Category Archives: book reviews

Amazon Customer Review Quotes: Good? Bad? And How to Get Them?


I’ve browsed around and haven’t located a similar thread; hence this new topic.

You know what I’m talking about if you have been selling on Amazon for a while. Amazon’s system has a automatic digestor that aggregates customer reviews posted under a book continuously; once the “overlapping” index of these reviews hits a threshold, Amazon’s digestor posts three quotes that best represent most shared an opinion and present them with eye-catching quotation marks. This feature increases the impact of customer reviews and makes them — pardon my oxymoron here — visually audible.

In the case of my book KDP’s Best-Kept Secret Revealed: How to Embed Videos and Widgets in Your Book Description, the Customer Review Quotes looks like this:

My experience is that a book sells better with the customer review quotes than without. However, this is one area I do not have any solid statistics and I would really love to hear what other authors have to say.

In terms how an author can get these customer review quotes, I’ve learned the following, after publishing on KDP for a few months:

1. The Customer Review Quotes normally do not kick in until a book is about one-month old on Amazon. This may reflect an Amazon safeguard mechanism that prevents the auto digestor from jumping to a conclusion. If Amazon does indeed have such a mechanism as I suspect, it is a good measure that prevents authors and publishers from gaming the system with “arranged” or solicited reviews.
2. The Quotes are not triggered by the count of the reviews received. For Amazon’s review digestor to abstract quotes, there must be three distinctive opinions that are shared. Each of these opinions must be shared. Amazon’s auto digestor must be able to states under each quoted opinion that at least 1 (one) other reviewer made a similar statement.
3. The minimum count of reviews received to trigger the digestor quote abstraction appear to be 5. This is another healthy sanity measure on the part of the auto digestor. If a book has just received a mere three or four reviews and they all say exactly the same things, they reviews are suspiciously too uniform.

Here’s my conclusions:

1. Amazon’s Customer Review Quotes generation algorithm is brilliant and effective.
2. Try to satisfy the minimum requirement for the auto digestor to generate quotes from your book’s reviews (the age of the book, count of reviews received.)
3. Do not ever purchase, guide, arrange reviews or write your own reviews and have someone post it.

Related to point # 3, I am strongly against authors paying so-called “professional reviewers” for their uppity reviews. A real paying customer delivers a gutsy review that is a thousand times more likely to resonate with another paying customer. If you are feeling generous about your money, have a free giveaway to capture that particular group of readers. A fraction of those readers may just return you with a few reviews that instantly build the Amazon Customer Review Quotes!

I Give Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami a 5-Star

Norwegian WoodNorwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Murakami has skillfully created a quiet and gentle world in Norwegian Wood. So quiet that you do not hear the campus slogans of the revolutionaries of the late 60’s. You only hear the deepest inner voices of lovers separated by sickness and death. So gentle that Watanabe volunteers to watch a dying man on his hospital bed, changing his bedpans and feeding him a cucumber. And there is so much details: when it rains you can tell that Murakami wants you to feel the drops on your skin. And the constant longings and denials…

And there is a rather charming fascination with death — self-inflicted death — in this book, probably the only thing truly Japanese. Death somehow becomes beautiful; it becomes a continuation of life. And when one reflects on life, as the main character Watanabe does to begin the book, tender memories seems to outweigh the heavy-liftings one had to do in life.

I highly recommend this book to anyone over 35. There is a lot of walking on the part of the main character in this book. And it feels like a long restful walk to read through this book. It lets us behold the wonder of life at every turn, and the pain we have to endure in order to embrace that wonder.

And I’m sure that’s why I could read every word of those long letters from Naoko and not be bored. Because I too had yearnings when I was at that age. Because I was also once very fragile, just as breakable as Naoko.

View all my reviews

I Give Stephen King’s Joyland a 5-Star

JoylandJoyland by Stephen King

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Admittedly, I’m not a die-hard King fan or self-proclaimed King expert like many on this board are; therefore, my 5-star may seem to be overly generous.

But I truly enjoyed this book. King shows some outstanding good writing in this book, following many of his own good advices, such as always resorting to sensory feel, artfully crafted dialog and tightly woven interpersonal logic of emotion.

And King exposes his sensitive side in this tale, starting from the narrative of a young lad heartbroken from his first love, to how a kite flying in the sky brings joy and wonder to the hearts of a young boy living on borrowed time, and his loving mother who’s always had trouble conforming to the social norms, and that of the lad himself who’s fate keeps depositing him into some extraordinary circumstances.

