If I’m going to dedicate the next 2 hours to reading a book, or if I’m going to dedicate a day buying a Groupon package, I’m going to see what other people are saying.
It’s our job as the product creators, as the marketers, as the authors to get those reviews because it’s not going to happen quick enough naturally. One of the quickest and most effective ways that I have found to get reviews is to look at people who are already reviewing other books in my niche. The thing is that you want to be publishing in niches where there are tons of competitors because that means it’s a market that has buyers.
So, don’t be scared if you see other books that have thousands of reviews and thousands of sales because that means you’re on the right path to finding money. What you want to do is go into Amazon and make a list of the top 50 books that compete against your book, or are in the same niche, the same genre, as your book.
There are some books that you will find, if you’re in the right niches, that have thousands of reviewers, or hundreds of reviewers even. Those are the people that I have found throughout the past six years of doing this that I call influencers. Those people, they want to share cool things with their friends. They want to be savvy, they want to be “in the know”, and that’s how they want to be seen. A lot of these people will review books, especially the ones in your niche. Sometimes they have Facebook groups where one message can reach 2,000 or 3,000 people at a click. Those are the kind of people that we are finding, and striving to find, inside of Amazon.
How to find book reviewers:
- Figure out what books in your niche have a lot of reviews.
- Then, go and identify reviewers of those books. It’s highly likely that if they like a book on a similar topic, or even the same topic, they would want to review your book as well.
- Third, the reviewers themselves are influence centers, or potential influence centers. That’s a very cool thing because if they like your work, and they like your book, then you’ve basically got social proof, and you’ve got a built-in third-party endorsement that’s completely unbiased. These folks are basically grading you on the work itself. You know, they get nothing out of it, essentially. Other than they’re feeding their community, and they want to be seen as somebody that is “in the know”, or is on the cutting edge of whatever that topic is.
Contacting Potential Book Reviewers
Once you’ve found your book–let’s say this book has 1,000 reviewers. There’s a hyperlink on that number of reviews. Inside of Amazon, you want to click inside of that hyperlink, and it brings you to a page where you can see about 10-15 reviewers per page. Depending on how many reviews they have, there’s page after page of all these reviews.
Each individual reviewer has a profile page. You can click on their name to find their profile page. What you will find is that a certain percentage of these people will actually have contact information. So, it’s not 100% of the people, unfortunately for us. Every one of us, as buyers on Amazon, we all have a profile page whether we like it or not. And, it’s up to us to say whether or not we want to show our contact information, meaning our website and/or our email address.
After about six years of this, after our research, it has been proven that about 10-15% of the reviewers of a certain book will have contact information on their profile pages. This is an amazing opportunity to contact the specific people that we need to target and contact to review our book. However, it turns out that this is a very manual process.
I learned this very quickly. Back in 2012, I was trying to figure out different ways to get reviewers, as opposed to asking my dad and my mom, and asking Aunt Cindy, and asking my best friend. And, I’m glad that I did this because, you as authors, you might be realizing that Amazon is actually taking away reviews because of these connections that they’re finding. You definitely don’t want the same person, like your group of author community, to be reviewing all of your books because that will raise red flags inside of Amazon.
A lot of the time, people provide their contact information because they are interested in reviewing other people’s work, or at least there’s a stronger probability that they are. The benefit that they get out of it is sharing cool things, which we have already talked about, and #2 is getting a free book, which a lot of people are after too. There’s a whole business of this, you know, with physical products. People are looking to get free products for reviews. This is very important: As long as you are contacting people and asking for honest reviews, honest feedback, that is staying within Amazon’s terms of service. What you don’t want to do is say, “Hey, can you give me a five-star review?” That’s not going to fly, and a lot of these reviewers are savvy, and they know what’s right and what’s wrong when it comes to this.
You definitely do not want to purchase reviews! When you contact people, don’t say that you’ll give them any type of compensation. All they are getting is a free copy of your book. Amazon is trying to create an atmosphere that makes for a wonderful experience for people. They don’t want their buying atmosphere being filled with fake reviews because people will stop trusting their marketplace. That’s something, as you probably can imagine, Amazon takes very seriously.
