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Should You Trust Amazon Book Reviews After The Author Has Given Away The Kindle Version For Free?

More and more people do research on the Internet before making any purchase decisions. One of the things they look for the most is peer consumer reviews. Businesses know how important it is to have good reviews online as well as how devastating bad ones can be. Unfortunately, this leads many businesses to post fake reviews online to boost their perceived credibility.

When you are looking for a new book to read, Amazon book reviews probably do a lot to influence your decision. You want to read books that are well liked and popular, because there’s a better chance the books are good and that you’ll like them, too. You can’t trust all reviews, however. Can you trust Amazon book reviews if the Kindle version is free?

Verified Purchases

Anyone with an Amazon account can post a review on any product or book. The reviews that are most helpful to people, however, are those that are purchase verified. This means that Amazon lets you know which users actually bought the book they’re reviewing. If someone has spent the money to buy a book, there’s a much better chance that they’re genuine. However, downloading a free Kindle edition of a book is also considered a verified purchase. This means that anyone who acquired a free Kindle version didn’t pay anything, opening the doors to more fakers.


Authors know that giving away a free Kindle version of their book is a great way to promote themselves. Hopefully, they will gain fans who will then want to purchase their other books. They also hope that they will write positive reviews. Some authors can go a step further and ask – or even pay – people to download their free books and write positive reviews. This type of self-promotion is a genuine concern, but is it enough to be skeptical of all reviews?

Real vs. Fake Reviews

In order to help discern between real and fake reviews, you should know some of the tell-tale signs of fake reviews. These apply whether a book is paid for or free. If a person uses overly-laudatory comments, like, “This is the best book ever!”, it might be a fake. If the review is very non-specific, it might be a fake. If the reviewer has written no other reviews, it might be a fake. Real reviewers often share the pros and the cons of an item or book, and their claims are much more realistic. They might even refer to something specific in the book that only someone who read the book would know about.


Some people think that free Kindle books are low-quality, and that’s why they’re being given away for free. This might lead some people to think that numerous good reviews of it are fake. This is not always the case, however. It’s important to remember that the price of a book doesn’t always accurately reflect its value or quality. Take that into consideration when looking at the reviews of any book, free or not.

Jacob is a Chicago businessman who specializes in review tracking. Mr. Smith provides tips for managing online reputations to specialty clients.

About Emma Gilbert

Working in the marketing industry since 2002. This blog is one of my hobbies.

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