King had me early at “my shadow walked with me on the sand” when the lad walked to work in the morning and “my shadow walked with me on the water” when the lad came back from work at dusk. What a vivid picture. What a brilliant, yet understated observation. An author almost has to have done that commute on foot across that beach, in order to be able to describe it with such ease and grace.

Well done Mr. King.

M. Eigh, author of the now popular KDP’s Best-Kept Secret Revealed: How to Embed Videos and Widgets in Your Book Description.

View all my reviews

An Amazon TOP 500 REVIEWER Reviews “My Mother’s Shadow”

I woke up to some blessing this morning. Robin Lee, who wears Amazon’s coveted “TOP 500 REVIEWER” badge, has read “My Mother’s Shadow” and given it a 5-star review. You can see the book’s review page here:

Thank you so much Robin, for the professional and unsolicited review.

Wow, “My Mother’s Shadow” Receives a 5-Star from an Amazon Top 1000 Reviewer

Like Forest Gump said, life is a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get next.

I don’t know why but I decided to check on my book My Mother’s Shadow after lunch and, boy, was I surprised! The first review has just been posted under the book and it was form A Navy Vet…VT town, an Amazon Top 1000 Reviewer, giving it a solid 5 stars and calling it “Powerful!”

The review reads, “A powerful short story that speaks large volumes in a few words. It speaks of racism, discrimination and segregation without being ‘preachy’.

“In synopsis (without a spoiler) there are people that cast no shadows. These are the ones that are discriminated against by the powers to be.

“Most highly recommended.”

Take a look at the review here:

Thank you, A Navy Vet…VT town!


Free Book: Social Networking inside Your Kindle Book Description

My new title “Social Networking inside Your Kindle Book Description” will be free on Amazon for download Monday through Friday this week, for a total of five days. It’s here

Those who know this method can do much much more than those who don't. It's just as simple as that.

Rock solid trade secret. No BS.

This book walks you through the steps taken to embed social networking widgets into your Kindle book description, as shown on this very Kindle book description you are looking at. Go to the book page at and click on the Tweet Box and Facebook Post Box below and social share buttons floating on the right. They are live widgets, not some fancy static images to fool you.

The fundamental technique used in setting these social networking widgets up—a trade secret—is introduced in my bestseller KDP’s Best-Kept Secret Revealed: How to Embed Videos and Widgets in Your Book Description. If you have already downloaded the “Secret,” there is absolutely no need to download this one.

The “Secret” book is at


Rock solid trade secret. No BS.

The unique and secret method introduced in this book does not involve any security exploits; it does not use any 3rd party tools to bypass Amazon’s routine book data entry Web interface. Overall, there is nothing illicit about this method. Everything the authors enter under this method go through Amazon’s routine sanitizer. There is no cheating involved.

Those who know this method can do much much more than those who don’t. It’s just as simple as that.

Book trailer:

Why Indie Authors Should Still Do KDP Select Free Promo

I truly believe that nobody can twist the arms of those who are not willing to pay for ebooks to actually pay for your ebooks. Those people will always hunt for freebies. And if the freebies are NOT available, they will check Torrent and download the pirated copies free anyway. It happened with many of my books.

With those free-loaders and hoarders, you can’t win. But the point of KDP Select is to build a lot of affiliation. If a book of yours does not sell and you do not promote it through KDP Select promo, it will just be sitting there pretty by itself. Very few people will ever stumble on it since it will not pop up in any category ranking (Amazon only list the top 100 best sellers of each category.)

On the contrary, when your book takes a ride on a KDP freebie promo, it builds extensive, random affiliation, such as “Buyers who viewed Joyland also viewed [insert your book title here]” or “Buyers who have purchased Fifty Shades of Grey also bought [insert your book title here]” (since free downloads are considered “Amazon verified purchase” in Amazon’s book.)

The rest is statistics. If one out of one hundred of those random affiliation brings you one sale after the promo and you have had three hundred free download, you will sell three copies. Math will never disappoint you. That’s why you want more people to download your book when it is free. In this hypothetical example of one to one hundred sales to freebies ration, three thousand downloads will give you 30 sales.

Of course, you can do a lot to maximize the return of these free downloads, particularly during the downloaders’ visits to your book page.

