SPS 027: How to Write a Timeless Book that Sells 500,000 Copies with Josh Shipp

Josh Shipp is an author, global youth empowerment expert, and an acclaimed speaker. He is a former at risk foster kid turned youth advocate. He is renowned for his documentary TV series on A&E that followed his groundbreaking work with teens. He is also the author of the national bestseller “The Teens Guide to World Domination”, and was listed on Inc. Magazine’s 30 under 30 list.

Today, Josh shares a little about his background and how he started speaking. Along with why he decided to write a book. He shares the mistakes that he made during his first attempt at writing, and how his writing process is now more like an assembly line that incorporates a writing partner and insight from a focus group. He shares inspiration for life, writing, and more.  Josh is a good friend of mine and a great guy. My mom is even a fan of his.

You can find Josh here:
Josh Shipp Website
Josh on Facebook
Josh on Twitter @JoshShipp
Josh on YouTube
Books by Josh Shipp
The Teens Guide to World Domination

Show Notes
[01:51] Josh was giving speeches when he was a teen. He had been kicked out of several foster homes and experienced abuse and neglect, but he also had a chip on his shoulder. With counseling, things started slowly turning around for him, and he started speaking about it.
[02:35] He became an unintentional success story and started speaking at high schools.
[03:18] The only product Josh had to sell was himself and his speeches. He needed a book to establish himself. Plus, it would help him leave his message behind for people to use.
[04:39] Josh tried going into isolation to write his book. He tried it, but it wasn’t for him.
[05:48] Having personal guilt over a preconceived idea of how he should write. Now, he thinks of his books as an assembly line. Every writer needs to find what works for them.
[06:36] Josh has a writing buddy that he partners with. They get together and decide what the chapters will be about. Josh decides the three things that need to be said. Josh’s partner takes the big picture and starts writing about the idea and concept. Josh is a better visionary and editor. He edits and gives notes. Then after a back and forth, they give the book to a focus group.
[09:07] They share small parts of the book with the focus group and ask how it can be 10% better. This process has been a game changer.
[11:29] How only about a 5th of the people in the focus group would reply, so he made sure he had about 75 people in the group.
[12:55] This writing process plays to Josh’s strengths which makes writing something that he can do repeatedly.
[14:41] Josh doesn’t recruit people who do what he does in his focus group. He wants to focus on the actual readers.
[16:02] Beginning with the reader in mind.
[18:43] A trick Josh would use was reading Amazon 3 star reviews in his category to find a gap in his space.
[20:29] Josh’s platform can move a good number of books, but the best way to sell a book is to create an outstanding book.
[22:28] How the content of the book needs to be evergreen and timeless.
[24:21] Creating a book that is helpful and prescriptive.
[26:00] Committing long term to building a platform for an outstanding prescriptive book.
[27:30] Have your Amazon page read as a persuasive sales page. Have a headline about the reader and testimonials and social proof in a scannable format that uses bullet points. Reviews are also important.
[31:26] How the book has helped Josh on the backend. He emphasizes the importance of the book having lasting substance. He then puts URLs in the book, so he can continue the conversation with readers. He can capture their information and sell to them in the future.
[34:05] Capture information and survey those readers to get ideas about creating further courses and information for backend creation. You can also segment personas.
[37:19] Don’t think that there is something broken in you, and things are only difficult for you. It’s easy to question yourself in difficult moments. Keep going and write that book.

Links and Resources:
self-publishingschool.com
Spsfreetraining.com
Stephen Covey
Josh Shipp Website
Josh on Facebook
Josh on Twitter @JoshShipp
Josh on YouTube
Books by Josh Shipp
The Teens Guide to World Domination

SPS 026: How I Built the Largest Success Training Company in the World Using My Book with T. Harv Eker

Joining me today is T. Harv Eker. After 14 years of struggle, T. Harv has cracked the code and went from zero to millionaire in only 2 ½ years and has gone on to become a multimillionaire. During his years of hardship, Eker vowed that should he ever get rich he would help others do the same. He kept his promise and went on to build one of the largest success training companies in the world. He also shocked the publishing world with his book Secrets of the Millionaire Mind.

