How to Review a Book on Amazon

Book reviews help sell books, encouraging authors to keep writing. So if you like a book, it’s a tremendous gesture to give it a quick review — it takes only a few minutes. Here are simple, step-by-step instructions (it’s really, really easy).

amazon book review
An example of a book review on Amazon.

Here’s what you do:

  1. Find the book (via search, or look at Your Account > Your Orders).
  2. Click on “Write a Product Review.”
  3. Choose a Star Rating and/or answer the questions presented (you don’t have to answer all these).
  4. Note your name in the upper right. You can change it to an alias if you wish. Some people like to be themselves. Others choose not to. Whatever is comfortable for you.
  5. Write the review. It can be brief or long. It should offer some context explaining why you like the book, not just “I like it.” It should avoid spoilers. See the example above of a review I submitted for a book I really liked.
  6. Give it a headline! It’s easy to miss this field, which is at the bottom. In my example above, you can see that I hadn’t included a headline yet (and in fact I failed to before submitting).
  7. Click “Submit.”

That’s it! You might find that reviewing books is rewarding, since you’re helping others find good reads. Here are a few more tips if you’re unsure how to craft a review:

What to write? Nobody can tell you what to say or how to frame your review or how long it should be. The most important thing is to be honest. Don’t give a glowing review if you don’t mean it. And don’t trash a book that doesn’t deserve it. When I write a review, I try to keep it short and pithy, but some people write hundreds of words.

How do I write the headline? Use whatever word or words capture your overall feeling about the book. See what other reviewers do—it’s all over the ballpark, from a single word to short phrases and even full sentences. Don’t stress about this.

How to rate? Don’t be afraid to give a book a low rating if it deserves one. Maybe the book sags in the middle, drags out toward the end, or has an unsatisfying finish. Or maybe it’s poorly written, too dark, too flowery, whatever. Say so. But if it’s really good or great, then say so (and say why).

Does my review matter? Yes, absolutely! Don’t be intimidated by long or seemingly professional-like reviews, and don’t assume that a book doesn’t need more reviewers if it has many. From an author perspective, the quantity of reviews is extremely important—more reviews tend to mean more book sales, and many authors make very little money at their craft and need every sale they can get to support their ongoing efforts. And from the perspective of a potential reader, multiple voices are valuable.

Note: In order to review a book on Amazon, you must be an Amazon customer. It’s not required that you purchased from Amazon the book you wish to review. Don’t be confused by Amazon’s instructions on this, which some might think imply you cannot review a book you downloaded for free. You can. You just have to have purchased something from Amazon to be an Amazon product reviewer.

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