I wrote a book recently to discuss the wonderful and effective things you could do to retain the visitors’ attention and also sell them your non-freebie title, or at least to try the free samples.

Take a glance of my book on this subject to see if it can be of any value to you:

How to Embed a Facebook Post Box in Your Kindle Book Description

View a live demo here.

Now I will walk you through the steps of getting your Facebook Post box, which pertains to one specific post of yours, embedded in Kindle book description. The type or types of the Facebook box(es) you choose to embed in your book description is of no importance to our discussion in this chapter.

a)      Visit Facebook’s social plugin page at From the left nave choose “Embedded posts.”


b)      Once I supply my Facebook post’s URL, the widget becomes live:


c)      Click on the “Get Code” and you will be presented with the code block. Make sure that the HTML5 tab is active. Other formats work as well but for the purpose of embedding the widget into Amazon’s book field, HTML5 is the most suitable:


You have probably noticed that Facebook’s widget code, just like that of Twitter, features simple HTML but fairly convoluted Javascript:

<div class=”fb-post” data-href=” //″></div>
<div id=”fb-root”></div>
<script>(function(d, s, id) {
var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];
if (d.getElementById(id)) return;
js = d.createElement(s); = id;
js.src = “//″;
fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);
}(document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’));</script>
Once again, we are forced to interpret and re-write the code. For a detailed discussion on how such Javascript should be rewritten, please refer to Chapter Twelve of my book KDP’s Best-Kept Secret Revealed: How to Embed Videos and Widgets in Your Book Description.

From here on we just need to follow the same procedure detailed in Chapter Five of my book KDP’s Best-Kept Secret Revealed: How to Embed Videos and Widgets in Your Book Description. And voila, we have the Facebook Post Box in a book field:


Let me also point it out to you: Every step of the way throughout the above process, I have to vigilantly strip off the “http:” or “https:” part of a URLs referenced in the widgets’ code block. By default, all the URLs in the code block you obtain from Twitter or Facebook contains such strings. Do not forget to strip them off, or else your widget cannot be rendered in your book page.

For a more in-depth explanation this unique deal-breaker, please read my book KDP’s Best-Kept Secret Revealed: How to Embed Videos and Widgets in Your Book Description.

How to Embed a Tweet Box in Your Kindle Book Description

View a live demo here.

Now I will walk you through the steps of getting your Tweet box embedded in Kindle book description.

a) The first step is to obtain the block of HTML and Javascript code that comes from your Twitter account. After you log into your Twitter account, browse to and you will get to option to create your own widget:


b) You will have choices to create different kinds of widgets but that is completely out of scope with this book. For demonstration purposes, I will use the “Tweets by M. Eigh (@m_eigh)” widget I have already created for myself. Once you click on “Edit,” you will be able to see how the widget looks and copy its code:


c) For my Tweet box I get the following code:

<a class=”twitter-timeline” href=”” data-widget-id=”289132321204998144″>Tweets by @m_eigh</a>
<script>!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?’http':’https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);;js.src=p+”://”;fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,”script”,”twitter-wjs”);</script>

This is when things get tricky. In general, all HTML block of any social media widget must be treated verbatim when you input them into KDP book field. On the contrary, all Javascript block cannot be treated verbatim. In fact, almost all of them must be rewritten. It is an interpretative re-write in principle. And there is no cheat sheet or formula to follow. You either know how to read Javascript and replace the highlighted block with a more straightforward, Amazon book field friendly Javascript equivalent, or you just have to work with someone who knows Javascript well enough to get it done.
The most often used re-write are fairly simple and elaborated in my book KDP’s Best-Kept Secret Revealed: How to Embed Videos and Widgets in Your Book Description.

After the rewrite, all I need to do is follow the steps outlined in Chapter Five of KDP’s Best-Kept Secret Revealed: How to Embed Videos and Widgets in Your Book Description. to input the code block into a book field.

Voila, there I have my Tweet box live on Amazon:


KDP’s Best-Kept Secret Revealed Is Now a Bestseller on Amazon

As of this morning, my new release—KDP’s Best-Kept Secret Revealed: How to Embed Videos and Widgets in Your Book Description—is now the #7 bestseller on Amazon under the Web Marketing category:

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It’s also listed as the #2 Hot New Release under the same category:

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It looks like the words are out and KDP authors and self-publishers are beginning to see the value of my Kindle Book Description on Steroids.