This is one of my favorite books of all time. He hit number one on the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and USA Today bestseller list the first week of release. The book has now been translated into 42 different languages. T. Harv is considered one of the most exciting teachers on the planet and is known for his tough love style. We talk about why T. Harv decided to write his book and how it has been a driver for his business and his life.  

You can find T. Harv here:
Harv Eker
Harv Eker on Facebook
Harv Eker on Twitter @T_Harv_Eker
Books by T. Harv Eker
Secrets of the Millionaire Mind
Speedwealth

Show Notes
[01:49] T. Harv decided to write the book for credibility and marketing. Once you have written a book, you become a teacher and an expert.
[02:45] The number one reason people will buy anything is trust. Publishing a book shows that you are an expert.
[03:46] T. Harv was able to use his Millionaire Mind Intensive training as the basis for his book.
[04:59] How Jack Canfield suggested T. Harv get in touch with his book agent.
[06:05] T. Harv got a million dollar advance up front.
[06:38] Will this book sell is a key factor in getting a publisher.
[07:27] How T. Harv crossed off the editor’s edits because he wanted his message to sound how he speaks.
[07:59] The reason his book went number one was preselling.
[08:55] To get on the bestseller lists your books need to be sold in a big clump in advance.
[10:05] He used his live training and a launch to his own database and joint venture partners. And brick and mortar bookstore channels. Spreading the sales out through promoting the book through different bookstores.
[13:28] The key to T. Harv’s success was preselling his book with a large list.
[13:59] Seminars was the biggest driver for his large database.
[16:20] How T. Harv tested his material out on a group of people. This research was the best move of his life. He learned so much about how not to explain things. Test your material first and express it in a way where it really resonates with people.
[18:29] How hardcopy books are permanent, and you want to express things in the best way possible. Test it out.
[20:52] T. Harv learned what to do by experimenting with several businesses that didn’t work. Then he learned how wealthy people think.
[22:11] He put principles that already work out there. The first thing you need to do is build a platform.
[24:18] The importance of building a list and having joint venture partners. Building your list with a blog or however you communicate with people.
[25:00] Using a book to get an introduction. If the book isn’t great, people won’t want to go to the next step.
[29:01] The importance of putting a part of your best stuff in your book and then using it as an intro to an offer to learn more of your best stuff.
[30:30] Have your backend in place before you launch your book. The headaches are in the front end, but the money is in the backend.
[33:35] The book enabled T. Harv to reach businesses that he never thought would come to him including PBS and he made an infomercial.
[35:35] How passion is critical and using your own voice. Marketing and writing with conviction.
[37:41] If you want to make a lot of money don’t focus on money. Focus on solving a problem for a lot of people.
[38:50] How fear is what holds people back. Fear is the anticipation of pain. Worry about the future.
[40:49] Being afraid and still acting. Thank you for sharing when you have an unsupportive thought.
[42:47] Make sure you have a platform, backend, and some valuable bonuses to give away.
[44:19] Before you write talk, teach and blog to know if your topic is good. Write the way you speak. Your book has got to be different. Don’t be like everyone else. What is unique about your book?
[46:51] Be timely to be featured in media.
[47:36] Credibility comes with your book being at the top of the list, but don’t sign your life away with a publisher.

Links and Resources:
Harv Eker
Harv Eker on Facebook
Harv Eker on Twitter @T_Harv_Eker
Books by T. Harv Eker
Secrets of the Millionaire Mind
Speedwealth
Spsfreetraining.com
SPSFreeBook.com
Millionaire Mind Intensive
Jack Canfield
Wealth Without Risk
Rich Dad Poor Dad

SPS 025: You Are a Writer, So Start Acting Like One with Jeff Goins

Joining me today is my good friend Jeff Goins. Jeff is a full time writer living just outside of Nashville, TN with his wife, his son, and a border collie. Jeff is now the author of 5 books. Including the national bestseller The Art of Work. He is a podcaster and a blogger with his website Goins, Writer visited by over four million people from all over the world. If you Google “how to write a book” Jeff’s website is the number one result that comes up.