Amazon is even going as far as suing third parties over fake reviews. So, somehow they’re figuring it out. With all of their algorithms they can do it. If you go to Fiverr.com, you’ll see people who are willing and able to review your book for $5. You might be thinking, “Okay. Well, if they’re going to give me an honest review, what does it matter?” It does matter. So, to be really clear: Do Not Buy Reviews. Do Not Ask for Five-Star Reviews. The only thing that’s good to do is ask for honest reviews, free of compensation.
Save Your Time and Outsource
When you finally start diving in, it’s like finding a needle in a haystack. We literally wouldn’t have time to do anything like write our books, market our books, market our products, do videos, and all of this other important stuff that we need to do in our business. Marketing would need to be tabled, and that’s not something that we’d want to do. So, this bright idea that I had, going through all of these different reviewers, suddenly came crashing down because it wasn’t realistic for me to do this all day long. To put that information together in a spreadsheet and then make it available for me to quickly contact people. It might take days to actually aggregate this. If you have more time than money, however, it may be worth doing it this way. There’s actually two other ways to go about this though.
Another way that you could go about this would be to outsource the work. You could send this project to an outsourcer. For instance, you could go to any outsourcing site like Fiverr.com, Upwork.com, or Guru.com. There are people just waiting for this kind of work. Generally, using the 10-15% rule of thumb, if you’re looking at a book with 1,000 reviewers, then you’ll probably get 100-150 emails out of that. These workers sometimes work as a team, and they sometimes work individually. After a couple of days, a couple of hundred dollars later, you’ll probably get 100 or 150 emails returned to you. It’s a numbers game. So the more you do, the more of an outcome you’re going to get.
I know that most authors, most self-publishers, are not really sitting around with a whole team of people waiting to do this kind of thing all day long. There are tons of other things that we need outsourcers for as well. It’s a very slow and tedious process trying to do this manually.
You can actually do this yourself based on what you have learned today, but I do have a software service that does this all automatically for you. I do want to be very clear about the fact that you do not have to go and buy this. You’ve been given step-by-step instructions on how to do this by yourself, but if you see the value in this and you have more money than time, I do want you to know about my software.
Book Review Targeter Software
Basically, it does exactly what the manual process does. So, you first would start out finding your related books, right? Then, instead of you or a team member going through the pages and pages of reviewers, to find those “needles in a haystack”, the software goes through all of those pages for you. It finds the ones that have contact information (email and/or website), and then kicks out all of the other ones that don’t. It’s taking a very manual process and automating it.
Once you have extracted these email addresses, the software actually allows you to mail merge with an application within Gmail to essentially send out requests for folks to review your book. So, it automates a large part of it and certainly makes it go a lot faster. This particular piece of software has gotten a lot of reviews itself, and people love it because it does save so much time. At the bottom of these show notes, there’s a link that you can click on to learn more about this software.
It’s great to get those email addresses, of course, so that you can start contacting people. But, I want you to look at it from the point of view that these one-to-one connections that you are making with people are so effective for not only now, but for your whole entire career. Just one connection can change your life. Even if you’re only finding 10 emails, or 20 emails, these might seem like small numbers. But those are 20 additional people that you would have never found without the software. Authors who are using this are making these connections and meeting people who will give them video testimonials on Amazon, which are amazing!
Then, on your next book, you can say, “Hey Carol! You reviewed my last book. Can you review this book, or this product?” That’s what you’re creating; so it’s much bigger than just an email address. This business is like every other business. It is a people business. It is a relationship business. This idea that you can find brand new people who already like your work extensively. They like it enough to actually give you a good review. They are golden. That’s a really, really important person that can potentially help you in so many other ways later on.
Connect With Debbie
I normally hang out at DebbieDrum.com. From there, you can get to my YouTube channel, or Facebook. I’m pretty much everywhere.
Daniel’s Real Fast Results Tips: Book Reviews
- Do the research – Look for people that are already reviewing books in your niche.
- When you are emailing potential book reviewers, make sure they know you are not compensating them. The only item they are getting is a free book for an honest review. Do not ask for a 5 star review. You just want an honest one.
- If you don’t have the time, then outsource!
Replay Training Demoing Debbies Software:
The Book Review Targeter
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As always, go make results happen!