The Truth About Amazon's Book Reviews Policy
There seems to be confusion and misinformation about Amazon’s book review policy (and it changes periodically). Let’s take a look at Amazon’s rules for posting book reviews:
· You can ask people for book reviews.
· You cannot compensate them for doing so. (Money, gifts, etc.)
· You can give them ARCs (Advance Review Copies) but you can’t influence their comments.
· You can ask people to review your book but without any obligation on their part to review it favorably.
· You cannot ask for a “good” review unless you mean a thoughtful, well-written review. ‘Good’ cannot mean favorable, much less a 4- or 5-star review. Don’t use the word or refer to any stars.
· Do not swap reviews. It is against Amazon’s policy and you could be banned.
· Do not get your family or friends to review your books (exception coming!). Amazon can discover who these people are by having their algorithm check your Facebook page, etc.
You can get people you know to review your book, but you must have them put those reviews (or you do it) on your EDITORIAL REVIEW PAGE, on your Amazon author page not the regular section where people usually put their reviews. You can put Editorial reviews there whether paid for or not. I guess this is Amazon’s attempt at trying to keep all things fair.
(Note: whether people actually look at an author’s page to see these reviews is a good question!)
Paid reviews, in this case, means reviews paid for by you to one of the several companies that do this professionally. They hire writers (usually in your genre) to read and review your books. You cannot ask for a favorable review with these either.
Some companies that perform this service (among others) are: Publisher’s Weekly; Kirkus Reviews; International Review of Books (operated by Books Go Social), Readers’ Favorite.
AMAZON REVIEW POLICY NOTE
To contribute to Customer features (for example, Customer Reviews, Customer Answers, Idea Lists) or to follow other contributors, you must have spent at least $50 on Amazon.com using a valid credit or debit card in the past 12 months.
Promotional discounts don’t qualify towards the $50 minimum. In addition, to contribute to Spark you must also have a paid Prime subscription (free Prime trials do not qualify). You do not need to meet this requirement to read content posted by other contributors or post Customer Questions, or create or modify Profile pages, Shopping Lists, Wish Lists or Registries.
In our opinion, this $50 minimum is a bit ridiculous. With the millions of customers that Amazon has, one would think it would be in their best interest to open up reviews to everyone. It’s a shame that one has to ‘buy’ their way in.