Jeff shares his writing process and how he has evolved as a writer. He also shares how much he loves writing and being a writer and how important words are in everything we do or want to do. We talk about the importance of preparation, writing outlines, and investing the work up front before writing. Jeff shares how he flushes out and explores ideas along with the importance of writing every day. He also shares his inspirational ideas about how to know when you are a writer and more.  

You can find Jeff here:

Goins, Writer
Jeff Goins on Twitter @JeffGoins
Jeff Goins on Facebook
Books by Jeff Goins
Wrecked
The Art of Work

Show Notes

[01:28] Jeff continues to write because it is his calling and purpose. It’s his purpose in life to connect people with ideas.
[02:05] Words have the power to change the world. Every great movement begins with words.
[02:41] His writing process consists of creating an outline and then writing at least 500 words every day. Blogging helped give him the discipline to write on a daily basis.
[04:55] Jeff wrote Art of Work then scrapped that writing and did a lot of research and then rewrote it.
[05:58] The more Jeff’s writes the more time he spends preparing to write.
[06:24] The importance of the process of thinking about writing and finding the right idea.
[07:38] Jeff spent 5 months doing the research for his book that will take him 6 months to write. He first starts with an idea and then researches and tests that idea.
[09:23] Have an idea where you are going before you start. Invest the time before you start writing.
[10:39] Jeff chases what he is curious about, but most of his books come from personal experience.
[12:12] When Jeff gets an idea he then reads about that idea to see if he can put a unique angle on the topic.
[13:42] Read a few books and figure out what is missing and fill that niche.
[15:31] Writing in a way that will connect with the needs of the audience. Jeff tests his ideas on his blog and social channels.
[16:39] Making sure that you are talking about the right thing at the right time for the right person.
[18:10] Entering into a conversation and realizing that you have something that these people need.
[18:32] What it means to act like a writer. You are a writer when you say you are.
[20:57] To become a writer, you own the title and then start writing. Think like a pro and you will act like a pro. Practice writing.
[22:38] Books get written by a slow and steady prodding process. It all begins and ends with words.
[25:26] How easy it is to get discouraged. You need to love it and write for the people who need your message.
[26:26] People who love the writing and hate the marketing and people who hate the writing and love the marketing. Jeff is a marketer, but he loves both. Marketing is part of a writer’s job.
[27:46] The best marketing is done before the book is finished.
[32:18] Begining with an idea and a reader and filling in the in between.

Links and Resources:

Goins, Writer
Jeff Goins on Twitter @JeffGoins
Jeff Goins on Facebook
Books by Jeff Goins
Wrecked
The Art of Work
Spsfreetraining.com
The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
Peak by Anders Ericsson
How to Win Friends and Influence People
Love Does by Bob Goth

SPS 024: From Self-Published Author to Front of Store Placement with Eileen Wilder

Today, I am speaking with Eileen Wilder. She is a bestselling author, pastor, and coach who teaches women how to experience unstoppable self-confidence. After going through Self-Publishing School, she experienced breakout success publishing her first book The Brave Body Method on Amazon. Then eight months later, a publisher asked to acquire the rights to the book and released it nationwide. She has since gained national TV coverage, speaking opportunities, and out front placement at Barnes & Noble.

Through the success of this book, she has managed to serve more people than she had ever imagined. Although, starting wasn’t that easy. Eileen had an epiphany while at her grandmother’s funeral and realized she needed to do something great and share her gifts with the world. She still struggled with confidence, but was able to push through and build confidence through going through Self-publishing school and developing a powerful writing habit into her daily routine. Eileen shares her story, her book, and more with us on this episode.  

