You’re probably thinking, Michael you’re making a pretty bold statement here, why would you say that?
My Kindle business is running fine, I haven’t got an email from Amazon telling me that they think I have been active in review manipulation.
I’m fine, nothing to worry about here.
I am here to tell you about something which I feel is coming and it is going to affect a lot of people participating in this black hat technique of review swapping, Yes, it is black hat!
Black hat means something which is not compliant with the rules of the platform you are using, Amazon.
You could call review swapping a grey area but you’re really fooling yourself because you know it is against Amazon’s terms and conditions.
Why do you think all of those reviews were deleted.
How Did Review Swapping All Start?
Review swapping has turned into a nasty beast which got out of control, as with the original internet marketers who got into Kindle publishing they looked for an easy way to get ahead of their competition.
They worked out review swapping was the way forward as they could easily rank and get social proof for their books without having to get real customers to write a review for them.
Years ago they only needed a few reviews to get a head over because not many people were getting involved in Kindle publishing at the time, now there are hundreds is not thousands of people looking to dupe the system.
One of the people you could name as the forefather of this practice as most people took his course. It was the most famous one at the time and still is well known now due to back then he had very few competitors and allowed him to take this practice to the mainstream audience.
This is when everything started to get out of control!
There were not just a few people doing this practice there were hundreds, if not thousands.
How Did This Become An Epidemic
Review swapping became all the rage within the Kindle community of internet marketers.
They saw this as an easy way to get reviews, some false social proof and get the book started.
The problem wasn’t getting just a few reviews, they were getting 10, 20, 30, 40 even 100 fake reviews just so they could get a leg over their competition.
This stuff really got out of control.
One course I took had a discussion about what to do after Amazon stops people review swapping. (Not the course I recommend)
The course owner suggested book swapping. I’m like, come on, seriously!! I smack my head with this one. This is buying each other books to gain a ranking.
Before you go off and do this, I recommend you don’t this, it will only give your book a small boost before it sinks down again.
You’re best off building an email list and using email marketing to market your books properly.
Amazon Doesn’t Know 100%, But It’s Learning
You can see Amazon has been working hard on this problem but hasn’t quite cracked the code yet.
They’re starting to notice patterns and are catching quite a few people.
When they do, they send them an email warning.
Though you could say Amazon doesn’t know what they hell they’re doing, I would call this more they haven’t quite perfected their method of catching people yet.
Same with anything you’re trying to work out. This is a complex situation and it will take time to solve.
Why Amazon Is Desperate To Solve This
Amazon relies on the trust of its customers, without their customers trust Amazon would fail as a business. Fake review whispers have been spreading throughout the news, and that Amazon has a crisis.
This affects the trust of the customer and then they leave Amazon and don’t shop there anymore.
Amazon has had to clamp down!
They don’t know at the moment 100% who is doing this practice but they are slowly working it out.
I can see this because they actually removed a few reviews of people who left an organic review on my books.
How Does This Affect You?
This isn’t just something which affects Amazon it will affect you too.
You need Amazon’s platform to sell your books and if people stop going to Amazon or they no longer trust the books by non-famous authors they will start doing is prior research
This will mean they will do a Google search of your book and find nothing and this will make them think twice about buying your book.
In the long run, your will lose sales.
Most people think about now. I don’t know about you but I want to be making passive royalties for a long time to come.
The inevitable Is Coming
You know you get that feeling that Amazon is going to do something. Well, I have a big feeling it is coming.
Amazon is not a stupid company and spends A LOT of money on their platform. Don’t you think they will invest in a team of people who will resolve this?
It will only be a matter of time before you hear of people getting their account banned for review swapping.
Some of the excuses I have heard for people to continue this practice
- It hasn’t happened to anyone I know
- Amazon doesn’t have a clue what their doing
- Amazon relies on us, banning us would cut out huge amounts of revenue
- You can’t get organic reviews
I feel these are very small minded ideas and the people saying these don’t know any other way of marketing their books or how to get reviews any other way.
Basically, they have found a method which works and they don’t want to change.
Let me answer these objections
- Does that mean it won’t happen?
- I would add to the end, right now. Amazon is looking for that answer and I feel once it comes you will be eating your words.
- Do you realise Amazon doesn’t rely on you, how much do you earn a month? A few hundred or thousand dollars? Amazon earns millions a month. Guess what there are already many books on the subject you published in your niche, people have a variety of other books to choose from.
- The biggest one I have heard, yes you can but they are limited. Relying on paying a VA to get a review for you is not cost effective. Building a list of people who will review your book on release for a copy of your book is not an organic review but is a more honest way of going about this.
The Kindle Courses Don’t Teach You Any Alternatives?
You can become a real marketer, roll up your sleeves and learn a new skill.
Before you rolls your eyes at me and think that doesn’t work, I would say you haven’t been taught the right way.
I am yet to see a non-fiction Kindle publishing course which teaches you how to do email marketing effectively.
