Getting book reviews for a self-published book

If your self-published book is available for sale at, Barnes & Noble (, and other sites, you want to be sure your online listings have book reviews. You can always be sure your book has at least 1 review by asking someone you know to review for your book. Who knows? They may even do it!

Once you have one review, your job is to solicit others. Obviously, if you’ve given some of your books away to friends or families, you should ask them to write a review in exchange for the book. As you continue to give them away, suggest to your customers that it would be helpful to you if they took the time to write an honest online review. People like to help people, but usually only do so if you ask.

BONUS: Once you have reviews, you can use them in quotes for further promotion. For example:

“Best Book Ever!” — review.

Your book detail page on Amazon and Barnes & Noble have links for writing reviews of your book. If you haven’t done that yet, do it right away.

Remember, in order to write a review for a book on Amazon, each reviewer must have an Amazon account with which they have purchased something. This is how Amazon verifies the identity of the reviewer. They don’t need to buy your book, per se, they just need to buy something, anything, from Amazon. But it is nice if they DO buy your book, so suggest that to your friends first.

Contacting Amazon reviewers is also a great place to start, and here’s where you can find them:


6 thoughts on “Getting book reviews for a self-published book

  1. I am new to Amazon Kindle eBooks but have over 30 self-published paperback books. Surprisingly, I have never marketed my book but I am finally changing this. Someone today asked me in an email if I am aware of the “protocol” for asking a person to review a book. Is there such a protocol? The person who asked the question is a friend, and I plan to ask friends and relatives to review my book. Again, is there a protocol for how to ask for a review?

    1. Hi, Joseph:

      Thanks for your comment! That’s a great question. When looking for book reviewers, it is important to try to use those you connect with most. Your best connections come from natural conversation. Being frank and honest to the effect of “Based on your field of expertise, I think you’d be interested in my book, which is about XYZ Topic.” Try that approach.

      Thanks again – come back and see us soon! 🙂

  2. This idea of how to get reviews of one’s books has been working very well for me. Since this blog post appeared, I have scrolled through the top 500 Amazon reviewers, contacting those I thought most likely to be willing, due mostly to their posted fiction reviews and providing of an e-mail address. That has meant 250 people. Of those, the vast majority have not responded, and of those who have, a few dozen, most declined politely. However, 10 have agreed to review. This is a 4% success rate, not bad for the sort of wing-and-a-prayer request I’ve been sending. And since my 2 books currently have only 2 reviews each, this means 5 or so more reviews for each book, a large percentage increase and a number–say, 7 reviews for each book–that equals an amount I see for other e-books recommended at Amazon, reviews being one of the criteria Amazon uses to determine products to suggest. Thanks for this helpful idea.

    1. Hi Charles,

      That’s great! You’re right, it’s a lot of work and 4% may not seem like a huge success rate, but it is! As you said, you will now get a number of additional reviews for your book and the more reviews you have, the better the chance that someone who discovers your book on Amazon will see/read those reviews and that will help in their decision whether or not to buy a copy.

      Also, those who do review your book may post their review on other sites and tell other people about your book. Many authors underestimate the importance of book reviews, but it sounds like you’re doing a great job of building that word-of-mouth promotion.

      Keep up the great work!

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