You can find Eileen here:

Eileen Wilder Website
The Brave Body Method
Eileen on YouTube
Eileen on Twitter @eileenwild
Eileen’s Facebook Page

Show Notes

[01:33] Eileen had an epiphany at her grandmother’s funeral and decided that she needed to write a book.
[02:25] Eileen asked herself if she was really contributing to life. She needed to speak the message inside her heart.
[04:28] How Eileen struggled with lack of confidence and had a gradual awakening.
[06:21] The habit of writing 1000 words a day in Self-publishing school helped give her confidence and discipline to accomplish her goal.
[07:08] Her routine consisted of waking at 4:30 and going to the gym. Then she would sit down and write for an hour and a half.
[08:18] Through focused time and doing it every day and eventually her book was finished.
[11:08] Through SPS she learned how to structure, write, break things down, and market her book.
[12:44] How Eileen became obsessed with finishing her book and completing her goal. The power of laser-like focus.
[13:54] The domino effect of having discipline in her life and the ripple effect.
[14:40] Mindset changes and not having limiting beliefs when it comes to completing goals.
[16:19] Don’t share your writing with the wrong people.
[16:34] Being yourself and writing with your voice alone.
[19:26] Finding someone to support you and not letting others discourage you. Eileen found a lawyer and language master that helped her with her book.
[20:34] Your book won’t be for everybody. How we are meant to speak to who we are meant to speak to.
[23:06] Naysayers and people who are contrarians or people who may be jealous.
[23:53] How other people can discourage you when you make a decision to do something.
[25:39] Eileen reached out to everyone she could when she launched her book. She gave out advance copies and invited people to write reviews. She emailed everyone she could. When she launched she had 114 reviews from this method. It also helped her confidence.
[27:07] She also posted on forums and did all of the online marketing she could including reaching out to friends who had bigger platforms than she had.
[29:53] She had a small email list when she started, but since the book has been out it grows everyday. She put a call to action in the book for sign-ups.
[32:18] How Eileen met her publisher at an event. After researching her success, he made an offer. This opened more distribution channels like Barnes & Noble.
[34:55] Eileen used a coach for the contract negotiation and she was given a great deal.
[38:15] Creating one-page sales sheets for books and being your own PR agent and approaching producers of TV shows.
[41:31] Getting on Barnes & Noble was the craziest thing that happened, along with a book signing there.
[43:21] Final parting tip is to go for it and share how you can serve others.

Links and Resources:

self-publishingschool.com
Spsfreetraining.com
The Power of Habit
Eileen Wilder Website
The Brave Body Method
Eileen on YouTube
Eileen on Twitter @eileenwild
Eileen’s Facebook Page

amazon reviews

How to Get Amazon Reviews For Your Book: Top Strategies for Targeting Quality Reviewers

As a self-published author, getting Amazon reviews for your book is the hardest part of any book launch. After writing, publishing, and launching your book, all of it can be for nothing if you fail to get a healthy volume of Amazon reviews to drive traffic and sales towards your book.

But where do we start to get Amazon reviews? Who do we ask? How many people should we have on our launch team to guarantee a certain number of reviews for setting up promotional sites? How many reviews is enough?

In this post, I am going to take you through the step-by-step process for getting loads of Amazon reviews on your next book launch and, to continue to get reviews from readers and organic traffic. We will look at the ways to get legitimate Amazon reviews for your book so that you can reap the benefits of turning your book into a thriving business.

Amazon Reviews and the Review Process

When you publish a book, there are essentially 6 things that score at making your book a bestseller.

They are:

  1. A killer book cover
  2. An irresistible book title
  3. An amazing book description
  4. Stealthy keywords
  5. Targeted book categories

And…

  1. Book Reviews

When Amazon ranks your book, the ranking is based on the volume of downloads your book gets and, the amount of reviews stacked on the book’s review page . Amazon’s system is designed to take notice of books that are getting steady traction when reviews get posted.

