Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Overcome A One Star Review on Amazon

It is a shock to check out the customer reviews on Amazon and learn some reader has found your book worthy of a one star review. I've had it happen. I'm even including an image to show you the one star review. Yet it can be overcome and I'm going to give you the details.

Amazon has the biggest online bookstore on the planet. Yes they sell much more than books but if you have a book, you want to pay attention to the customer reviews on the page. Readers are constantly reading these reviews and making a buying decision about your book from those reviews.

I love books and regularly read new books. One of the ways I support good books is to take a few minutes and write a short review of the book and a rating on Amazon. I'm often surprised when I go to the book on Amazon and discover three or four reviews. Or often I'm the first person to write a customer review about a book. It did not happen in an instant but I've continued building a body of work through these customer reviews and I've written over 330 Amazon reviews. Many of them are positive because I'm writing the reviews to support authors that I love their writing. In some cases they are controversial. For example, check out the reviews of Malled: My Unintentional Career in Retail by Caitlin Kelly. While the book has only been out three months, it has a mixture of positive and negative reviews. People either love this book or strongly dislike it. Here's the permanent link for my review of Malled. It is worth reading and I enjoyed this book.

The Shack by William Paul Young has been rooted in mixed views since it was published. People either love or hate this book but it continues to be a bestselling book. At this writing, it has over 4,600 reviews. Notice the mixture of almost 3,000 Five Star reviews and over 800 One Star reviews. Yet because of the overwhelming majority of Five Star reviews, the average is Four Stars for this book.

The key fact that many authors overlook is that the Amazon stars are averaged. If your book has dozens of Five Star reviews, then you can overcome any low reviews. Now if you only have one or two reviews for your book, then a low review has a lot of impact on the average.

If you have a book, here's several ideas for you with your Amazon page:

1. Monitor your page on a regular basis. Many authors ignore the page where their book is located. I regularly check these pages for my books and note any activity.

2. If someone has written a Five Star review, then use that information. Tell others about it. When I see that anyone has written a Five Star review about my book, then I tweet about it to my followers with a link to the review. These tweets generate even more buzz about your book.

3. It does not have to be a new book. Also work on your older books. For example, my Book Proposals That Sell has been out in the market for years. Currently there are over 95 Five Star reviews on Amazon.

4. Whenever anyone emails me about how my Book Proposals That Sell helped them, I respond back in appreciation then I ask them to go over to the Amazon page, cut and paste those sentences along with a Five Star review (and I remind them that the Five Star review is important because the stars are averaged). Not everyone takes action and writes the review—but a certain number of them will post the review.

As you increase the number of Five Star reviews for your book, you are also protecting your book when you get a one star review. As you can see from the illustration from my page at Book Proposals That Sell, I have a few one star reviews. In spite of those reviews, my average is still Five Stars. You can overcome a low review if you are aware and working at it.

Whether you have written many books or no books, do support books with simple straight forward reviews on Amazon. You will be making a difference and helping others make wise buying decisions.

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