Why Stars Matter

How to get reviews as self-published authors (?)

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Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

Why are reviews so important?

  • The psychological effect. Don’t underestimate the effect of those stars and the little number in parentheses that tells potential buyers it’s worth buying.
  • Promotional sites — Most of them require a specific number of reviews and an average review score before you can even submit to them. A real Catch 22.
  • The sell-through. When I am publishing book two, I need to have reviews to even get people interested in reading the first book and hopefully spilling over into the next. Lack of reviews on book one will directly hurt sales of book two.

The 4 “main” Amazon rules for reviews:

  • To give a customer review, the reviewer must have spent at least $50 from a valid credit card on Amazon in the past 12 months.
  • It’s not allowed to post reviews on your own books, nor is it allowed for relatives, close friends, business associates, or employers, etc.
  • It’s not allowed to get reviews for compensation, including free or discounted books.
  • It’s not allowed to get reviews from other authors you have a personal relationship with, or that was involved in the book’s creation process (i.e. as a co-author, editor, illustrator, etc.)

Now what?

I have heard there’s something like 1 out of 1000 readers that leaves a review. I have no idea if this number is correct. But most people don’t leave reviews.


At the end of my book, I ask my readers to consider throwing in a review. I am telling them (in a non-salesy way)how much their review means to me and the continuation of the series.


There are some sites that allow book promotions without reviews. There are also some sites where we can pay an amount of money to get a book in front of reviewers that might review our books.


This is really not a tactic. But something I will do pretty intense. And it’s free. I have no control over the algorithms of Amazon. If they recommend my books or not. I have no control over the readers and if they will give me a review or not. I also have no control over you, who reads this.


I believe in setting goals. And I don’t set my goals based on others, because…Well, I am me. I’m also a staunch believer in setting realistic goals. I could easily say I wanted 1000 reviews with an average of 4,5 stars.

  • 4-star average

Father, writer, aspiring blogger, connoisseur of everyday joy and professional procrastinator.

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