This is why it is critical that, when you launch your book you set everything up to get as many reviews as possible to get momentum going, increase organic traffic, and drive your rankings in the search engines. This means a higher percentage of people writing reviews for your book, not just at launch but for months [and years] down the road.

The bottom line is, reviews carry big weight in the form of social proof that can drive your book to a bestseller and continue to bring in healthy passive income every month.

Why do reviews matter?

  1. The more reviews you get, the more visibility your book gets. This means more sales and potential organic reviews.
  2. You create a stronger relationship with your readers.
  3. A boatload of reviews adds credibility to your book and brand.

Book reviews for your book on Amazon are one of the defining factors that determine if a potential reader will click the BUY NOW button…or not. In fact, if your book has less than 10 reviews, there is a strong chance that your book will get passed over. People want validation before purchasing, and the best way to make that decision is on the front of the product page…reviews.

Amazon Reviewer Guidelines

You can find everything you need to know about posting reviews on Amazon right here under the Community Guidelines. Amazon has tightened the ropes on reviews and as an author, you have to be aware of the tactics that are prohibited.

Here is what you shouldn’t do:

  1. Pay someone to leave a review. This not only goes against Amazon policy but, it could get your book removed from the shelf and your account banned.
  2.  Offer a free ‘gift’ in exchange for a review. No gifts allowed. This is still considered payment for a review.
  3. Join Facebook communities offering book review swaps. These sites are bad news. Amazon prohibits review swapping and is considered gaming the system. The Amazon algorithm can easily trace reviews back to these sources.
  4. Offer an Amazon gift card after a review has been published. It works like this: “You download the book and leave a review, and I will send you a gift card.” Again, this is against policy and is considered paying for a review.
  5. Leave a review for another author, and then contact that person requesting they leave a review in return. This would be a form blackmail or trapping the other author into guilt. But this doesn’t work and if you receive any such email, inform the other author that you don’t work that way. I did this once and they just removed the review.

Verified or Unverified Book Reviews

There are two kinds of Amazon reviews: verified and unverified. What is the difference?

According to Amazon:

An “Amazon Verified Purchase” review means we’ve verified that the person writing the review purchased the product at Amazon and didn’t receive the product at a deep discount.

Amazon reviews that are not marked “Amazon Verified Purchase” are valuable as well, but we either can’t confirm that the product was purchased at Amazon or the customer did not pay a price available to most Amazon shoppers.

Verified reviews are favorable and It is social proof that the reader did in fact buy the book and has potentially read through it before posting a review. A verified review shows up as a yellow banner that says “Verified Purchase.”

For unverified reviews, in most cases the reviewer received an advance copy of the book, and was possibly on a launch team to support the book’s release. While this is still a legit practice for garnering reviews for your book, if the majority of reviews are non-verified this could affect your potential customer’s decision to buy or not.

Strategies for Scoring a Boatload of Reviews

There are many ways to get reviews and, hunting for reviewers to review your book is a time consuming process. You could waste precious time chasing bad leads and end up with nothing for your effort. So where do you get reviews without spending hordes of time?

No matter how you do it, remember that it isn’t just about quantity you want but quality as well. While we can’t control what reviewers will say about our work, we can stay focused on writing great content that adds value in order to increase our chances of getting positive reviews.

To get Amazon reviews for your next book launch, or to add reviews to an existing book, consider taking action on these following strategies:

1. The Launch Team [Advance Review team]

There are many ways to hunt down reviewers for your book. As we have seen you can contact the top reviewers, target free book review sites, or reach out to book bloggers. These methods, while they may get you a handful of reviews, is time intensive and a lot of work.

I have found, after running over two dozen book launches, that the most effective way to get reviews fast on launch is through setting up a launch team. These are the people who have agreed to read your book in advance, and follow up with a review immediately after the book is live.

