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Permlink Replies: 12 - Pages: 1 - Last Post: Jan 15, 2018 3:07 AM Last Post By: Duane Dingle Threads: [ Previous | Next ]
Robin Thomas

Posts: 3
Registered: 12/02/16
reviews for books in KDP select
Posted: Dec 29, 2017 5:54 PM
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Hi,
I've just published the second book in my series and have put it in KDP Select. I'd like to get some reviews for this and have been considering such sites as Hidden Gems, which send your book free to selected reviewers. I've read the terms around the exclusivity clause, which says you can offer a free book to reviewers, but I'm wondering if this covers such agencies as this, where you pay a fee for them to send your book to potential reviewers, is allowed in the KDP Select program. Does anyone know whether this is allowed or not?

Robin

Edited by: Robin Thomas on Dec 29, 2017 5:55 PM
Joseph M Erhardt

Posts: 4,731
Registered: 12/21/15
Re: reviews for books in KDP select
Posted: Dec 29, 2017 6:41 PM   in response to: Robin Thomas in response to: Robin Thomas
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In one sense, you're asking for a "professional review," a la Kirkus reviews. If you pay for a Kirkus review, that's allowed. But doing the exact same thing with a company that isn't Kirkus may get you into trouble.

There are two things to do:

1) Do a Contact Us and ask if this is permitted (for this company you're interested in). If the answer you get back is boilerplate or not-to-the-point, reply TO THE E-MAIL and ask for a YES/No clarification. If you finally do get a YES, save the e-mail in case someone else later gives you grief.

2) There are sites that list indie reviewers, and you can submit your work for reviews there. One is the following:

http://www.theindieview.com/indie-reviewers/

For each review site you're interested in, look for a page called "For Authors" or "Review Policy" to see if they're currently open for reviews, and to see what format they want submitted. Usually it's a copy of the MOBI preview file that you can download from KDP.

Of course, the benefits of getting reviewed at these sites are somewhat murky. If you get good reviews, of course, it shouldn't hurt.

Best of luck.
Robin Thomas

Posts: 3
Registered: 12/02/16
Re: reviews for books in KDP select
Posted: Dec 30, 2017 3:06 PM   in response to: Joseph M Erhardt in response to: Joseph M Erhardt
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Thanks Joseph, very helpful. I'll look into that!
Duane Dingle

Posts: 129
Registered: 06/04/14
Re: reviews for books in KDP select
Posted: Dec 30, 2017 4:24 PM   in response to: Robin Thomas in response to: Robin Thomas
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I made the mistake of going through Net*galley (not sure if that will be modded), which is allowed by Amazon as all the trad-publishers do it, but the results were disappointing. I was getting more positive reviews placed on Net*galley and only about ten percent of those posting on Goodreads and Amazon, with most being a poorly written one or two sentences. I believed incorrectly that they used professional reviewers, or I should say, I believed them when they stated they had professional reviewers. It cost me almost $1600 as I also was in a mailing to Librarians. I did see an enormous jump in Expanded Distribution sales of the Paperback versions and assume it was Libraries placing orders, but couldn't notice any change in the Kindle versions. I did get one reviewer who seemed to hate the book and in her three-sentence review attacked my character and writing ability, before tagging herself as a Net*galley reviewer -the only time I have gotten such a mean spirited review. I actually responded to her by thanking her for saving me $1600 on my next book and telling her I'd like to send her the paperback copy as a gift for her time ;). It turned out by her review history that when she doesn't like a book, she gets needing-medication mean. I then discovered that anyone can be a reviewer at Net*galley, something I should have discovered if I had put some effort into checking them out.

