As well as being a professional reviewer at SPR, I am also one of Amazon’s Top 1000 reviewers (no, you can’t have my moniker, sorry!) and I sometimes review books for free, depending on how I am approached. I am not one of the Vine or Top 100, so bear this in mind while I give you my perspective on how it feels to receive a request from an author to review – and imagine how in demand they must be if I am getting so many requests in the Top 1000.
Why so many review request suddenly? It’s because there are many indie author forums and new tricks being shared that insist that a great way of getting Amazon Customer Reviews is scouring the Top Reviewers List and emailing us. Well, meh. Not really.
Out of every 500 requests I get, which sometimes swamp my inbox, I would say I review one or two books. Imagine how many requests more dedicated reviewers must be getting – not that easy to break through. So in case it helps,
Here are 5 reasons why I don’t review a book when I get a request:
1.Rudeness: If someone writes, “Review my book” or “Here’s my book – review pls” (two titles in my box this morning) I don’t even open the email. Rude… I don’t take kindly to being ordered to review for free! This has to be a two-way street. I’m getting a free book and a good read out of this, right? So sell your book. “Exciting Russian Thriller – Free Book – Amazon” is more likely to make me take a look, and convince me you care about your work. Honestly, I think some authors think I get paid by Amazon or something, and I’m one of many free services. Nope.
2. You bcc me/add me to your mailing list: If I see I am in a mailout to the Top 1000 reviewers in a list, or worse, my email has been sneakily added to an author’s mailing list, I won’t review the book, and I will instantly unsubscribe. I want to know my time is worthwhile here. Use the reviewer’s name, and say why you want the reviewer to take a look. ” Dear booklove123, I saw your review of “Russian Thriller” and I thought you might enjoy “My Russian Thriller.” If I get the impression you don’t care that much who reviews your book, and you are just throwing it at the wall to see what sticks, I won’t care either.
3. If you send me a book without asking: Ask me first if I would like to review your book. Then wait for my reply. More time-consuming, but it will make me more favorable to you as you have approached me with some etiquette. I may even review a few of your books without being asked to. It’s been known to happen.
4. I don’t review your genre. Sending me an erotica is going to go nowhere. I review literary, non-fiction, and sci-fi. Others only review erotica and romance. It’s very important to a reviewer now on Amazon not to have too many weird genre mixes on their review slate for algorithm reasons. I would have no idea if an erotica is good or bad. So find your tribe!
5. Authors don’t make it easy for me: Send me the link to review your book on Amazon! So many authors forget to include this in their request! To add a link:
- Log out of Amazon
- Go to your book page
- Click “Write a customer review”
- You will be taken to Amazon’s login screen. Copy this link.
- Share this link as the link to leave a review. When I log in I get taken straight to the review box of your book!