I think I hope I pray I might've snagged one: an Amazon Top Reviewer.
You see, before starting this GET MASSIVE BOOK SALES undertaking, I had no idea there was an entire economy of Amazon (top) reviewers. People whose reviews are worth their weight in gold thanks to the Amazon algorithm, and make semi-careers out of receiving free stuff. Amazon actually has a public list of its top customer reviewers -- many of whom have thousands upon thousands of reviews.
Tidbit from this quirky Vox article covering the subject:
In the past month alone, Kort Kramer has written thoughtful reviews for socks (“a stylish, aggressive pattern that looks like business”), bath mats (“perfect to place either outside the shower or tub to dry off”), and wicker storage baskets (“doesn’t feel sturdy enough to hold anything but sheets”). The products themselves, all reviewed on Amazon, carry the trademark qualities of the e-commerce giant: algorithmic, splashed in primary colors, designed to blend quietly into the corners of duplexes and condos all over the world. In that sense, Kramer is the Zagat of tasteful suburbia. After 15 years on the site, he’s published more than 5,000 reviews, which makes him the No. 9 all-time reviewer according to Amazon’s internal metrics.
Apparently not all reviews are created equal, and these people's two cents is worth, well, more than two cents. (Ideally a million book sales?)
So I proceeded to contact them. Tons of them.
This was rather tedious, as I'm finding most things in book promotion are. Amazon lists all the reviewers but -- unless I'm missing something -- you need to manually click on each person to see if their contact information is posted. THEN you must proceed to contact them individually, be it through email or Instagram or whatever.
The vast majority of Amazon top reviewers do not have their contact information listed.
I went through around 30 pages (yes, 30. As in three-zero.) of Amazon's top reviewers and clicked on any woman I thought would remotely be a fit (my book is generally intended for female audiences). I messaged any of whom had contact information listed (around 7ish? 8? 9? I lost count.) Of those, I only received one response -- FROM ONE OF THE TOP TEN !!
Her remarkable reply when I requested a review: "Sure."
Can you say bingo? Or -- for all you fellow casino-goes/pokerstars -- JACKPOT??! (If you're new, my book is called A Girl's Guide to Poker, and is a funny how to play poker book.)
Naturally I wanted to jump on the green light. Unfortunately, my book just went out of stock. When I asked my publisher when it will be back on Amazon, he helpfully replied, "soon." Great.
I'm still going to send her the link and hope she doesn't mind ordering a book that is listed as "Temporarily out of stock." Pray for me.