My point is to be careful with who you go through. If Net*galley feels it needs to allow anyone to join as a reviewer of a book, I would hate to see who the smaller review groups have as reviewers.
C. Gold

Posts: 1,068
Registered: 02/17/15
Re: reviews for books in KDP select
Posted: Dec 30, 2017 6:14 PM   in response to: Duane Dingle in response to: Duane Dingle
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I signed up as a Netgallery reviewer but, thing is, the authors have the ability to accept or deny applicants. And people like me, who have no blog presence to speak of, get denied. I kind of gave up trying though I would have quite willingly posted my review on Amazon and Goodreads in addition to Netgallery. But the authors don't know that. They only see a random reader who wants to read their book. What guarantee is there? None.
Karel Holzer

Posts: 2
Registered: 01/01/18
Re: reviews for books in KDP select
Posted: Jan 1, 2018 1:53 AM   in response to: Robin Thomas in response to: Robin Thomas
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Hi,
I just a purchased a book on amazon.com, and I can't leave a review. I am amazed, why somebody who buys a book is not allowed to write a review... :(
I find this weird.
Sure, I did not reach the minimum bought items and dollars, as I've registered only to buy this very book. I don't care much about other tems at the moment.
If I am not good enough to review it, why am I allowed to buy it at all?
Seems pretty unfair! :(

Edited by: Karel Holzer on Jan 1, 2018 3:07 AM
Mrs Julia Evans

Posts: 892
Registered: 05/22/16
Re: reviews for books in KDP select
Posted: Jan 1, 2018 3:08 AM   in response to: Karel Holzer in response to: Karel Holzer
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Karel Holzer wrote:
Hi,
I just a purchased a book on amazon.com, and I can't leave a review. I am amazed, why somebody who buys a book is not allowed to write a review... :(
I find this weird.

You have either not met the minimum spend to enable you to do so (US$50), or you are considered to be connected to the author in some way. It's A'zon's standard operating policy to stop masses of fake reviews being posted by family and friends.

Not weird at all actually, and more beneficial for the customer to know they're reading (mostly) genuine reviews.

J
Karel Holzer

Posts: 2
Registered: 01/01/18
Re: reviews for books in KDP select
Posted: Jan 1, 2018 3:12 AM   in response to: Mrs Julia Evans in response to: Mrs Julia Evans
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I don't feel it's any fair - if I am considered good enough to buy something, but my opinion doesn't matter, that amazes me.
Last time I bought something here.
Thank for the answer anyway.
Mrs Julia Evans

Posts: 892
Registered: 05/22/16
Re: reviews for books in KDP select
Posted: Jan 1, 2018 3:39 AM   in response to: Karel Holzer in response to: Karel Holzer
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Karel Holzer wrote:
I don't feel it's any fair - if I am considered good enough to buy something, but my opinion doesn't matter, that amazes me.
Last time I bought something here.
Thank for the answer anyway.

Karel,

If you consider the reasons I gave you for disqualification, there are two possible scenarios going forward...

If you have not yet reached the spend minimum, the assumption is that at some point you will, and at that point you can go back and review every book you ever purchased. In that scenario your review is not disqualified as such, just delayed. Nothing unfair in that at all.

If you are connected to the author, regardless of whether or not you are a paying customer, your review is hardly likely to be unbiased, and therefore, completely useless and misleading to potential customers.

The point of A'zon blocking reviews is to be fair to potential customers, and to make sure they're not being duped into buying rubbish because a book has fifty 5* reviews, all left by 'unbiased friends' of the author. If you can't see the sense in that, as a customer, then I'm guessing that you're definitely in the 'connected' category.

Either way, you'd have been better off complaining to A'zon directly, rather than joining a community for authors and publishers which, quite frankly, has already debated this subject to death on countless occasions.

You'll get some sympathy here from authors who haven't managed to earn any genuine positive reviews, but most people here play by the rules and rely on unsolicited and unconnected reviews to highlight the quality of our work.

I hope that explains better why the rules are as they are.

