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Thread: reviews that should be taken down


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Mark McGinnis

Posts: 4
Registered: 09/29/13
reviews that should be taken down
Posted: Jan 19, 2018 7:50 AM
 
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I have had "spam" - nonsensical reviews that have nothing to do with my book- and the reviewer then gave me a one-star review. I just had another one today where the guy read my blurb and he said I had the word "is" instead of "his" - he said he wasn't reading the book because I had that one typo in my blurb and then gave me a 2 star review for "reading my book" - which he just admitted to not reading. I reported both as abuse so they would be taken down. Amazon goes to great lengths to make sure readers get honest reviews (no relatives, etc.) so why not have the same rules and regulations in place to protect an author who goes to great lengths to supply entertaining books to his readers? Every time I have reported abuse, I have received no response... it's like it goes into a black hole. Can someone at Amazon please do something about this abuse? Poor reviews really hurt an author, and it is grossly unfair to allow abusive reviews to be posted and to remain posted even after the abuse has been reported.
Thank you- Mark Wayne McGinnis

Edited by: Mark McGinnis on Jan 19, 2018 7:52 AM
Salamander Mall...

Posts: 1,014
Registered: 10/16/17
Re: reviews that should be taken down
Posted: Jan 19, 2018 8:14 AM   in response to: Mark McGinnis in response to: Mark McGinnis
 
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Perhaps you should spend more time proofing your books and advertisements than reading reviews and complaining about them. Amazon doesn't care what you think about their company policies or a review section that was not established for your benefit. Amazon does not read anything you post here. Reviewers are not required to either purchase or read a book before posting a review, and there is nothing you can do about it.
Kim Parr

Posts: 3
Registered: 01/19/18
Re: reviews that should be taken down
Posted: Jan 19, 2018 9:29 AM   in response to: Salamander Mall... in response to: Salamander Mall...
 
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Reviews are for the benefit of those that are looking for a good book. So if a reviewer leaves a review (but does not read the book) the review is of no use to anyone, especially the potential reader.

Btw, books generally are almost never error-free. Check out the latest Stephen King or James Patterson book, and you'll see what I mean.

From my understanding posting is about getting constructive feedback, answers, and things of that nature - and not hostile replies that help no one.

These are Amazon's guidelines for posting and commenting on posts:
Respect
Say what you think, but please say it constructively. We encourage you to be open, but cannot accept use that demonstrates disrespect for others or offensive behavior.

Members may not include:
While we appreciate your time and participation, we respectfully request that you follow some general guidelines on what not to post.
Do not post images or remarks that are profane, obscene, or spiteful.
Do not post content that demonstrates intolerance for or is insulting to other groups and individuals.

The person that was the first to reply to this post should not be so disrespectful. According to the guidelines of participating, he is way out of line. A question was posed - if you don't have a constructive reply, then don't respond. Simple.

Edited by: Kim Parr on Jan 19, 2018 9:53 AM

Edited by: Kim Parr on Jan 19, 2018 9:58 AM

Mrs Julia Evans

Posts: 892
Registered: 05/22/16
Re: reviews that should be taken down
Posted: Jan 19, 2018 11:07 AM   in response to: Kim Parr in response to: Kim Parr
 
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Kim Parr wrote:
Reviews are for the benefit of those that are looking for a good book. So if a reviewer leaves a review (but does not read the book) the review is of no use to anyone, especially the potential reader.

Not according to Amazon. Reviews are what anyone with a keyboard and internet access are allowed to leave, against any product regardless of whether they have purchased said product or not. The only time you can get them taken down is if they criticize Amazon themselves, then they're down faster than a...! (Ok, I'll leave you to fill in the blank.)

From my understanding posting is about getting constructive feedback, answers, and things of that nature - and not hostile replies that help no one.

Salamander wasn't being hostile. Far from it. Did he sit there patting the OP's hand? No. But what good would it have done the OP if he had? Reviews aren't for the benefit of the author, so better the OP concentrate on his next masterpiece than worry himself stupid about something he can't control.

The person that was the first to reply to this post should not be so disrespectful. According to the guidelines of participating, he is way out of line. A question was posed - if you don't have a constructive reply, then don't respond. Simple.

According to your judgement he was disrespectful and out of line. Actually he gave the OP an answer which was wholly factual. Some people pad out their reply with pretty words, some just say it straight. I don't think it's for you (or I) to criticize someone for telling it straight. And if we only responded when we could offer a constructive reply, half the forums would be empty, and the questions unanswered.

Btw, welcome to the community.

J
tommy london

Posts: 353
Registered: 08/15/16
Re: reviews that should be taken down
Posted: Jan 19, 2018 11:28 AM   in response to: Mrs Julia Evans in response to: Mrs Julia Evans
 
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Hi. I have been with this company for over one year. So I assume that someone
has actually bought my books. They have read over 100 pages. That was only
in Canada and the USA. Now I shall work on the UK and Europe.

Point? I need to hear feedback. That would be those five stars plus a review.
I expect praise, since my books are good.

Edited by: tommy london on Jan 19, 2018 11:28 AM
Mrs Julia Evans

Posts: 892
Registered: 05/22/16
Re: reviews that should be taken down
Posted: Jan 19, 2018 11:31 AM   in response to: tommy london in response to: tommy london
 
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tommy london wrote:
Hi. I have been with this company for over one year. So I assume that someone
has actually bought my books. They have read over 100 pages. That was only
in Canada and the USA. Now I shall work on the UK and Europe.
Point? I need to hear feedback. That would be those five stars plus a review.
I expect praise, since my books are good.

Hi Tommy,

Good to see you back here. It's been a while.
Hope the sales are going well.

J
Kim Parr

Posts: 3
Registered: 01/19/18
Re: reviews that should be taken down
Posted: Jan 19, 2018 12:31 PM   in response to: tommy london in response to: tommy london
 
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I wasn't criticizing S. I was telling it straight; should I pretend to pat him on the head while I do that?

I was just basing my comment on the Guidelines laid out by Amazon (on how to post comments). This is Amazon I'm on, right?. His post was "insulting" and "condescending" - to me the words are interchangeable. And "Amazon" says 'do not be insulting'. But, to each his own, I suppose. Unless you are the one (J), that gets to decide, and if so - what gives you the authority? I'm not being snarky, I really want to know! Who are you to say that a clearly condescending comment is not insulting. That makes me very curious...

There is clear language in Amazon guidelines that says to communicate with "Respect." In no way did S do that. And no matter how you spin it (J), there was nothing respectful about his comment, not in any Universe.

I already stated reviews aren't for authors, your comment suggests otherwise.. I said they are for readers- but according to you - they're not for readers, either... otherwise spam and reviews with no basis for the review (not reading the book) would not be allowed. So that begs the question... who are the reviews for and what good are they if they are not based in reality? Amazon is very good at doing everything for their audience. They have figured out that if you gear everything toward them, they are more likely to buy things and, in turn, Amazon does very well. It's a simple and effective way to do business.

So, J, I think you are wrong (with all due respect). I believe the reviews are for those potential readers (potential buyers). And, because of that, there is no reason to allow reviews that do not give these potential buyers an accurate account of what they are buying. If I'm wrong, please provide me a link that spells out reviews can be written by anyone, even if they don't read the book or buy the product. I would love to just believe you-but, I'm just not buying it.

Oh, and thanks for the welcome to the community.
Mrs Julia Evans

Posts: 892
Registered: 05/22/16
Re: reviews that should be taken down
Posted: Jan 19, 2018 1:45 PM   in response to: Kim Parr in response to: Kim Parr
 
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Kim Parr wrote:
I wasn't criticizing S. I was telling it straight; should I pretend to pat him on the head while I do that?

Yes, you were criticizing, and you were being judgemental, but that's your right, like everyone else here. The point I was trying to get across is that what you considered insulting and condescending, I didn't. It's just a difference of opinion, no more no less.

