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.
My personal favorite was a one-star comment stating that no matter how hard she tried, she just could not follow the plot of the novel. I wasn't surprised by her confusion since it was a collection of short stories. If customers aren't smart enough to winnow the wheat from the chaff, they're probably not my readers anyway. Besides, I never did understand why so many writers live or die by what strangers think of them. Good reviews are nice ego-boots, less than great occasionally instructive, but, overall, more for customers motivated by a particular emotion than for me. IMO.
I have no issue with getting bad reviews - they don't even have to read the whole book, it's part of the deal. I just don't like spam reviews or those that say they didn't read even one word of the book... that kind of gets my goat, but, whatever, people will do what they do, and I do what I do. I also had a review which made mention of the fact that they liked the book but they gave me one star because he was sick and tired of reading about "homos" ... said I should have had a warning in the blurb. That is one Amazon is reviewing.
Just had a silly one on a bit of Christmas fluff. (I do a short Christmas tale, usually fantasy, every year.) The one star reviewer wrote 'Weird setting...' Um, that's rather usual for fantasy, isn't it?? They went on to talk about my evil 'Santa CLAUSE'...who was apparently 'never explained.' I guess they didn't know that Old Nick rather than Saint Nick is the name for the devil...