Course Table of Contents
Videos, Images and Links in Reviews
Customer reviews not only allow text commentary on a product, the reviewer has other options as well. For some technical products, you’ll sometimes see a video review with an actual video walk-through of the device or product instead of just text comments.
Customers are also allowed to upload images to go with their review, but they do not show up in the review. Instead you can see them in the images under the main image marked as customer images.
Amazon does not allow links in customer reviews, however, they do allow a link to another product sold on Amazon with a special product link the reviewer can add in their review. This might be something useful for commenting on an author’s other work or a similar product.
Authors cannot change or remove a link, image or video in a review. That is only available from the reviewer who originally posts the Customer Review.
If you see a customer video review for your ebook(s) that you think is a problem, you can vote the review as unhelpful, and/or contact Amazon support to make your case for it to be removed (at Amazon’s discretion as always).
Using Customer Reviews for Promotions
Customer reviews are the property of Amazon.com, however, I often see them used as a promotional testimonial off the amazon.com website.
While you will see Amazon affiliate sites (signed up to promote amazon products for a commission) with customer reviews included, I have also seen an publisher or authors site that quotes a particularly good review.
I have not seen anywhere that Amazon prohibits this practice at this time. But please check to be sure it’s still available to use customer reviews on your own site or in your ebook or social media channels.
Front Matter Reviews
Much like a print published bestseller, you can include Customer Reviews as a third party “vote” for your ebook. I went into this in detail in the Front Matter course in the 101 level.
I like to choose three or four 4- to 5-star reviews that talk about why they recommend the book. I also try to create a combination of reviews that focus on different aspects including:
- Reviewer’s reaction
- Quality of the book
Keep in mind that if you choose to include a review AND the ebook platform site it came from–like Amazon–some sites like Smashwords do a search for the word “Amazon” and may not let you publish through them if their competitors’ names are in the copy.
For more on the front matter and using customer reviews, go to [LINK].
Reviews in the Sales Page Description
One key to making your sales page sell more books is to include as many third party recommendations about your book as makes sense.
Some authors have blurbs or editorial reviews they can use to enhance their sales page, but many new authors don’t.
One way to solve this dilemma (or to add to what you have already) is to select 2-3 top Customer reviews and highlight them in the sales description for your ebook. I like to use a quote that’s 2-3 lines long at the most, the person’s name and the number of stars — like this:
It seems counter-intuitive and even redundant to repeat reviews in the sales description when they are listed lower on the sales page.
However, some potential readers may not scroll down the sales page to the section on customer reviews. And when you highlight a review in the sales description (esp. some that may be listed lower on the page), there’s something that gives the description a further stamp of approval with the reviews included.
Tip: don’t go overboard with this technique, but instead, be thoughtful and choosy about the reviews you select. Then as new ones are posted, you can always update the description with new or different reviews.
Blog or Website Testimonials from Reviews
Your blog can be the perfect place to add some customer reviews. it makes sense to add reviews to say a sales page on the blog or a page about your ebook(s) to help give validity and a feeling of authenticity. It’s not just you saying, “My book is good!” which of course the author would say that. but someone else who writes a thoughtful, sincere review is hard to ignore.
On your own site, it’s up to you how to format and use the reviews. You could put it in a quoted format or on an image of your cover (like the print bestsellers do).
I would not, however, add a customer review to use on your cover for publishing without explicit permission from the site the review was posted on. As always, use common sense!
Customer Reviews Via Social Media Networks
You can use a portion of the review in a quote for Twitter or on Facebook updates for your own page or on a fan page. Be careful not to manipulate the review into a positive quote that mis-represents the original intent.
Most published ebook authors have plenty of quotes to utilize for social media, like this one I saw from author Debbie Epperson through Facebook. Great idea!
Don’t forget Editorial Reviews
Editorial reviews are not customer reviews (and vice versa). Editorial reviews are a third party review off the ebook publishing platform’s site.
They can be from a newspaper, magazine or an industry website or a book reviewer’s blog. You must be able to include a reference to the quote in the editorial review.
Some new authors don’t have any or many editorial reviews, but I recommend that if you do a blog tour or have an ebook reviewer that says something positive about your blog that you add that quote to the editorial review.
You can do this using Author Central.com’s site. Just add the review and the source (important!), and submit it so Amazon can take a look to approve it.
The approved editorial review will appear above or near your ebook description on the sales page, which will give your ebook more credibility and a third party approval.
NOTE: Ebook promotional/advertising sites, like BookBub, are increasingly looking for editorial reviews (and other markers like awards) as one way to gauge an ebook’s quality. They get so many advertising requests that these ad services take into account ebooks that have excellent editorial reviews and those ebooks get priority for advertising slots.
Questions about Sales Page Optimization? Get answers on the Amazon Optimization Question and Answer Page now! Enter the password — workshop — to gain access.