Many people think of Amazon as an amazing site where they can buy books or personal electronics items. What’s not to like about Amazon, its ease of use, helpful shopping venues, and excellent customer service? While all of this is great for Amazon fans, for the past 5 years I have followed the progress and development of Amazon’s various user platforms with equal interest. I must admit that Amazon is now one of my favorite sites to visit – mainly because of its success in meeting the needs of its users.
To tell you a secret, I often visit Amazon several times a week “just to hang out” or to see “what’s new”! If you have not visited this site recently, you might be pleasantly surprised by all the “buzz” going on at Amazon. However, if you are already a fan of Amazon, you might visit occasionally to check out the price of a book or camera that you intend to buy or, like me, you may have become more involved in what is now called the greater “Amazon Community”. Regardless of your current level of involvement with Amazon, you will find an extensive number of resources that anyone can use to connect with others who have similar ideas and interests.
Whether you want to write book reviews for your own pleasure, for social or academic purposes, or for driving traffic to your website or blog, Amazon is an excellent resource to use to make yourself and your ideas known. All of these resources are free and available for everyone to use. In addition, you are able connect from Amazon to two of the top social media networks using these resources. The main two social networks connected directly to Amazon currently are: Facebook and Twitter.
However, one resource of the Amazon community that I enjoy in particular is its book review platform. Anyone can review books on Amazon, and it’s an extremely powerful user platform. For the purposes of this article, I would like to give you some brief ideas about writing best-seller book reviews on Amazon.
The first thing you need to decide is this:
For what subject(s) do I have a great amount of personal knowledge and passion?
For example, I have a language website and blog that I am currently developing. So I went to Amazon and conducted a few searches on some English language resource books that I have used myself. When I was still in college, I had developed an SAT Verbal Prep course which I taught to small high school study groups for many years. I conducted an “SAT Verbal Prep” search on Amazon. Immediately I saw the book “Hot Words for the SAT” which is a book that I had actually used in my SAT Prep course, so I chose this book from my search to write about.
However, what if your area of knowledge is photography? You would simply go to that category on an Amazon search and browse through the search results to find a book that you have read, or that you are at least familiar with, on your topic.
The second thing you would need to do is go to the actual page of the book for which you will write a review.
I did an Amazon book search on Photography to use as an example for this article. In the drop down menu before I actually clicked “Search”, I saw the sub-category book title just for me – “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Photography Essentials”! It sounded promising and full of potential, so I clicked it.
The next page is your book’s listings by the different Sellers on Amazon. But that is not what I am really interested in here. To the right of the book image is a row of 5 stars. I move my mouse over to the stars, and a hover box pops up automatically. It says that there are 37 reviews of this book, and it breaks the book reviews down into categories from 1 star (so-so) reviews of the book to the 5 star (best) reviews of the book. I also see the number of each type of review from 1 to 5. I click the 5 star reviews to see what a really good book review on Amazon looks like. I also read a few reviews in each category just to see what each reviewer has discussed concerning this book. What I don’t want to do is repeat everything that has already been said; the main thing that I want to do is point out some fresh ideas about this book.
This brings me to some tips on actually writing the book review. Here are the most important ideas to remember:
1) Keep It Short.
Writing a book review on Amazon does not require you to summarize the book! I actually advise everyone to avoid this unless you just want to name three to four of the main chapters or headings to give the reader a broad sense of what the book covers. Common sense will tell you that if you are about to write the 38th review on a book, it probably has already been “summarized to death” by everyone else before you. In essence, they have done the hard work for you. So keep it light and use fresh ideas and perspectives.
2) Make It Personal.
For instance, you could mention when/where you first read the book, something like this: “I first read ‘The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Photography Essentials’ by Mark Jenkinson as a high school sophomore. When I started using the ideas and applications found in this book for my own photography projects, I found that my photography skills improved significantly. Other people started asking me to take photos at their weddings and other family events. I actually credit my becoming a world class photographer to the ideas I first learned in this book”. See what I mean? This makes you personal and credible to other review readers.
3) Be an Expert.
If you want people to view you as a resource in any niche field, you need to state in your review what qualifies you as an expert. For example, you might want to continue your book review with a statement such as follows: “As a photographer who has worked freelance for many scientific and geographic magazines, I find the book ‘The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Photography Essentials’ to be an excellence reference tool that I have revisited many times throughout my career”. Now you are not only seen as an “expert” but as an expert who has actually used this book to become successful!
4) Make a Recommendation.
Leave your book review by stating those you think would benefit from reading this book. For instance: “I highly recommend this book for people who want to learn the basics of photography as an easy to understand and easy to use guidebook”. Got it? Okay, let me leave you with a few closing points.
Whatever you do – Keep it simple, and Remember this point: The folks who read the book reviews are also able to vote on your book review, so your review can be rated higher up the ranks to get you more exposure as a reviewer. This is ideally what you want. For example, whenever someone reads your review, this question appears: Was This Review Helpful to You? They can click “Yes” or “No”. Of course you want people to click “Yes!” The more positive clicks you get, the quicker and higher you will rank as an Amazon Reviewer. Amazon also gives you a percentage ranking on “Helpful Votes” you have received as a reviewer!
There are so great a number of outstanding features within the Amazon user platform in this one area of writing book reviews that it would take many articles to cover all the possibilities. Whether you are interested in writing book reviews for your own pleasure, for social or academic purposes, or to drive extra traffic to your web page, blog, or website, Amazon is an excellent free resource for you to use to make yourself and your unique experiences known. For more ideas about using book reviews on Amazon and other useful ideas, check out my related articles. And don’t forget to visit Amazon: See you there soon!
Visit my website to read more about Amazon
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