Best wishes. J
Gary O'Riley

Posts: 1,071
Registered: 09/24/12
Re: reviews for books in KDP select
Posted: Jan 1, 2018 4:22 AM   in response to: Karel Holzer in response to: Karel Holzer
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Karel Holzer wrote:
Hi,
I just a purchased a book on amazon.com, and I can't leave a review. I am amazed, why somebody who buys a book is not allowed to write a review... :(
I find this weird.
Sure, I did not reach the minimum bought items and dollars, as I've registered only to buy this very book. I don't care much about other tems at the moment.
If I am not good enough to review it, why am I allowed to buy it at all?
Seems pretty unfair! :(

Edited by: Karel Holzer on Jan 1, 2018 3:07 AM


You seem to be suggesting that the minimum spend rule shouldn't apply to you.

What make you so special and different from everyone else?
Duane Dingle

Posts: 129
Registered: 06/04/14
Re: reviews for books in KDP select
Posted: Jan 1, 2018 5:56 AM   in response to: C. Gold in response to: C. Gold
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C. Gold wrote:
I signed up as a Netgallery reviewer but, thing is, the authors have the ability to accept or deny applicants. And people like me, who have no blog presence to speak of, get denied. I kind of gave up trying though I would have quite willingly posted my review on Amazon and Goodreads in addition to Netgallery. But the authors don't know that. They only see a random reader who wants to read their book. What guarantee is there? None.
That is correct, there is no guarantee, and hence my point to be careful about chosing a review service. Paying over a grand for a service that claims to have professional reviewers when they allow anyone to join with no qualifications required, was ridiculous on my part had I known. I had expected a better review quality and a better percentage of those posting reviews on Net*galley posting reviews outside of it. I expect now that those that left reviews only on Net*galley when they stated they left them on a blog, Goodreads and Amazon where doing it to show activity on their Netgall*y account. Going by the old adage that you get what you pay for, I certainly didn’t with Netga*lley. So going back to my original point, if A well known, costly and supposedly credible group disappoints, be careful and don’t expect much from smaller review groups. Now that’s my opinion. If anyone else has experience in here with using Net*galley, and more importantly a good experience with receiving reviews, let’s read about it.

Edited: Something else that lost credibility in my eyes, which could be neither here nor there for some, was after they had sent me a survey and I had filled it out, I received a dozen surveys for other groups I never even heard of. I had to contact the survey company to have them take me off their list.

Edited by: Duane Dingle on Jan 1, 2018 6:14 AM
Robin Thomas

Posts: 3
Registered: 12/02/16
Re: reviews for books in KDP select
Posted: Jan 2, 2018 8:46 AM   in response to: Duane Dingle in response to: Duane Dingle
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Thanks Duane. Yes, I've heard mixed views about NetGalley, though the majority seem negative from an author's point of view. It is costly and not something I can afford or am inclined to sign up for. Last year I went through Story Cartel for my first book when it wasn't on KDP Select and I found it reasonably priced and garnered about 20 reviews. They are restructuring at the moment and not accepting any more books. I've heard good things about another review service, Hidden Gems, but my second book is in KDP Select, hence my original question. Guess I'll just have to ask Amazon directly about that one.
Duane Dingle

Posts: 129
Registered: 06/04/14
Re: reviews for books in KDP select
Posted: Jan 2, 2018 9:02 AM   in response to: Robin Thomas in response to: Robin Thomas
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Robin Thomas wrote:
Thanks Duane. Yes, I've heard mixed views about NetGalley, though the majority seem negative from an author's point of view. It is costly and not something I can afford or am inclined to sign up for. Last year I went through Story Cartel for my first book when it wasn't on KDP Select and I found it reasonably priced and garnered about 20 reviews. They are restructuring at the moment and not accepting any more books. I've heard good things about another review service, Hidden Gems, but my second book is in KDP Select, hence my original question. Guess I'll just have to ask Amazon directly about that one.
My books were/are also in the select program so I don't see how it would affect putting it up for free to reviewers. It's common practice to give away free books to reviewers and even Amazon does it with the "Vine" program.
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