If there are gross spelling or grammar errors throughout, the Look Inside feature would expose those errors prior to someone purchasing. Ditto for bad writing style, boring prose, etc. I've seen reviews that stated that they saw the errors PRIOR to purchasing/downloading, but went ahead and got the book anyway and then posted a scathing review. Why would someone do that if they didn't like what they saw in the preview? If everybody can read the same preview, why would someone feel like they had to "warn" people away from a book? I don't get that.
I'm not sure what the solution would be to ensure better quality Indie books, but Look Inside is an excellent tool for the potential reader.
I was told by one review that I should give up writing because I didn't know how. I managed to track that one person down and found her book was so far on the bottom of the list, she sells it with a flashlight. DO NOT FRET over a bad review! Some are bogus and some are not. one thing you can do is pull your book out...keep it off line for a week or two and re-submit. Kinda like washing your laundry. But, don't ever let anyone tell you to stop writing. Books, reading, etc is always educational and fun even if your or my books do suck! and remember, sometimes a bad review makes others curious....
I had a review complaining that they got through several chapters and just quit. Sadly, none of my books are chaptered. Oh well, I laughed and moved on. The story is perfect in my eyes and that's what matters to me. A review is an opinion, and in the wise words of Patrick Swayze: "Opinions vary".
On a side note, I hope the person who left the "chapter" review actually reads my work one day. He may enjoy it.
I had a two star review recently, and I didn't realize until reading this post what the reviewer was really doing, The person writing the review only posted that one review and no others. He claimed that there were several holes in the story, but that only made it obvious he hadn't read the book carefully, and missed,or ignored several things. He also listed two other books in the same genre as mine, and said that my book didn't deserve the same average score that they did. It's now pretty obvious to me that the guy was getting rid of competition, and promoting other books.
Yes, yes, yes! The publishing company that I went with tells their authors to review each others books. So, you will see a lot of reviews from authors from that company. Sometimes they post under their name and sometimes they don't. One way to tell if reviewers are plugging people under a certain publishing group...is to look at the books that the reviewers point out.
Look at this review...
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A Wonderful Talent May 4, 2011
I acquired these books for my two very young nieces, ages 2 and 3, neither of which are known for sitting still for very long. However, when I started reading aloud, they were mesmerized. My voice gave out before they would allow me to stop reading. These are wonderful books from a very talented writer.
Now go back and look at the books he has reviewed. They are all from the company that happens to be a sister company to the company that published her book. I know this because the sister company published my first book.
A Magical Story! February 2, 2012
By J. C. Powelson
A charming and whimsical tale about fairies and their mushroom patch home,"Mischief in the Mushroom Patch" will spark the imaginations of young readers. The story opens with two young fairies, Lilly and Boris, breaking Mushroom Colony rules, and both of them land in serious trouble. After their rescue, Lilly and Boris are in more trouble for disobeying rules and are punished by Mushroom Colony elders. Their punishment includes working in the fairy dust factory for a few days. As the two fairies try to learn the ropes of their important jobs, they work together, and their strong friendship is evident.
5 star review
"Though mischievous, Lilly and Boris are good hearted, and their punishment turns into a wonderful learning experience. This delightful book is not only fun to read, but it is a story that teaches the value of friendship, responsibility, and learning from our mistakes. My daughter, who is enchanted by magical books, loved this book and is excited about reading the second book in Ms. Thrasher's series, "A Fairy Match in the Mushroom Patch".
Again all of the books reviewed by this person happens to fall to books published by the sister company.
And so on.....
You will find a lot of publishing companies that do this. They get their authors to give each other reviews because the publishing companies tell us to buy so many books from each other. It is a scratch my back and I will scratch yours.
At the end of the day...reviews mean nothing because they can't be trusted.
I know EXACTLY who is doing this to me. He has many names on this forum and practically lives here. I'm not gonna let it get to me though at least the last time he bought the book and refunded so it at least had a verified purchase sign.
[i]I just published a short, that very frankly, SUCKS! Why did I do it? Because I wanted to see my stuff "out there". I know what's wrong with it, and I know how to correct it. So, when the bad reviews start rolling in (if anyone ever buys this crap), I have no one to blame but myself.[/i]
Seriously??? Why would you ever publish something you [i]know[/i] isn't ready? Not only are you dicing with your own reputation, but that of all us indies, because we all get lumped in the same category ("all indies suck", "indies can't write", "all indie books are riddled with errors".) Why add to that and give the haters more ammunition?