When it comes to building a launch team, it is about building relationships. This is why, in order to run an effective launch team, you should focus on the relationship with your early-bird reviewers.

Here is a step-by-step process for organizing your team:

Step-by-Step Process for Setting Up a Launch Team

  1. Start building your relationships early. Launch teams don’t just happen. They take work, months of outreaching, and asking the right people if they want to help launch your book when the time is right. You can generate interest by posting snippets of the book on Social media, sharing chapters of your work with your list, and promoting your cover to people.

Share your content and advertise your brand. Communicate with people in person and through online channels about your writing. Keep in mind the purpose for this is to make genuine relationships with people and not to just add them to your launch.

  1. Create your list of potential reviewers. As you build these relationships with your fanbase, start making a list of people who express interest in joining your launch. If you have multiple books and have been through the publishing process already, take note of the readers who have left reviews already.

Contact them closer towards launch of your next book to get them on board. Set up an excel spreadsheet and keep track of the names of people who sign up.

Action Step: Contact people directly and invite them to the launch team. Keep track of early-bird reviewers in excel.

  1. Set up an email template through your email server. Add everyone to the list. If you aren’t using an email server yet you can check out Mailchimp, Convert Kit or Mailerlite. Make it as easy as possible so you aren’t wasting time searching for contact information.

Send out a welcome email with a link to your book in PDF or/and Mobi form. You can create a folder in Dropbox and just include the link to a shared folder. Make it easy for them to access the material.

Action Step: Import your list of emails onto an email server list.

  1. Send out the Welcome email. Ideally you want to send out your book at least two weeks before launch. This gives people enough time to read it through. In the welcome email I include details for the launch date and any other expectations. At this stage the book isn’t live yet so you will send another email on that day with the link.

For the book delivery, you can upload a PDF version as well as a Mobi version of the book. To create a MOBI, PDF or EPUB file you can check out the Calibre ebook management software. After you have all the files ready, you can create a shared folder in Dropbox and share the link with your team.

If any top reviewers agreed to leave a review, you absolutely want to message them to follow up.

Action Step: Create a welcome email template. Send out your welcome message to the team. Include a link to your book content.

  1. Send out your ‘Take Action’ email on launch day. Your book is live and it is time for people to step up. Contact the team on launch day as soon as the book is live. After hitting publish it should take 12-24 hours for Amazon to get it posted. In the email, include a link to your book. More specifically, a link to the review page so that team members can go straight to the page with one click.
  2. Day 3: Reminder email. I wait 3 days and send out a reminder email. In this email I thank everyone who has left a review, and thank people in advance who are still working on the book and haven’t posted yet.
  3. Final Call: This is the last email I will send out. Similar to the previous email, reminding people the book is live and is ready for a review whenever you are. You can remind your team that book is at a special discounted price if you are launching it at 0.99 or it’s free.
  4. Contact Your List: If you have a list, this is gold for getting paid downloads and possible reviews. You should contact your list on the first day the book is live and let people know that the book has just launched. Then, several days later, email them again asking if they had a chance to get into the material. You could add something of value here just to show subscribers how much you value their support. This is the email where I include a ‘leave a review’ invite.

It reads like this:

Hi there…

I have a quick favor to ask you…  

Amazon uses reviews to rank books AND many readers evaluate the quality of a title based solely on this feedback from others.

To put it simply:

Reviews are very important to an author like me!

So, if you’ve enjoyed [Book title here] ,or even if you’re still working through it, could you take a minute or two to leave a review? Even a sentence or two about what you like really helps! 🙂

Here’s a link of where you can leave a review:

[My Book Title] Book Review

I really appreciate you taking the time to check out the book and I look forward to seeing any feedback you may have in the review section.

That is it!

These are the steps I use to communicate with my launch team. Generally speaking, if you want 100 reviews for your book, you should aim for at least 200 people. That is a lot of emails but, what I have experienced is that, on average, you are batting a 50% success rate. What happens to those other 50% who don’t review?

