Yes, you can purchase reviews. Yes it is OK according to Amazon!
If you are prepared to purchase reviews there are a growing number of companies that will help you. They stick to Amazon’s rules so you are safe.
I have my ears covered and am hiding under my desk. Many of you are morally outraged. Purchasing reviews is against Amazon rules isn’t it? Yes … and NO! Keep reading, because reviews are being purchased every day.
First of all there is Amazon’s VINE program. Though it says upfront that it is a VINE review and that the reviewer got the product for free, give me a break. Will a reviewer who just got a $300 product for free, trash it? If they did would they stay on as part of the VINE program? These people get thousands of dollars in free products every month, so I know what I think … what do YOU think?
I’ve also noticed that Amazon appears to be very inconsistent in how they enforce their rules. In the end it is all about money. For example, best selling author, John Locke wrote a book called How I Sold 1 Million eBooks in 5 Months! Amazon temporarily removed the book from sale, but only after it got 621 reviews … which equates to a considerable number of sales!
People investigated Locke’s claim and it started a FIRESTORM of controversy because it turns out he not only paid people to buy his book, but paid for 5-star reviews. Goes without saying that Amazon knows all about it. Lock’s library of books are still for sale. I am not sure if the books, he scammed the reviews on are still selling! According to Amazon’s rules of engagement, Locke’s account should have been removed. Go figure!
If you are prepared to pay for reviews there are a growing number of companies that will help you. Basically you are paying for a brokering service. The review service company finds reviewers and makes sure your book review gets written and posted. They make NO promises that the review will be positive. I noticed that some of the companies will not post one or two star reviews, it basically becomes a “pass.”
How do they get around Amazon’s no payment for reviews rule? In a nutshell … the reviewers don’t get paid. They are encouraged to write honest evaluations and to offer their opinions on the book. There is NO obligation to create a glowing review for a book that doesn’t deserve it. In MOST cases the reviewer will also state that they got a free copy of the book and that their review was not influenced by that fact that it was free.
Buying reviews is NOT cheap and depending on the service, it can take up to a month or more to get your reviews posted.
Here are several review sites that will help you break the ten reviews barrier!
LiteraryTitan.com has a service that includes a review (within 45 days), plus an interview and a bit of social media marketing. Their package sells for $59.00 Unfortunately one review is all you can order.
NOTE: This used to be The Hungry Monster Book Review service.
Dog-Eared Reviews This review service company has over 400 active readers across the country, pretty well guaranteeing a reader for every niche!
Starting at $70 for one review, they also have 5-review packages and 10-review packages (10 for $399). Dog-Eared Reviews additionally has monthly packages giving you one to five new reviews every month.
HugeOrange doesn’t do “consumer reviews” rather it offers a range of review services that I found to be quite interesting and very useful.
First off is their Book Publication Review and Award Badge service. This is actually quite a nice package for the price. This services starts with a well written review. You can use the review on your Amazon Author Page (HugeOrange is apparently an Amazon authorized reviewer). Visitors will see this review in the description section of their listing. Second you can get an “award badge” that you can place on your book and use in other marketing materials. You also get their Marketing Blast promotion package, which goes out to a variety of social media sites.
IF you have a FREE book, give their Free Book Promotion service a peek. I think this service would work really well for perma-free books and might work well, IF you have a five-day free-days promotion and give them plenty of advanced notice.
Another option that can help you gather reviews is to have your book posted on NetGalley. You’re not guaranteed any reviews, but this is a site specifically for book reviewers, librarians, educators, and bloggers to browse titles for review. There are more than 220,000 members.
Listing a book yourself on NetGalley can be pricey. It’s much cheaper to list your book through a service like Xpresso Book Tours. Also, the service will take care of tasks like sifting review requests with an eye toward which readers are most likely to generate reviews for your book. Reviews aren’t guaranteed, and they are not required to be positive, but this can be an effective way to generate them.
A one-month listing on NetGalley with Xpresso Book Tours is $65; a 3-month listing is available for $180.
You’re probably already familiar with this name, but you may not have known you can actually purchase a review from Kirkus. Be prepared– they are not cheap! Reviews start at $425 ($350 for a picture book) and take 7-9 weeks to complete.
Once you get the review back, it’s up to you whether you post it on the Kirkus site for industry experts and consumers to see. If you do not like or wish to share the review, simply keep if private, and it’s like it never happened. (Except your bank account will be $425 lighter.)
But if you get a positive review, that lends a LOT of credibility to you as an author and to your book, so it may be worth considering.
Another somewhat pricey option is to purchase a review through IndieReader. The basic review is $275, but it includes the option to have your book featured in the IndieReader newsletter IF the reviewer gives your book 4-5 stars in the review. The newsletter reaches over 10K subscribers. 4-5 star reviews are also posted to the IndieReader website.
NOTE re: Fiverr and other similar services
You MIGHT be able to find reviewers on outsourcing networks such as Fiverr, but I wouldn’t advise it. WHY? Amazon has filed several lawsuits against groups of Fiverr reviewers who guarantee five-star reviews. As a result Fiverr is being very diligent and is now removing gigs that promise 5-star reviews. Amazon is being equally diligent and looks specifically for reviewers with hundreds of similar sounding glow in the dark 5-star reviews.
If you know of any other similar services … please post a note and a link in the comments and I’ll add it to the list.
Book Reviews are critical to your book’s success.
Be sure to read the entire How To Get More Book Reviews series:
How To Get More Book Reviews: Your Website
How To Get More Book Reviews: Social Media
How To Get More Book Reviews: Author Groups
How To Get More Book Reviews: Facebook Groups
How To Get More Book Reviews: Reviewer Blogs
How To Get More Book Reviews: Amazon Reviewers
How To Get More Book Reviews: Purchase Reviews (this method is legit)
Another GREAT Article: Asking for Book Reviews
Check out my list of recommended Books on Getting Book Reviews