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Monthly Archives: June 2016

Becoming a Top Amazon Reviewer

Becoming a Top Amazon Reviewer

If You Love Reading, Consider Writing Reviews for Amazon

I’ve been an Amazon reviewer for over 10 years now and managed to work my way up to Top 100 Reviewer ranking. As a retired librarian, I have more time to read now and posting reviews on Amazon helps me keep track of what I’ve read and how I felt about it. Even as a child, I kept lists of what I read. I get nostalgic looking back through my notebook to see the titles scrawled in my childish handwriting and remember what I was reading in those days.Yes, I was a bookworm.

Book Illustration of a Girl Reading Postcard
Girl Reading – Postcard
See other Book Postcards at zazzle

Now with my reading list online, I have more than just my memory to tell me if I liked a book and what it was about. My feelings and opinion of the book is posted on Amazon for my future reference and for all the world to read.

Writing Book Reviews Helps Libraries and Librarians and Authors

Upon retiring, I wanted to volunteer in a library or school or adult literacy center. Unfortunately, our frequent trips and erratic schedule didn’t match with those volunteer opportunities.

Luckily I stumbled upon another way I could share my experience from 30 years as a librarian. It made use of my love of books, but could be fitted in with our coming and going. I volunteer as a book reviewer for Amazon. The reviews on that online book site benefit librarians selecting books for their collections and help any reader trying to find the right book for their enjoyment or informational needs.

Now I read anything that appeals to me, then share a description and opinion online. It’s particularly satisfying if mine is the first review for that item. Readers rate the reviews as helpful or not and that determines the ranking of the reviewer. When I reached the TOP 500 REVIEWER ranking, I knew my reviews were helping other readers and librarians.

At that point, authors started sending books to me to read and review. It was gratifying to add “authors” to those who benefit from my reviewing efforts. I hadn’t thought about that aspect, but I’m helping get the word out about good books and identifying the appropriate audience.

I’ve expanded my efforts on the website by compiling book lists on varied topics. I have 88 of these lists so far.

Any reader can contribute reviews to Amazon and you can fit it around your own schedule and without even leaving your house.

Books on shelves at Wakefield Library

photo by Virginia Allain

There’s no pay, but it can be addictive to rise through the ranks as a reviewer. Here are ways to achieve Top Reviewer ranking. It took two years for me to reach the TOP 500 Reviewer ranking.

The third year, I was ecstatic to reach TOP 100 Reviewer ranking. Since then, I’ve slipped a little and fell to below 1000. It requires a lot of reading and posting of reviews to stay at the top. Update: After shifting most of my energy to Squidoo and other online writing, my reviewer ranking dropped quite a bit. The last time I checked, it was around 1,200.

Diligently post reviews on every book you read whether it’s good, bad or indifferent. Others need to know about that book. It helps if you’re already an avid reader. If you only read 2 or 3 books a month, then it will take much longer to reach the top reviewer ranks.

Writing a Critical Book Review

If reviewing a best seller, it helps to get the review posted quickly after the book’s release date. More readers see the early reviews and vote on its helpfulness. The reviews with the highest number of helpful votes get posted near the top and get more viewings as time goes by. If there are already several hundred reviews posted for a book, yours gets pushed to the bottom and gets little attention and few “likes.”

It’s important to post a quality review. Don’t just put a sentence or two. Say why you did or didn’t like the book. For fiction, give enough of the plot for readers to know if it’s their kind of book but don’t spoil the suspense by telling the ending.

Free Books!

A bonus of reaching Top 500 Reviewer ranking is authors start offering free books for you to review. These books are yours to keep after your read them and post a review. I didn’t receive hundreds of books, but a nice sampling of titles. One author sends me her Disney World guide every time she puts out a new edition.

You can encourage this by adding onto your Amazon profile that you welcome review books. Now, it is more common for authors to offer an ebook copy to a reviewer. Too bad, as it was nice receiving a copy in the mail. After reviewing it, you could give it away or sell it.

Reviewing Non-Book Items

Think about reviewing household items as well. What about your camera? How about the lamp on your desk? Do you like them? If not, why not? Other people need to know what features work well on a product and what are duds. Amazon carries an amazing range of products and reviews of those products. Electronics and software reviews get a lot of votes.

Reviewing Music, Movies, and Software

Don’t limit yourself. Put reviews online for the music CDs you listen to on the way to work. Put a review on for the movie you watched on TV last night. Review the software that you use on your computer.

If you post a negative review on a popular movie, it will get lots of votes that it was unhelpful. Unfortunately, that brings your ranking down. Sometimes I chicken out and just don’t post a review for a movie that I thought was dumb.

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Posted by on June 30, 2016 in Books, Reading

 

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Customize GlassGiant Graphics

Customize GlassGiant Graphics

You’re ready to post on your blog but don’t have a suitable picture for your topic. Here’s a solution for that problem.

The keyboard you see here is just one of the graphics that a site called GlassGiant  has. You can change the wording to whatever you want, then save the resulting image to your computer. I keep mine in a folder called graphics so I can find them easily and use them again.
post keyboard
I created keyboards graphics with words like “review,” “search,” and “post.” Those work for a variety of topics that I might not have a photo to match from my own collection.

The site is free to use and enables bloggers or content writers to make pinnable images to use online. I never post on my blog without a photo, since pinning to Pinterest is such good advertising and that requires a picture. Keep this site in mind when you don’t have an image of your own that suits your posting.

Take a look at some of my other images I made using GlassGiant. You can customize the message on the chalkboard, on the neon sign and on the diamond bling.

unclutter

GlassGiant bling graphic “unclutter” created by Virginia Allain

 

The neon words can be anything you want and you can change the background for it and the color of the neon. Cool, isn’t it!

pet peeves neon

Neon graphic created by Virginia Allain using GlassGiant

Spell out your name or your topic in shiny diamonds.         vallain bling

You can customize the words on the cookie and even the shape of the cookie. The heart shaped cookie looks good. I also like the bar of chocolate with your words added on it.

glass giant favorite cookie

GlassGiant cookie graphic with the words, “What’s Your Favorite?”

The blackboard graphic that they have proves useful for many topics. I could have used the keyboard graphic, but used this blackboard instead. Check out the site and have some fun creating your own images to use with online content writing. pet peeves blackboard

(Previously published on Bubblews by vallain on November 11th, 2013)

 
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Posted by on June 1, 2016 in Blogger

 

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