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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How long does Amazon take to post reader reviews? I have some readers who have posted a week ago and they still are not appearing on my book page.
 

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You'd expect it to be instant, but in my experience, they can take a few weeks. In some cases, they end up just on one store and in others, they end up on all stores. It's something of a mystery, and all a part of the joie de vivre as an indie.
 

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We know they check to see how much money a reviewer has spent at the store, so there obviously is some sort of process. We also know that when corona hit there was some upheaval at the Zon as many workers were told to stay home... Obviously there have been some adjustments made in operations over the past four months.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks, but that is interfering with my plan to promote my book. Was waiting until I had 15 or 20 reviews from my initial launch before promoting to the general public. Thanks for your answers.
 

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thmurray3 said:
Thanks, but that is interfering with my plan to promote my book. Was waiting until I had 15 or 20 reviews from my initial launch before promoting to the general public. Thanks for your answers.
Unless you are thinking Bookbub, who do have specific requirements (I think it is around 30), you don't need to get that many reviews before you start promoting your book and, conversely, your reviews will gather pace when you do. Good luck with it!
 

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thmurray3 said:
Thanks, but that is interfering with my plan to promote my book. Was waiting until I had 15 or 20 reviews from my initial launch before promoting to the general public. Thanks for your answers.
This is a very bad idea. There's a very good chance your book will be dead in the store before you get that many reviews. You need to promote to get readers. You needs readers to get reviews. And reviews are much harder to come by now. You'll likely need thousands of reads before you get 20 reviews. Unless you are an outlier.

And if you haven't promoted so far to the "general public," where have these initial reviews that you know about come from? Are they coming from friends/family/people that follow you on social media? If so, they will never get posted because that's against TOS, and Amazon has the right to ban your account for it. The friends and family bit is very clear in the terms and the social media part has come up anecdotally often times over the years. Because all of your followers are "friends," right? ::) If these are reviews due to ARC headers you have no ties with, you should be okay.
 

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Kathy Dee said:
Unless you are thinking Bookbub, who do have specific requirements (I think it is around 30), you don't need to get that many reviews before you start promoting your book and, conversely, your reviews will gather pace when you do. Good luck with it!
I don't think Bookbub has such a policy. I know I recently had a Bookbub with my fantasy novel that had only ten reviews at the time.
 

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I've had nice reviews from classmates who are Facebook "friends", so social media can't be disqualifying. It must be closer than that (credit card, ISP, Amazon gift list, street address, that sort of thing).
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
My understanding is that I cannot trade a free book for a review as a precondition. But if people I know buy the book independently and leave a review because they think it was worth reading, what is the problem with that? My strategy of getting reviews from the first wave because they are more likely to give a review then promoting to the rest of the world seems to me a good one. Am I wrong?
 

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thmurray3 said:
My understanding is that I cannot trade a free book for a review as a precondition. But if people I know buy the book independently and leave a review because they think it was worth reading, what is the problem with that? My strategy of getting reviews from the first wave because they are more likely to give a review then promoting to the rest of the world seems to me a good one. Am I wrong?
The "problem" (in Amazon's view) is that because they're your friends they may be biased in favor of giving you a positive review.

Basically, lots of people before you did lots of shady stuff that forced Amazon to act. That action is that sometimes when they detect a link between and author and a reviewer that review gets removed. They never say exactly what that link is, but people speculate about all kinds of stuff. The end result is harvesting a bunch of early reviews from friends/family can be a pointless effort, because sometime they vanish and there's no recourse.

But sometimes they don't get removed. YMMV.

You're now informed of the possible outcome so feel free to approach it however you like. No one rounds up a posse in either case.
 

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thmurray3 said:
But if people I know buy the book independently and leave a review because they think it was worth reading, what is the problem with that?
Largely nothing, assuming they are outside your immediate family and haven't worked on the book. Amazon tends to crack down on personal-connection reviews if the reviewer is only reviewing your books.

Someone with 100 unrelated reviews and who gave you a 4-star review is less likely to have their review deleted than someone who has five reviews, they're all for your books, and they're all gushing 5-stars.

I have reviewed many books from people I know and have had none of them removed. I review other books, other products, and I don't give empty 5-star reviews unless I can back them up. In other words, I'm not just pumping up the numbers for a friend and I am using Amazon as Amazon intends.

Amazon'll also delete reviews if you get a surge of personal-connection reviews upon release that are all similar. Seven friends all saying "This book is amazing!" at the same time is going to get on Amazon's bad side.
 

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thmurray3 said:
My understanding is that I cannot trade a free book for a review as a precondition. But if people I know buy the book independently and leave a review because they think it was worth reading, what is the problem with that? My strategy of getting reviews from the first wave because they are more likely to give a review then promoting to the rest of the world seems to me a good one. Am I wrong?
Conventional wisdom would suggest that yes, you're wrong. First, because getting people to leave reviews is hard. If you want 15 -20 reviews, you're likely going to need a good 150 to 200 people to read your book, if not more. And second, because the easiest time to get some momentum built up for your book seems to be the first month, before it falls off the 30-day cliff.
 

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Getting reviews from non-friends is extremely difficult and time-consuming these days. You can pick from the hugs blogger lists and find potential reviewers there and submit your pitch. But it might take days or weeks for a response, and then more time after that if they accept your book for review. It's the hard way to do it without first getting the sales, and that is the way I had to do it since my sales were not that initially heavy. Good luck.
 
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