They will show you how to set up an email service provider like Aweber and how to create a landing page but that’s about it.
Sound familiar, they don’t show you how to set up an autoresponder effectively to make extra sales, get reviews and launch a book.
This is one of my pains I always had, and I have been searching for an answer!
I spent hundred of dollars reading and learning, trying to find out how to do it effectively, but I just couldn’t find anything which would help me learn this.
To put it bluntly, I was sick of having to rely on Amazon for all of my traffic and was searching for a way to get traffic from outside the platform.
Why An Email Marketing Is More Cost Effective
Think for a moment. How much do you spend on review swaps per book, $40, $60, $100, maybe more?
Then you times that by how many books you have in your series, 4 books, 6 books, 10 books
You can see how the numbers start to add up.
The worst thing about this is most if not all of these reviews will disappear after a few weeks.
What if you could use that same budget and invest it into email marketing, I mean how much would you save in the long run.
Let’s say you are spending $500 in total on review swaps over the series of your book.
You could invest quite a bit of that into creating one or a few quality books, PDF’s, cheat sheets, etc as a giveaway inside of your book. Instead of a terrible PLR book.
That way you have something which is unique, people really want and there is a higher likelihood more people will sign up to your list.
At the same time, they can see what quality you offer and can expect from your future books.
Yes, you will get a few freebie seekers, but this is the cost of doing business.
The rest of your budget you can put into advertising.
Doesn’t that sound like a better way to invest your money?
The best part about all of this is some of these people on your list you can put them into your ARC team.
ARC Team For Review
ARC Team stands for Advance Review/Reader Copy Team. This means they receive the book before it is released and give their opinion on the book, basically a review once launched.
The people in your ARC Team majority of the time will have an account which is in good standing with Amazon and will have reviewed many other products, so their review will act stronger in Amazon’s eyes, giving you an extra boost.
Yes, the strength of the reviewer’s account is one factor in your best seller rank.
I want to show you this case study by Emeka Ossai of EmekaOssai.com where he showed how he built an ARC Team, launched a book and got a 2000 BSR, and still, the book makes consistent sales today.
It is a 2 part blog post which both are worth a read to get a full understanding of how he did it for a completely new book
- How To Launch A Kindle Book That Does $1’500 on the first day
- How To Launch A Book With 80 Amazon Reviews On The First Day
Will definetly change your views on the subject after reading these!
How I Learned Email Marketing For Kindle Publishing
Email Marketing is one of those subjects that eluded me for the longest time. I made it too complex when really it is a simple subject.
I had been trying to learn Email Marketing for months and I just felt I wasn’t getting anywhere with it.
I had a small understanding but nothing which made me feel confident in the subject
I then took Publishing Email Success and a lot of the doubts I had quickly disappeared.
The biggest problem is that I took email marketing courses which weren’t related to Kindle and each instructor was giving different methods to success which made my mind frazzled.
I was just taking in too much information.
Publishing Email Success took all of the knowledge and methodologies I had already learned and simplified things for me.
I have recently been learning about mindset as an entrepreneur and this is one of the big things in the course, it’s all about how you think about your clients and how you can solve their needs instead of thinking of them as another dollar.
In a matter of hours, I actually was able to know how to apply email marketing to my business. I’m talking about the actual way you talk to your subscribers and how to convert them into buyers or have them wanting to join your ARC Team
Marta Magdalena the course creator has taken the guess work out of Email marketing for Kindle, showing how you can increase sales build an ARC team and get reviews on launch.
This is one of the few supplementary courses which I feel will help improve your Kindle business revenue for the long term.
I have something very special I want to offer you as a bonus with her course.
By using my link I will give you two bonuses course:
- #1: Amazon Ads for Kindle
- #2: How to hire quality freelancers
Just email me once you have purchased and I will send you links.
I feel that the way forward is now easier than ever.
Before many people would be stuck on how to get reviews for their books and reverted to review swaps because they didn’t know any other way for them to acquire them.
Now everyone has the opportunity to not fear losing their account and run their Kindle business in a more legit way.
I do feel there will be marketers who will say that I am crazy to say this but Marta and other people have proved that you don’t need to swap to gain reviews anymore.
I hope people see this as a way to have a long-term business and turn away from short cuts.
Shortcuts are easy but as we have seen in the past for many people it didn’t end well (Kindle Unlimited Pages Read Scheme)
You don’t want to be one of the people who are crying that Amazon banned your account and you lost a passive income just because you didn’t look to improve.
I really have a feeling that within the next 1-2 years people are going to start being banned and you will be asking yourself why you didn’t change to a long term effective method for your business instead of using a shortcut.
Your best education for a long term publishing business is to learn the art of Email Marketing with Publishing Email Success.
I feel this is a subject at the heart of a lot of people and would love to hear your thoughts.
Comment below to express your feelings about this subject.
Keep in touch: