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Permlink Replies: 15 - Pages: 2 [ 1 2 | Next ] - Last Post: Nov 4, 2017 1:01 AM Last Post By: Ken Brodbin
Mr Anthony Brum

Posts: 3
Registered: 08/15/17
Ratings and reviews
Posted: Oct 7, 2017 2:47 PM
 
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I know this is a common theme but I too am having issues with reviews of my book. I have had one review removed because it was deemed to be biased and others have been unable to submit star ratings. This is all very frustrating as I feel I have nowhere to go with it. If people are telling me they cannot leave a rating, then obviously they have been in contact and I'm open to the accusation of bias, but there may be others that I don't know about. Very frustrating. Any suggestions?
Donna St Felix

Posts: 5,410
Registered: 09/18/13
Re: Ratings and reviews
Posted: Oct 7, 2017 2:53 PM   in response to: Mr Anthony Brum in response to: Mr Anthony Brum
 
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Mr Anthony Brum wrote:
I know this is a common theme but I too am having issues with reviews of my book. I have had one review removed because it was deemed to be biased and others have been unable to submit star ratings. This is all very frustrating as I feel I have nowhere to go with it. If people are telling me they cannot leave a rating, then obviously they have been in contact and I'm open to the accusation of bias, but there may be others that I don't know about. Very frustrating. Any suggestions?

There is nothing you can do except wait for honest feedback from those who do not know you.
pughs10

Posts: 1
Registered: 08/10/16
Re: Ratings and reviews
Posted: Oct 8, 2017 2:09 AM   in response to: Mr Anthony Brum in response to: Mr Anthony Brum
 
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I don't know if this is relevant but are the people not able to leave ratings taking advantage of a giveaway. You can't leave a review unless you pay for the book.
Joseph M Erhardt

Posts: 4,438
Registered: 12/21/15
Re: Ratings and reviews
Posted: Oct 8, 2017 5:14 AM   in response to: pughs10 in response to: pughs10
 
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pughs10 wrote:
I don't know if this is relevant but are the people not able to leave ratings taking advantage of a giveaway. You can't leave a review unless you pay for the book.

No--the price of a book has nothing to do with it. You can even review a book you didn't purchase from the Zon. I've done this a number of times, usually for old classic SF for which they don't have a current edition anyway.

The two criteria for leaving a review are these:

1) The reviewer must have spent--on anything, not necessarily books--at least $50 with Amazon. This is to prevent abuse via the creation of bogus, do-nothing accounts.
2) The reviewer must not be too closely related or associated with the author. Exactly how this is deter*mined is a bit of a mystery, but--among other things--we're pretty sure here that the Zon has bots sifting through Face*book pages.

BTW, "deter*mine" is a forbidden word and will send your post to moderation. Why, is anyone's guess. But that's why you see the word mangled.
Mrs Julia Evans

Posts: 586
Registered: 05/22/16
Re: Ratings and reviews
Posted: Oct 8, 2017 7:02 AM   in response to: Mr Anthony Brum in response to: Mr Anthony Brum
 
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Anthony,

Joseph has already explained why the rules exist, but I'll address your fears that other reviews aren't making it through the system.

Depending on who you listen to, you can expect anywhere between a 1:500 and 1:1000 review:sales ratio.

So unless and until you've had well over 1000 sales, and your reviews are still on zero, I really wouldn't worry about it.

I never dreamed the figure would be anywhere near as low, but it really is, unless you're putting out a book that's part of a series, and then people who reviewed the first book may come back and review the subsequent books if they liked the first one enough.

Hope that helps. J
tommy london

Posts: 321
Registered: 08/15/16
Re: Ratings and reviews
Posted: Oct 13, 2017 8:38 AM   in response to: tommy london in response to: tommy london
 
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The above tedious, depressing speech is a theory only. For obvious reasons.
Mrs Julia Evans

Posts: 586
Registered: 05/22/16
Re: Ratings and reviews
Posted: Oct 13, 2017 10:46 AM   in response to: tommy london in response to: tommy london
 
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tommy london wrote:
I now refuse to listen to most criticism. My formatting works fine. I am concerned with content. If someone out there knows
nothing about what my books are talking about, then they should avoid reading my books. In fact, to be honest, why not
f*** off and read other stuff.

I imagine you are far from alone in feeling this way, Tommy.

Best wishes. J
tommy london

Posts: 321
Registered: 08/15/16
Re: Ratings and reviews
Posted: Oct 14, 2017 10:56 AM   in response to: Mrs Julia Evans in response to: Mrs Julia Evans
 
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Mostly what Notjohn & some familiar others say is fair enough. The advice works.
Mrs Julia Evans

Posts: 586
Registered: 05/22/16
Re: Ratings and reviews
Posted: Oct 14, 2017 12:06 PM   in response to: tommy london in response to: tommy london
 
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tommy london wrote:
Mostly what Notjohn & some familiar others say is fair enough. The advice works.

Very true. It's a pity some of the newbies haven't learned that yet.

J :)
Ken Brodbin

Posts: 5
Registered: 10/13/17
Re: Ratings and reviews
Posted: Nov 2, 2017 2:11 PM   in response to: Mr Anthony Brum in response to: Mr Anthony Brum
 
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I am a little frustrated, despite the fact that I agree with what Amazon is trying to do. Amazon wants good books to get noticed and rubbish to die a slow and painful death.
But, there is no easy way to get noticed even if you have written a good book: unless you make sales outside your "friends" and family and you cant do that without reviews: It is catch 22.

Amazon should post two types of reviews, those accepted by Amazon and all the reviews made on a book. That way, the little guy has a chance and all his friends and family can post whatever crap they want because in the end the customer decides.

The workaround at the moment is to get involved in one of the sites where you review other peoples books and someone reviews yours. I dont like that system either, because they ask you to give a minimum rating of four. I just reviewed a book which took me ages to read and was maybe a 3 if I was feeling generous so I ended to spending eight hours reading dribble and then two hours explaining to the author why I didnt post a review. That book has 21 reviews and a five star rating because that system is fundamentally corrupt - it just isnt objective and the reviews are not genuine.

The fact is, a few dishonest people, ruin it for the rest. I just had a review rejected - without notification, which I saw because an acquantance posted it on her facebook: The paradox is that it was a Kindle ad which had a link to the book, but did the review show on Amazon, nahhhhh. (This person isnt a friend, although I must admit she rode on my schoolbus when I was 6 or 7and I had a terrible crush on her. My point is, that I havent spoken to her for forty years so for me that type of review deserves posting in some form.)

An acceptable alternative would be for Amazon to offer reviews by professional reviewers, who could earn a little for reviewing books: I for one would gladly pay for such a service because it is fair and the little guy, without a publishing house and a big budget, without an established name, but with a decent book has a snowballs chance in hell of selling his words for a living.
beachgardener

Posts: 368
Registered: 06/13/11
Re: Ratings and reviews
Posted: Nov 2, 2017 2:39 PM   in response to: Ken Brodbin in response to: Ken Brodbin
 
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Ken Brodbin wrote:
I am a little frustrated, despite the fact that I agree with what Amazon is trying to do. Amazon wants good books to get noticed and rubbish to die a slow and painful death.
But, there is no easy way to get noticed even if you have written a good book: unless you make sales outside your "friends" and family and you cant do that without reviews: It is catch 22.

Amazon should post two types of reviews, those accepted by Amazon and all the reviews made on a book. That way, the little guy has a chance and all his friends and family can post whatever crap they want because in the end the customer decides.

The workaround at the moment is to get involved in one of the sites where you review other peoples books and someone reviews yours. I dont like that system either, because they ask you to give a minimum rating of four. I just reviewed a book which took me ages to read and was maybe a 3 if I was feeling generous so I ended to spending eight hours reading dribble and then two hours explaining to the author why I didnt post a review. That book has 21 reviews and a five star rating because that system is fundamentally corrupt - it just isnt objective and the reviews are not genuine.

The fact is, a few dishonest people, ruin it for the rest. I just had a review rejected - without notification, which I saw because an acquantance posted it on her facebook: The paradox is that it was a Kindle ad which had a link to the book, but did the review show on Amazon, nahhhhh. (This person isnt a friend, although I must admit she rode on my schoolbus when I was 6 or 7and I had a terrible crush on her. My point is, that I havent spoken to her for forty years so for me that type of review deserves posting in some form.)

An acceptable alternative would be for Amazon to offer reviews by professional reviewers, who could earn a little for reviewing books: I for one would gladly pay for such a service because it is fair and the little guy, without a publishing house and a big budget, without an established name, but with a decent book has a snowballs chance in hell of selling his words for a living.


Appreciate your frustration, but Snowballs are doing better than you think. Reviews are not the magic ingredient. If your "words" are good they will sell - will you make a living at it? That is still a maybe even if they are exceptionally good words, you are lucky, and a marketing genius. All the "good" phony reviews in the world won't stop word of mouth from sinking a so-so book. On the other hand great marketing can create a Shades of Gray result. Perhaps you need to reexamine your expectations and your approach.

I never write a review if I can't give it a four or better, on the other hand the author never knows I am a reader or a reviewer because I only read/review books I have picked up for my personal reading - no games. Don't want to give or get arranged for reviews, even when a reviewer is good enough not be obvious about it I prefer honest input. If a reader buys your book because of glowing friends/ family/ or quid pro quo review and your book doesn't live up to the hype they will likely never buy another word you write.
Keep writing. B
Salamander Mall...

Posts: 294
Registered: 10/16/17
Re: Ratings and reviews
Posted: Nov 2, 2017 7:28 PM   in response to: Ken Brodbin in response to: Ken Brodbin
 
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Ken Brodbin wrote:
I am a little frustrated, despite the fact that I agree with what Amazon is trying to do. Amazon wants good books to get noticed and rubbish to die a slow and painful death.
No, Amazon has no vested interest in your success or failure. They don't care.

But, there is no easy way to get noticed even if you have written a good book: unless you make sales outside your "friends" and family and you cant do that without reviews: It is catch 22.
Nonsense. Reviews do not sell books and a lack of reviews does not prevent sales.

Amazon should post two types of reviews, those accepted by Amazon and all the reviews made on a book. That way, the little guy has a chance and all his friends and family can post whatever crap they want because in the end the customer decides.
Fake and biased reviews will definitely chase away legitimate customers, for everyone. Consumers are very savvy and know which reviews to value and which to dismiss.

The workaround at the moment is to get involved in one of the sites where you review other peoples books and someone reviews yours. I dont like that system either, because they ask you to give a minimum rating of four. I just reviewed a book which took me ages to read and was maybe a 3 if I was feeling generous so I ended to spending eight hours reading dribble and then two hours explaining to the author why I didnt post a review. That book has 21 reviews and a five star rating because that system is fundamentally corrupt - it just isnt objective and the reviews are not genuine.
Swap reviews, get your account deleted.

The fact is, a few dishonest people, ruin it for the rest. I just had a review rejected - without notification, which I saw because an acquantance posted it on her facebook: The paradox is that it was a Kindle ad which had a link to the book, but did the review show on Amazon, nahhhhh. (This person isnt a friend, although I must admit she rode on my schoolbus when I was 6 or 7and I had a terrible crush on her. My point is, that I havent spoken to her for forty years so for me that type of review deserves posting in some form.)
Knowing a person or even being related is not a death knell for a review. What the bots are looking for are significant connections. What constitutes a significant connection? You should not expect an answer, lest dishonest people take advantage, but I'm pretty sure no one cares who was on your school bus.

An acceptable alternative would be for Amazon to offer reviews by professional reviewers, who could earn a little for reviewing books: I for one would gladly pay for such a service because it is fair and the little guy, without a publishing house and a big budget, without an established name, but with a decent book has a snowballs chance in hell of selling his words for a living.

Buy reviews, lose your account. Of course, there are established, professional services, such as Kirkus, that provide reviews for consumers and libraries. Lately, they have started reviewing indies, but Kirkus is very expensive and, really, you would not enjoy the results of an honest, professional review.

Most readers do not write reviews, less than one percent, despite the fact that all kindle owners are taken to a rating and review page immediately after finishing a book. Your best bet is to write a book that motivates a reader to post an opinion, whether good or bad. Unfortunately, most writers don't.
Ken Brodbin

Posts: 5
Registered: 10/13/17
Re: Ratings and reviews
Posted: Nov 3, 2017 5:15 PM   in response to: Salamander Mall... in response to: Salamander Mall...
 
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Thanks Salamander for your comments. I dont really agree with a lot of the things you say. For example, it is a little rich to say that reviews dont count. A lack of reviews does equate to a loss of sales. How many people would buy a book from an unknown author who has 3 reviews, no matter how good those ratings are? The quality of the book is not the question - 99 percent of people that see it wouldnt buy it and lets face it, they wouldnt see it either. You need ranking which you only get from sales and reviews are part of that process. If that wasnt the case, why have reviews in the first place and why does Amazon try to get rid of "fake" reviews and why do they delete accounts for dishonest practices like rating swaps? Because ratings are a central marketing tool - How many ads have you seen saying buy this book, it has 2 stars on Amazon?

People wont download a book even if it is free unless it is somehow proven - and proof lies in genuine honest reviews. We are not talking about 50 or 100 downloads, anyone with a horseshoe stuck up their ass might get that many. We are talking about enough reviews to get noticed. To make any kind of impression you need 2 or 3 thousand downloads if not more, which for the little guy who isnt a marketing genius and lucky, just isnt happening. It is true, you do have exceptions like 50 shades which somehow got attention even though it is poorly written. But that is just an exception that proves the rule and maybe that "sex sells" which we all knew anyway. My point is, bots aren't fair and their is an inherent discrimination which can only be overcome by a human.

BTW, everyone who uploads a book is warned not to swap reviews yet sites exist that openly promote review sways. Just so you dont think I am dishonest too, which seems to be the jist of your warning, the review I was making was not a review swap, you review someones book and the next person in line reviews yours. There is no connection between your review and the one made on your book. It is an incredibly time consuming way to get reviews and I dont recommend that honest people do it because it takes so much time - but dishonest people do it and that is a loophole which ideally should be closed.

And as far as the bots are concerned, it doesnt take a genius to work out that they check for first time reviews and a high reviews to sale ratio - programmed rules are usually just common sense... So although "the fact that someone rode on my bus" may not be the deciding factor, the fact is that a legitimate review was excluded which isnt really what anyone wants. The person in question lives 6000 miles from me and I havent seen her for at least 20 years if not 30. I cannot how they possibly drew any connection between us.

Your main counter-argument seems to be "Your book is either crap" or "You are shit at marketing" and frustrated by the lack of sales. I am shit at marketing and feel like the one advantage I have over most books on the platform, that readers like my book has been taken away because there are so many dishonest people in this world. Admittedly, the people who have read it thus far have been people who know me or know the place I grew up so the book hasnt been tested on a wider audience and maybe they would not bee as kind as my current readers.

One last point before I bore your pants off and you stop reading. Amazon has an interest in the success of every book on its platform because they make more money from a sale than the author does and in my case, they gain customers for their other products. So to say, they dont give a rats ass is like saying they have no idea what they are doing, which I personally dont believe and I doubt you do either.

Anyway, thanks for your comments, I enjoyed reading them. You will never read my book but at least you read what I wrote here and took the time to respond - I wish every reader would do the same - even if they think I am full of shit. Regards and have a nice weekend, Ken
Ken Brodbin

Posts: 5
Registered: 10/13/17
Re: Ratings and reviews
Posted: Nov 3, 2017 5:22 PM   in response to: beachgardener in response to: beachgardener
 
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Thanks for taking the time to respond and for your encouragement. The fact is I write because I like doing it and any sales I make are just cream. I shouldnt let it wind me up.
Salamander Mall...

Posts: 294
Registered: 10/16/17
Re: Ratings and reviews
Posted: Nov 3, 2017 5:58 PM   in response to: Ken Brodbin in response to: Ken Brodbin
 
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You make some good points, but I think we'll have to agree to disagree about the value of reviews. I tend to believe that books get reviews because of sales, not the other way around. I doubt even Amazon has the resources to prove it one way or another. I review every book I read, but reviewing books for newspapers was how I started writing back in the Sixties and I know not everyone is like me. Most people couldn't write a decent review to save their lives, and we've all read too many of those...and yet we still buy the book because the Look Inside belies the stupid review. But we also have hacks like Shaun Gold, who's canny enough to get hundreds of fake reviews through Amazon's gatekeepers...and his books remain dead in the water because people see the hackneyed prose and ignore the reviews. Amazon polices reviews to a certain extent, but it's more to protect themselves, their own brand, than anyone else. They know that if readers don't buy one book, they'll buy another, so the money rolls in no matter whose books sell. One thing I think we might agree on is that good writing is much easier than good marketing, that most of us are better authors than publishers.

Take care,

S
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