Five dollar bills for Amazon book reviews. Fair enough?
A stack of one-hundred $5’s could bring you at least 100 positive Amazon book reviews. Fair enough?

If you have books on Amazon, you’re in competition with over 10 million other books. There isn’t an unsaturated niche on the entire site. Everyone is at Amazon and 99.x% are struggling to find enough buyers of their books to make a living in this COVID-19 era.

Enter the paid Amazon book reviewer.

I was approached by someone who has a team of reviewers who can read and review any of my books within a week or ten days for the bulk rate of just $5 per review. I’d need to buy 20 reviews to get that rate.

He sent me some sample reviews and they did look great. Of course he’s sending the best they’ve ever written as samples.

Most of my books are doing well enough and I have great reviews and yet, I can’t help but wonder if I offered this guy $500—could he provide 200 good reviews, dripped out, over time.

In that case, my most highly rated book on the Zon would have 280+ reviews. I wonder how much boost that would give me in the Amazon algorithm. I wonder whether there are milestones Amazon looks for, like 50 reviews, 100, etc. Surely 280 reviews would be exceptional. There are only a couple of books in the same genre with those kinds of numbers.

I wonder most of all whether it’s safe.

Nothing like losing your entire Amazon account over paying for some reviews and not being able to sell on Amazon any longer until you go through the effort of signing up again under another ID. Ugh. Right?

I know most of my books are written well. You don’t get 80+ positive reviews without having a decent book. Paying someone to leave positive reviews on books that are already doing well is not something that sounds morally repugnant to me. It just seems like playing the game Amazon is refereeing.

On Fiverr there is a large group of people who will review your Amazon books for a fee. Some of them are ridiculously cheap. I can’t help but think Amazon is very smart about weeding out fake reviews, so your money could be going right in the shitter as Amazon blocks accounts who have reviewed too many books, or with too little substantive comments in the review.

“Great book!” isn’t going to cut it. Nor are six hundred reviews of 1-2 paragraphs all saying exactly the same thing, or with only slight modifications.

Positives of Paid Amazon Book Reviews

  1. Increased visibility in Amazon Search. (this is everything, tbh)
  2. Much faster visibility. No longer waiting for weeks or months.
  3. Cheap versus the benefit.

Negatives of Paid Amazon Book Reviews

  1. If Amazon finds out, you’re screwed.
  2. Paid reviews always look lame from a company that does thousands of them a day. Authentic reviewers are multiples better in quality and helping your sales.

Is Amazon’s review system inherently unfair?

I can answer that with a solid YES. It’s unfair that complete idiots, usually competitors in the niche you’re writing, leave unwarranted reviews to sabotage your book sales. I have had this happen a number of times when I wrote in the Thailand fiction niche. There were writers who were doing well in that niche who decided to write some scathing and unfair reviews of my books.

The result over the long-term wasn’t much, the good reviews pushed them down the list. The result in the short-term was devastating. I lost thousands of dollars to these bad reviews.

I’ve petitioned Amazon over and over to remove shit reviews and I get nothing back saying they even had a look.

Amazon has become too big to be fair. I hope there is another book seller on the horizon that does it better!