I already stated reviews aren't for authors, your comment suggests otherwise.. I said they are for readers- but according to you - they're not for readers, either... otherwise spam and reviews with no basis for the review (not reading the book) would not be allowed. So that begs the question... who are the reviews for and what good are they if they are not based in reality? Amazon is very good at doing everything for their audience. They have figured out that if you gear everything toward them, they are more likely to buy things and, in turn, Amazon does very well. It's a simple and effective way to do business.

I don't know if you're an author with any work published on the Zon, but most of the long-time authors here will tell you that they have at least one review that is absolutely irrelevant to their books. Sometimes it's for a different book, sometimes it's for something entirely different, not even a book. Do Amazon take them down? No, they don't. So, I would suggest that reviews (while they may occasionally be helpful to readers) are allowed on the Zon regardless, because, as you say, Amazon want to keep their customers happy. They don't care what the review says, as long as the reviewer doesn't break the Zon's guidelines, and either swear or say something libellous.

So, J, I think you are wrong (with all due respect). I believe the reviews are for those potential readers (potential buyers). And, because of that, there is no reason to allow reviews that do not give these potential buyers an accurate account of what they are buying. If I'm wrong, please provide me a link that spells out reviews can be written by anyone, even if they don't read the book or buy the product. I would love to just believe you-but, I'm just not buying it.

It's fine to disagree with me, no respect necessary. The guidelines make it clear that you don't have to have a verified purchase to leave a review, so I think that answers your point. Also, if you think that Amazon only allow reviews that are relevant and accurate, then I have to guess that either you've only recently published, or that you're one of the few who hasn't received the gift of one of these bogus or unfair reviews. As and when you do, I wish you the very best of luck getting it removed. It won't happen. Have a glance at the threads on the forum if you don't believe me.

Oh, and thanks for the welcome to the community.

You're very welcome for the welcome.

As a parting gift, to add a little humour as well as make my point about how reviews don't necessarily need to be accurate or informative, one of our peers recently posted a link to a product that had all of us in stitches. Go and have a look at the reviews for the H utzler 571 banana slicer, and when you've stopped laughing, come back again and explain how reviews need to be accurate.

Best wishes,

J
Salamander Mall...

Posts: 1,014
Registered: 10/16/17
Re: reviews that should be taken down
Posted: Jan 19, 2018 2:09 PM   in response to: Kim Parr in response to: Kim Parr
 
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If you want to coddle and comfort the OP, you're free to do so. It won't help him with his problem, but you can commiserate with each other. Personally, I think your attitude, that the OP is incapable of dealing with honest and straightforward suggestions without whimpering, to be extremely disrespectful. He is not a child and deserves not to be spoken to like one. The several reviews he's received about grammar and spelling are proof he needs to address those issues, something that is not accomplished by wailing at either reviewers or Amazon, especially not in a public forum not monitored by Amazon. You also do him no good when you tell it's okay if he has errors because other books have errors too. You help people by giving constructive suggestions that solve problems or correct mistakes, not by patting them on the back, drying their tears and telling them it's everyone else's fault.

The Salamander 🐍
Kim Parr

Posts: 3
Registered: 01/19/18
Re: reviews that should be taken down
Posted: Jan 19, 2018 3:29 PM   in response to: Salamander Mall... in response to: Salamander Mall...
 
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Once again, Salamander proves (with no help from me) that he is disrespectful and insulting.

J, you are right, we can agree to disagree that S is disrespectful.

Salamander, you should write a book and publish on Amazon about various and creative ways to be rude and condescending... just because you can, and you are so good at it. I will be the first to write a review, give you one star, point out your flaws (just for the heck of it), and then rub it in your face that - oh yeah - I didn't bother to read the book... No, I just need to channel all this anger, and there you were.

And, btw, I couldn't care less about what you think of my attitude. Quite frankly, I would be offended if you agreed with me in any way, given your dark and dreary nature. It would make me extremely uncomfortable if you related to me. Yuck. A friendly piece of advice: try channeling all that negativity into something positive (pottery?), and maybe your first instinct won't be to disrespect people.

