Self-Publishing Review’s new Amazon book promotion services give authors a great way of increasing customer sales and reviews in a safe and proven way, tweaked to be in line with Amazon’s new review and selling policies for June 2016 to ensure book success continues with our clients’ books.
What changes did we make?
We have changed our Best Seller Book Packages on three levels, and have renamed them, with some changes to terms of service. We did this as good practice, and to give authors security and peace of mind.
1. We are no longer offering a money-back guarantee. From July 1, 2016, we will not be able to guarantee review or sales data because we feel this could be seen as manipulation of rank or review by Amazon. However, we can give authors 100% accurate figures for our past campaigns, 100% of which have seen clients in the Top #25 rank for their category and hitting the minimums shown as averages in our new promotions table – this was basically how we guaranteed before, so it is the same information given more transparently:
Let’s look at this in more detail from Amazon:
“Promotional Reviews – In order to preserve the integrity of Customer Reviews, we do not permit artists, authors, developers, manufacturers, publishers, sellers or vendors to write Customer Reviews for their own products or services, to post negative reviews on competing products or services, or to vote on the helpfulness of reviews. For the same reason, family members or close friends of the person, group, or company selling on Amazon may not write Customer Reviews for those particular items.”
At SPR we only market to the public, who have qualified as reader-reviewers via a form, and not spoken to them or discussed the product in any way, and will not do so.
“Paid Reviews – We do not permit reviews or votes on the helpfulness of reviews that are posted in exchange for compensation of any kind, including payment (whether in the form of money or gift certificates), bonus content, entry to a contest or sweepstakes, discounts on future purchases, extra product, or other gifts.”
We do not offer any discount or compensation to reader-reviewers on the mailing list. Instead, we ask you set the price for your book to under $2.99 so that the book is priced for optimum sales power. You are paying us as advertisers to run adverts for you to promote your book via email, not paying the reviewers. This actually calls into question mailout services that do offer discounted books, and actually shows that it might be worth avoiding those for promotions until it is clear how Amazon is going to deal with them.
2. We are distancing ourselves from bad products with a name change. We took the name “Best Seller Packages” and changed it to something far more transparent, “SPR Amazon Promos.” We did this because we did not want any negative connotation or comparison to the spammy services that do manipulate Amazon’s ranking and reviews.
3. We no longer package an editorial review into the deals, and have added some cheaper options to the deals starting at $349. This is because we now know we can achieve some levels of success that may be useful to certain groups of authors, such as those on a budget, or looking for a top-up promotion. Editorial reviews (SPR reviews) will now be available here. We did this to avoid internet chatter about paid reviews and the misunderstanding surrounding the differences between editorial, paid, and customer reviews. Simply put, we want everyone to be able to purchase an advertising promotion separately from any kind of review at all without any concerns.
What we never did
We never did, and never will do any of these things, unlike many promotion services you can see online. This keeps our promotion entirely within Amazon Terms of Service, as we always have been.
- Affiliate Earnings – Some of the services that promote eBooks with affiliate earnings such as Fussy Librarian, Pixel of Ink, and eReaderIQ have seen their affiliate accounts removed because they were actually in breach of their affiliate accounts by profiting from “selling” free books, leaving Amazon picking up the affiliate tab. We do not, and have never used affiliate accounts to profit from promoting your book, which is why we charge for our advertising services upfront.
- Manipulation of ranking. We also do not manipulate ranking. Before you run your promotion, we check and assess you have correctly filled out your categories and keywords. If you have not, we will give you the best analysis we can to get you the best exposure. This is not the same as using silly, tiny, categories with no relationship to your book. We use relevant genres and sub-genres. There is no need for us to use silly and unrelated genres as we have plenty of buyers on our lists for your book.
- We have never used discounts as an incentive. We will probably see Amazon coming down on other discount book sites too, which is why we are not using any methods to promote except advertising to sell normally to readers.
- No contact about the review. We have no contact with the reader-reviewer lists except for promotion purposes.
- No control. We have no control over reviews, which will therefore be entirely impartial.
- No voting up or down. We do not influence reviews with voting up or down after reviews are posted.