Mini Guide: How to Get Legitimate Amazon Reviews for Your Books

Most of us have been there. Acquiring reviews is the bane of the fledgling indie author’s existence. I struggled with it for years; hell, I only cracked the code in 2016, after heading down the review rabbit hole hard.

That’s when I learned a surprising truth.

If your book isn’t selling, reviews are usually not the culprit.

That being said, if you have no reviews, or are staring at two reviews with a 3.5 Amazon rating, you likely don’t believe me. Only the ice-water of harsh experience convinced me otherwise.

But although they’re hardly the skeleton key to success, reviews are still important for a few reasons we’ll discuss below. Thus, I’ve assembled a comprehensive mini guide outlining a number of techniques and services that you can use to get legitimate, unbiased Amazon reviews (no black hat stuff here).

I’ll dive into detail on the three primary methods of getting reviews:

  1. Review services which distribute review copies of your book to their readers
  2. Creating your own ARC (advance review copy) team
  3. Setting your book to free and putting a review request with a direct link to the review form in your book’s back matter.

Mini Guide: How to Hit the USA Today Bestseller List

Ah, yes: bestseller-dom, that elusive stamp of approval from on-high that our books are, indeed, worthy. Jokes about validation aside, becoming a bestseller does open (small) doors, so it can be worth pursuing under the right circumstances. While the New York Times list is out of reach for all but the bestselling indies (those lucky enough not to be curated off, that is), USA Today’s list is very much in reach.

There were two reasons I did this: to use the USA Today Bestseller tag in my marketing materials, and also to make it clear that it’s a realistic goal for a solo mid-list author in 2018. Many authors know you can still readily hit Amazon’s Top 100 and the USA Today list. But if you believed those were hopeless endeavors without outside help, special wizardry, or, in rare (and unfortunate) cases, black hat techniques, good news: the following is an in-depth guide on how I hit the list, with an easy to follow strategy for replicating my run.

I won’t pretend to be the originator of this strategy; that credit goes to the many helpful threads on KBoards (C.