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#1-6 - Good advice.

#7 - I disagree (and so do a lot of other Amazon shoppers - just see some of the threads discussing this subject in the Romance forum).

Positive reviews are not necessarily the same thing as helpful reviews - I'd sooner buy a book where a featured review was a well-thought-out two-star than one where the top three reviews were two-line five-star "best book EVA!!!!" reviews. I tend to dismiss those as being written by friends, family and fans. They are not at all helpful to me.

Brent Butler

Possibly you don't understand this, but your #7 violates Amazon Terms of Service.

First, the odds are good that Amazon will discover the behavior and scrub these votes. Their reviews are for arm's length communication between customers, not manipulation for marketing purposes.

That sort of behavior has resulted in Amazon banning accounts, proof enough that it is NOT OK.

Dana Lynn Smith

It can be awkward asking friends to help spread the word about your book and I appreciate Sandra sharing some ideas for authors to consider. As Sandra stated in her article, these ideas will not appeal to everyone and authors should do what they are comfortable with.

Donna J. Shepherd

I'm always hesitant to impose, but still found this article helpful. Perhaps every idea isn't a good fit, but if even one works, I'm ahead in the marketing game. Thanks for the tips, Sandra.

Dana Lynn Smith

Thanks Donna. Many authors find it hard to promote themselves and they don't want to impose on friends, but remember that your friends are probably happy for your accomplishment in publishing a book and would like to help you out in some way. I encourage authors to send an announcement to all their contacts when they publish a book (and ask them to share with their friends if appropriate) but you can also be selective in asking certain people to do certain favors to spread the word.


I know exactly what you mean, Donna. I'm kind of shy about that, too. But friends DO want to help, so it makes sense to ask them in your own way to do something specific. (The easiest, and most fun, is to look for your book in a store and turn the cover out when you've got bookstore distribution.)

Just don't be disappointed if you discover that not many could help out. We all mean well! If just a couple of people do something to support you, it's a nice boost.



Thanks for the feedback, Iola & Brent!


Bob Zinnecker

Great ideas Sandy. One of my friends purchases multiple copies of my two books, "Acquisition" and "Sell Out" to give as gifts to family and friends. I designed a special gift card to go with the books with his name as the giver of the gift. It personalizes the gift and encourages others to do likewise. Several have done so.

Dana Lynn Smith

Great idea, Bob! Thanks for sharing


I think accessing your friends network is key and in this day and age it's not as personal request as it once may have felt. Sharing content online is part of the culture. Embracing the importance of sharing should not be looked down upon or shied away from. Although, I totally get that it feels strange. I think especially for small authors there is no better pr machine then your friends. People listen to people they know and trust above anything else! Nice article I enjoyed it!

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