And, J, thank you for your response to my comments. Even though we don't agree, I can appreciate what you said and how you said it (civilized)... now that's what makes the world go round.

And, no, I'm not new to Amazon (don't spend too much time in the forums, though). My family has actually been quite successful with Amazon (a long story, but it's all true). I guess they are our employers of sorts, which is how I am familiar with their practices. I'm not sure why I joined this discussion, but I was surprised at such a negative response to a problem which I understand from OP's POV. And he posted it in an appropriate place too (issues for authors and publishers) - his post stated a real issue, something many authors deal with.

Noone's whining - not me - and I'm sure OP isn't either (he's a best selling author, and crying all the way to the bank I'm sure). A real question from a credible source was posed. An interesting discussion could have ensued, but thanks to S, it was shut down.

S, calm down. Take a pill, have a drink, or - better yet - just go away. No one cares what you have to say.
Ralph E Vaughan

Posts: 3,597
Registered: 12/01/12
Re: reviews that should be taken down
Posted: Jan 19, 2018 4:55 PM   in response to: Kim Parr in response to: Kim Parr
 
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Kim Parr wrote:
Once again, Salamander proves (with no help from me) that he is disrespectful and insulting.

J, you are right, we can agree to disagree that S is disrespectful.

Salamander, you should write a book and publish on Amazon about various and creative ways to be rude and condescending... just because you can, and you are so good at it. I will be the first to write a review, give you one star, point out your flaws (just for the heck of it), and then rub it in your face that - oh yeah - I didn't bother to read the book... No, I just need to channel all this anger, and there you were.

And, btw, I couldn't care less about what you think of my attitude. Quite frankly, I would be offended if you agreed with me in any way, given your dark and dreary nature. It would make me extremely uncomfortable if you related to me. Yuck. A friendly piece of advice: try channeling all that negativity into something positive (pottery?), and maybe your first instinct won't be to disrespect people.

And, J, thank you for your response to my comments. Even though we don't agree, I can appreciate what you said and how you said it (civilized)... now that's what makes the world go round.

And, no, I'm not new to Amazon (don't spend too much time in the forums, though). My family has actually been quite successful with Amazon (a long story, but it's all true). I guess they are our employers of sorts, which is how I am familiar with their practices. I'm not sure why I joined this discussion, but I was surprised at such a negative response to a problem which I understand from OP's POV. And he posted it in an appropriate place too (issues for authors and publishers) - his post stated a real issue, something many authors deal with.

Noone's whining - not me - and I'm sure OP isn't either (he's a best selling author, and crying all the way to the bank I'm sure). A real question from a credible source was posed. An interesting discussion could have ensued, but thanks to S, it was shut down.

S, calm down. Take a pill, have a drink, or - better yet - just go away. No one cares what you have to say.


Well, it's a public forum and when people post here, they get what they get. There's all different levels of experience and inexperience, knowledge and ignorance. Some people are kind and well meaning, but you take their advice at your own risk. Others, their advice is blunt, almost cruel, but it's helpful. I didn't see anything in Salamander's post that wasn't accurate -- Amazon has very low standards for customer comments (I don't count any of them as being real reviews) and they won't remove comments, even when writers show good cause, because customers made the comments and they value customers more than writers. It's a long-standing gripe in the forum, possibly the one thing that frustrates new writers almost as much as poor sales. Personally, I'd be happy if Amazon followed IMDB's lead and removed all comments, but that's certainly not going to happen. Every book is going to get bad comments (1%-3% is normal), and there's only a few possible options -- ignore them (best), address the problems raised in the reviews, berate Amazon for policies they're not going to change, argue with the customer, post in a forum to others who have heard it all before, or stop publishing. If Salamander rubs you the wrong way, wait till you meet some of the less pleasant forum members. ;-)
Mary Peebels

Posts: 574
Registered: 01/07/16
Re: reviews that should be taken down
Posted: Jan 21, 2018 7:09 PM   in response to: Mark McGinnis in response to: Mark McGinnis
 