They…

  1. Didn’t like the book.
  2. Forgot to review altogether.
  3. Didn’t read the book.
  4. Couldn’t be bothered to review.

If you can get 30+ reviews on launch after one week you are looking very good. This is enough to get momentum moving and the Amazon algorithm will see that your book is doing well.

2. Contact Amazon Top Reviewers

There is a list of top 1000 reviewers on Amazon. These people review everything, although certain reviewers target books specifically. If you can get an Amazon Top Reviewer to look at your book, this is well worth it. Check out the Amazon Top Customer Reviewers list. This is  time consuming process but, if you can get 2-3 reviewers to agree to a book review, you’re all set.

Here is what you can do:

  1. Go into the reviewers profile and check the books they have reviewed. To be specific, you want to check for books in your genre. If you wrote a book on weight loss and the reviewer has written most of their reviews for romance novels, it’s a good indication what they favor. Target the reviewers interested in your topic.
  2. Check for contact information. Due to the large volume of spam and requests for reviews, most top reviewers have removed their personal email. If they have a website set up, you can send a direct email to request a review.
  3. Wait for a reply. Most reviewers, from my own experience, did not reply. I would recommend targeting 20 reviewers and wait one week. You can then resend the request again.

This is a time consuming process but, if you get a top reviewer to agree to a review, keep that person’s contact information in an excel file. Then, when you launch your next book, you can reach out to them again and again.

3. Book Review Sites

There are a number of sites out there that will find reviewers for your book. This is not the same as buying reviews for your book which, I’ll restate again, goes against Amazon’s review policy and should be avoided. In fact, Amazon has taken action against over 1000 sites on Fiverr that were selling fake review services. Yes, avoid.

Review services however can speed up the process and find reviewers for your book. One of my favorites is BookRazor. It is a paid site but they promote a system of honest reviewers for your book by providing a contact list of potential readers.

There are many other sites you can check out as well, and many of them are free while some are paid:

Kindle Book Review

Rainbow Book Reviews

KO’s Stuffed Shelf

The Kindle Book Review

4. Include a Kindle Book Review Request Page

Here is a tactic that works well. Did you know that you can include insert a request in your book for readers to leave a review? It’s a great way to invite people to review your book. I have a page at the back of my books that looks like this:

What Did You Think of [Your Book Title Here]?

First of all, thank you for purchasing this book [Your Book Title Here]. I know you could have picked any number of books to read, but you picked this book and for that I am extremely grateful.

I hope that it added at value and quality to your everyday life. If so, it would be really nice if you could share this book with your friends and family by posting to Facebook and Twitter.

If you enjoyed this book and found some benefit in reading this, I’d like to hear from you and hope that you could take some time to post a review on Amazon. Your feedback and support will help this author to greatly improve his writing craft for future projects and make this book even better.

You can follow this link to [Book link here] now.

I want you, the reader, to know that your review is very important and so, if you’d like to leave a review, all you have to do is click here and away you go. I wish you all the best in your future success!

When you do this, you want to have a link directing customers right back to the review page on Amazon. Make it so easy for them that it requires as little effort as possible. Many authors will include a cute ‘cat photo’ or even pictures of their kids begging asking for a review. This strategy can work well if you sell a large volume of books during the initial launch phase. But remember it takes readers time to go through your book and so, if you don’t see the reviews appear in the first week, you might get them trickling in weeks or even months later.

4. Relaunch Your Book

You can relaunch your book if book sales drop and the reviews stop coming in. When you relaunch your book, you can put together a new launch team, and even add a new chapter to the book to generate a renewed interest in your book.

I have tried this strategy several times in the past year and, by relaunching the book, adding new value to the content, I put together another small launch team of 30-40 people. This brought in another 20+ reviews for a book that was suffering from lack of sales and poor rankings. It happens, so we have to stay on top of keeping the book active.

