Today, I am going to talk about review swapping, which is definitely one of the most controversial topics in Kindle publishing. Although, most people don’t like this idea and try to avoid this topic like the plague.
The reality is… most publishers get their book reviews using this process. I could make Kindle publishing sound beautiful and stunning!
By simply telling new publishers that I have this amazing technique to get only organic reviews. Yeah right!
But I am here to show you the gritty and nasty truth behind building a kindle business. In a way, only by understanding this can you decide whether if you are willing to compromise a bit to succeed with your book business or not.
The fact is… I don’t have nor anyone who claims they have has a secret method to get only organic reviews.
Whether you disagree or not with review swapping is beyond the point. Most non-famous authors and publishers use this process and it is here to stay. In my opinion, it is better to be aware of the truth and accept it; rather than closing your eyes like it didn’t exist and being mad at most publishers for doing it.
By the end of this tutorial, you will have a clear understanding…
- What is review swapping?
- Why publishers do review swapping?
- How you can do review swapping?
Watch my video
What is review swapping?
In case, you are wondering what the hell I am talking about??? Review swapping consists on a process of either you or a hired virtual assistant exchanging reviews with another person. In other words, you leave a review on the other person’s book and he leaves one on yours.
For this, I prefer to hire a virtual assistant from Upwork. Before hiring my VA, I interview him and then give him the guidelines.
I basically tell my VA to get 40 or 50 reviews in the next following weeks for my book.
The fact is getting reviews is extremely important. They help your books better rank in Amazon and sell.
Without them, your books are destine to fail! It doesn’t even matter the quality of your content. You can even have the best cover in the world but without reviews, your books won’t rank in the front page of results. Where interested buyers who are searching for your book topic may easily find and purchase them.
If you want to learn more about the importance of reviews then I recommend reading my other tutorial here,”The Truth Behind Honest Amazon Reviews For Kindle Books“.
Many publisher don’t like this idea about review swapping. They commonly don’t consider this a honest and morally right strategy.
And they would like to have a more ethical way of getting reviews. For this reason, there are plenty of publishers lying to newbies by telling them, “they have this secret technique to get organic and honest book reviews”.
What are organic reviews?
Consists on reviews left by buyers on their own free will. In other words, someone purchases and reads your book. Afterward, they go back to Amazon and leave a review. Basically, this is what Amazon wants in terms of reviews.
However, the problem is most people don’t do anything on their own free will and are commonly too lazy to leave reviews. Including, myself! I already purchased plenty of books and products in their platform and only once left a review for a book I loved reading.
Besides, the only few times people leave organic reviews are:
- If they hated reading your book. When people are angry they often go out of their way
- Or once in a while, they may leave a three star review
But that simply isn’t enough for you to position your book in the front page of results.
Of course, if you were a famous author then you could easily get hundreds of organic reviews. For instance, Tony Robbins has thousands and thousands of followers. So whenever he launches a book, he can easily get a couple of organic reviews.
I mean a couple because probably out of the millions of copies he sells only a small percentage of his buyers leave a review.
If you aren’t a famous author and certainly you aren’t, otherwise you wouldn’t be here then that certainly won’t happen. But still, you need to get book reviews if you want to make money with Kindle publishing.
For this reason, you need to find a way to get reviews for your new books. Besides this strategy, the other method is by building an email list. Afterward, requesting reviews from your subscribers. Although, this may sound a more ethical way of getting book reviews.
- Building an email list is a slow process
- You are still soliciting reviews, which goes against Amazon’s policy
As a result, the only viable method of getting book reviews is by swapping them. Even though, most publishers hide this truth. However, the reason why most publishers do this is because this is the easiest and fastest way of getting book reviews.
Note: Actually, I forgot to mention one thing in this video. Just because you are doing review swapping that doesn’t mean your book is garbage. Still, you should provide high-quality content. Otherwise, your buyers will start leaving negative feedback. After a while, this will dramatically impact the sells of your book. As eventually, it will stop selling as well and therefore, drop from the front page of results.
How To Do Review Swapping?
Warning: Even though, I am about to mention the process of doing review swapping. In no way, I am responsible to whatever may happen to your Kindle business. I never saw any publisher getting banned by Amazon for using this process. But of course, you never know!
For this, I go to a website called Upwork. Here you can hire virtual assistant for nearly any task you could imagine and also ghostwriters.
I basically, leave a job asking for, “VA for Kindle Publishing”. Any experienced Kindle VA will immediately understand the job requirements.
Once I receive an application, I review that VA’s profile. I always try to see if they have done other similar jobs. This way I know they already have some experience.
Commonly, every virtual assistant claims to be the best one in the world. But then, they don’t get the job done. For this reason, spend some time analyzing their profile and interviewing them.
I like to send the guidelines of my job. I explain in detail what they need to do for instance:
- Get 20 reviews during the first week. While my book is priced at $0.99
- Get 20 more reviews when it goes on the five day free promotion
In terms of pricing, I normally pay between $1 to $1.5 per each reviews. Now the problem about hiring a virtual assistant is often you may get someone who isn’t good.
For this reason, it may take you some work until you find a decent virtual assistant.
The other good part about this is that your VA will mostly get 4 to 5 rating reviews. This helps your book sell better, since most buyers only look to this rating and don’t even waste time reading the reviews.
Instead, if you were getting reviews from your email subscribers, then you never know. Often most people tend to leave a three star rating and probably that won’t be enough for you to compete with other books.
I am not telling you to do this process. Of course, you could always spend time building an email list. However, both are the only viable ways of getting reviews. I really think many publishers out there need to stop bullshitting newbies.
I did this tutorial knowing before that many people would possibly hate it. But I am also sick of seeing many publisher scamming newbies by claiming they have a secret strategy to get hundreds of organic reviews over night.
This isn’t true for an author nobody ever heard about! If you don’t have thousands of followers then you simply won’t get organic book reviews. Without them, you won’t ever make money with Kindle publishing.
So now you know the truth! Anyway, if you want to learn more about self-publishing then I recommend for you to get one of the best non-fiction courses out there aka, “Self Publishing Revolution”. Students of this course are having amazing results! Just check some of their results right below…
If you are seriously looking to make money with KDP in the next 3 to 6 months then get, “Self Publishing Revolution” by clicking here.