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Mark McGinnis wrote:
I have had "spam" - nonsensical reviews that have nothing to do with my book- and the reviewer then gave me a one-star review. I just had another one today where the guy read my blurb and he said I had the word "is" instead of "his" - he said he wasn't reading the book because I had that one typo in my blurb and then gave me a 2 star review for "reading my book" - which he just admitted to not reading. I reported both as abuse so they would be taken down. Amazon goes to great lengths to make sure readers get honest reviews (no relatives, etc.) so why not have the same rules and regulations in place to protect an author who goes to great lengths to supply entertaining books to his readers? Every time I have reported abuse, I have received no response... it's like it goes into a black hole. Can someone at Amazon please do something about this abuse? Poor reviews really hurt an author, and it is grossly unfair to allow abusive reviews to be posted and to remain posted even after the abuse has been reported.

Thank you- Mark Wayne McGinnis

Edited by: Mark McGinnis on Jan 19, 2018 7:52 AM


Hi Mark. I believe you may have thought that posting here in the "Feedback" forum was the same thing as sending actual 'feedback' to Amazon. No one from Amazon (that I know of) reads this forum ... we're other authors, like yourself. The only way to contact Amazon is to click on the "Contact" button at the bottom right of the page.

Good luck to you.
Mark McGinnis

Posts: 4
Registered: 09/29/13
Re: reviews that should be taken down
Posted: Jan 22, 2018 8:38 AM   in response to: Mary Peebels in response to: Mary Peebels
 
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I originally started this post to see if other authors had the same problem, and had advice on how to get inappropriate reviews removed. I emailed support directly about 4 particular reviews I had found that (in my opinion) were inappropriate, and I wanted them removed. So far, one of those has been removed (Amazon agreed with me that it was considered spam) and they are reviewing the other 3 complaints I filed. I am posting this today - on this thread - just to let people know that Amazon does indeed remove unfair reviews - if they agree with your arguments. So authors, please know that a quick email to customer support does not fall on deaf ears. Some reviews can be taken down. I repeat, some reviews are taken down by Amazon. It happened to me. Go figure.
tommy london

Posts: 353
Registered: 08/15/16
Re: reviews that should be taken down
Posted: Jan 22, 2018 10:49 AM   in response to: Mark McGinnis in response to: Mark McGinnis
 
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That last post was brief and informative. Thanks for the welcome, also.
Have done some experimenting with typography. Hard to get good advice.

Next project: To get feedback from UK authors on situation with publishers.
I have some secret hunches. More later, if we can get data. Also the USA.

At least the Zon People tend to be laissez faire, sort of. Casual. That is not 100% bad.
Mary Peebels

Posts: 574
Registered: 01/07/16
Re: reviews that should be taken down
Posted: Jan 22, 2018 11:31 AM   in response to: Mark McGinnis in response to: Mark McGinnis
 
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Mark McGinnis wrote:
I originally started this post to see if other authors had the same problem, and had advice on how to get inappropriate reviews removed. I emailed support directly about 4 particular reviews I had found that (in my opinion) were inappropriate, and I wanted them removed. So far, one of those has been removed (Amazon agreed with me that it was considered spam) and they are reviewing the other 3 complaints I filed. I am posting this today - on this thread - just to let people know that Amazon does indeed remove unfair reviews - if they agree with your arguments. So authors, please know that a quick email to customer support does not fall on deaf ears. Some reviews can be taken down. I repeat, some reviews are taken down by Amazon. It happened to me. Go figure.

I'm glad you were able to resolve this issue with one out of four.

Some authors mentioned that upon having a review removed, it reappeared later on. I'm not saying that is what will happen in your case, but just thought I'd mention it.

My books have some reviews that are pretty unflattering, but two of them have let me know who the book's audience wasn't. (The book was attracting persons who read Amish romance, and my book has absolutely nothing to do with that category.) I figure the reviews help in a twisted sort of way, because serious readers are likely skeptical of only 5 and 4 star reviews.

Also, I have a review that states: "I don't read fiction." I think most potential readers will consider this review of a novel as being unhelpful.
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