Of course, most of us would gladly drink unicorn’s tears at sunrise after a full Moon or make a bunch of voodoo dolls to get five-starred reviews on Amazon. We find enthusiastic book bloggers who read and review books for free, pay a few book marketers, but Amazon is unattainable like the Holy Grail.
Last week, a book marketer tried to persuade me that no reader will ever buy my book since it, alas, has only five ratings and reviews on Amazon. However, I am such a lucky girl since they work with a reviewer who will buy my book and give me a five-star review. And she supposedly works for peanuts, charging only 175 dollars for one review or 250 for two.
Please, don’t ever accept something like that! Ethics aside, it is illegitimate. Even those who get away with it once or twice will be caught. And suffer the consequences.
I suggest turning to your friends and family for support. All of them want you to succeed, or most of them anyway. It would be wise to gift copies of your book only to your parents and siblings, and explain to your friends how crucial reviews are for every new author. I am sure that they will be glad to buy your book ‒ I mean, come on, how much does an e-book cost? ‒ and write a review. At least friends who enjoy reading. It would be inconsiderate to ask a friend who believes that reading is a waste of time for a favor like that.
Don’t influence their opinion. Instead, let them form their own. You don’t want an extension of your thoughts. Be sure to emphasize that the review doesn’t have to be long, that a few sentences are enough. If they don’t have a way with words, they can always tell you what they thought of the book so you can ghostwrite their thoughts.
For my birthday, I was down with Covid and asked ten friends who enjoyed my book to leave a review on Goodreads instead of sending me flowers. One of them reminded me that the only English words she knows are: beautiful, I love you, shit, and f*ck. She wrote her opinion and asked me to translate it into English so she can post it. And it was a beautiful birthday present! When there’s a will, there’s a way and all that.
So make a list of friends who would enjoy your work, explain the situation, and in no time, you will have ten verified-purchase reviews without breaking the law. And you will be happy because you will know that the reviews are honest.