Dealing With Negative Reviews

Getting positive reviews on your book is a great feeling. In a perfect world, we all want to have just the good stuff when it comes to our review platform. But alas, there will always be that dissatisfied reader that was expecting something much different than what your book was offering. Readers will leave a negative review for various reasons, and in most cases, there is nothing we can do.

But first of all, receiving a negative review isn’t the end of the world. In fact, it can lend to a book’s credibility. Look at it from a reader’s perspective. If a book has 100 positive 5-star reviews, although the reviews may be legitimate, we know that not every book is perfect. Having a load of positive reviews and nothing that is under three stars could create doubt for the browser, just as having a book with only a handful of reviews turns browsers the other way.

While negative reviews aren’t all bad, there are steps we can take to reduce the amount.

So how can we prevent our book from getting a lot of negative reviews and turning away potential book sales?

Here are four areas to pay attention to:

  1. Book quality: the single biggest reason a book will get panned by negative reviews is poor quality. This is credited to sloppy editing. A book that is not up to the quality expected by readers will get hit with a high amount of bad reviews. Then, it could get pulled off the shelf by Amazon until the author upgrades to better quality. Make sure your book is up the high standards people expect. Always respect your readers.
  2. Inaccurate description of the book: make sure that your book description, title and cover all point towards the theme of the book. If your book is titles “How to become rich in 21 days” and, after reading through the book the reader isn’t rich, well, they bought the book because of the promise you made. So, if reading a book delivers a negative outcome for your audience, someone is going to shout about it in a review.
  3. Your book is a sales pitch for your other products. If there is one thing readers don’t like, it is being hit up with offers and the push to check out other services or products in the book. This could come across as spammy and devalues the content that the readers paid for. While your goal may be to use the book to attract customers for your online business, you want to avoid any sales pitches in the book.

Writing and Submitting a Review

Writing a review for a book you like is a great way to drive potential readers to the title. If you read a great book recently and you want to tell people about it, you can take a few minutes to write up a positive review.

Writing a review is easy. Just go to the book’s front page and, under the heading Customer Reviews, you will see a button for write a customer review. Click on that and you will be taken to a page set up for ‘Your Reviews’ where you can write reviews for your purchases. What you do is:

  1. Select the rating of the book from 1-5 stars, with 5 being the best score.
  2. Write your book description in the box provided. Keep in mind that if you leave this page before submitting your review, you’ll have to start over again. I would recommend writing the review first in Word or Evernote and then copy and paste.
  3. Create a headline for the review.
  4. Hit submit. Your review will go live within a couple of hours, although it could take up to 24 hours.

One point to note here is that, with Amazon’s policy for posting reviews, you have to have an account that has made a purchase of at least $50 using a valid credit or debit card.

Your Checklist for Getting Reviews

  1. Set up a launch team for your book. Send your team a PDF/MOBI file and follow up with email right up until launch. Follow up with several reminders after the launch.
  2. Include a ‘Review Request’ page at the back of your book. Insert the link taking customers directly to the review page. Make it so easy they don’t have to search around for the book on Amazon.
  3. Contact Amazon Top Reviewers. Send a personalized email to each, targeting the people who review books similar to your genre. Wait at least two weeks before following up.
  4. Contact people in your business. This doesn’t include friends and family. Contact professionals in your field who would be willing to read the book with the possibility of leaving an honest review.
  5. Hire a site that specializes in finding honest reviewers for your book. I recommend BookRazor.
  6. Relaunch your book. Add more content, a new book cover, or make it appealing for people to join your relaunch of an existing book. You can relaunch a book as many times as you want.

There are a lot of strategies out there to get reviews for your books, most are legit, and some are not. As an author, make sure you are aware of what Amazon considers to be authentic reviews when it comes to gathering reviews for your next book. Keep review hunting and adding more to your book. This increases value and credibility for your work, boosting sales and making your book stick as a bestseller.