I've read this thread through. I am at once amazed, but then again bored. It is crystal clear that you are not complaining about a "real" review, or a series of them. You are complaining about non-reviews being counted as reviews. I see that virtually no one even began to understand that. If someone reads your book, and says it sucked, you would not question that, nor would I, nor would any dedicated, serious, professional writer. But when someone says upfront and out loud that they didn't read the book, but stomps it anyway, that's wrong. It's as wrong as anything gets. It's done because people are often just plain stupid. I see this mentality all across the web and you can go into any forum and demonstrate it for yourself in about three minutes flat. Say you go into a forum about lawnmowers and ask if such and such brand is good for deep grass. You'll immediately get replies like, "Chevy Suburbans suck; you must be a moron for buying one." Of course you didn't buy one and you aren't asking about nor commenting on Chevy Suburbans; you're just trying to find a reliable lawnmower. Sadly, too many, maybe even most people, don't understand the problem there. The fact is that everyone gets bizarre reviews (if they get any reviews at all). Yes, bizarre reviews should be pulled and the reviewer penalized -- maybe mark their reviews as "possibly bogus" from that point on, to give them less weight. I think the bottom line is this: Follow the money. Amazon (1) DOES NOT CARE if you're getting bogus reviews because, after all, Amazon ain't in this for YOU. Amazon is in it for THEIR bottom line. And, (2), it would cost Amazon money to read and cull bogus reviews. Amazon wouldn't throw you a roll of toilet paper if you were drowning and they won't help you fend off the rantings of the insane, either. We all got into this "mess" assuming Amazon possessed at least three molecules of decency and morality. We were wrong. I copyrighted this line decades ago: The root of all disappointment lies in unrealistic expectation. For some unknown reason we "expected" Amazon to be some sort of stand-up organization that had our best interests at heart. We were wrong. Now some are disappointed. All they can do is learn THAT lesson and be far more careful in the future. One could argue that creating and maintaining an environment of honest and legitimate reviews IS in Amazon's best interests, because professionalism and decency and fairness in ALL areas of one's business tends to foster success through stable credibility, but honestly, the web giants almost never seem capable of grasping this concept, which is central to the success or failure of even a tiny mom and pop corner grocery store. Just look at the crumbling ruins of Yahoo over the years. They started out as strong as Google but are now a cacophony of idiocy, nearly the biggest joke on the web, all through stunningly stupid decisions, just like Amazon's refusal to address the uncounted reviews which start out, "I did't read the book, but... (the plot sucks, the characters are shallow, I only give good ratings to blue covers, if there are no dogs in the story I ALWAYS give one star -- on and on ad nauseam, take your pick)." I propose that if a thousand people posted reviews of a critically acclaimed and financially highly successful book which included comments like the above, which culminated in the total failure of the book because no one would any longer buy it, Amazon would STILL refuse to acknowledge the elephant in the refrigerator and cull the bogus reviews. Amazon is an unthinking machine. That's the reality. Awhile back I ran a particular ad campaign for a particular book. The clicks were through the roof -- maybe in the hundreds of thousands, I don't recall exactly. It cost me a lot of money. But not a single sale. How can that be? Turned out that the "Look Inside" link to preview that book was broken. No one could look inside, and of course who would buy any book they couldn't at least scan a few pages of? No one. The ad ran for a long time and when I finally drilled down to the problem I approached Amazon for a simple refund, promising that I would re-run the campaign once they fixed the link. They did fix the link after a long and tortured series of emails but refused a refund. I argued that if you don't provide the product, you don't get to keep the money. For instance, I likened it to ordering a new car, and when the dealer calls to say your car as arrived, you zoom down to the shop to pick it up, only to discover that there's no engine. You confront the sales manager who barks, "Whatcha bitchin' about? The brakes work, don't they?" Then you sue them and win. I provided several examples of flawed logic like that, but Amazon remained unmoved and refused to refund. I filed a credit card dispute and won it and forcibly took back the money. Curiously, all my sales instantly dropped to zero. Now, when I run campaigns, I get virtually no click-throughs at all (I've stopped advertising with Amazon) and I am finding countless instances of this across the net as demonstrated by writers who had the audacity to call Amazon on some of their other bizarre policies and decisions. In too many cases to be coincidence, in my opinion, their sales utterly stopped as well. One reportedly has initiated a lawsuit over the complete stoppage of sales of about 200 of his books. This is simply the broader mentality of web-based giants -- it is, tragically, how many or most or all of them operate. It always has been and it always will be. We expected better. We were unrealistic in our expectations. Now we're miffed or even outraged. But we shouldn't be. We should just be smarter. Now, I POSITIVELY GUARANTEE that this will be replied to and commented on by dozens of people who simply don't understand what was said and will make comments that have less than no bearing on this problem. Indeed, I must be a moron for buying a Chevy Suburban (but of course I never bought one). Fortunately, I don't read comments or replies, but let the illogical ranting begin. Maybe someone, somewhere, will be entertained.
You are complaining about non-reviews being counted as reviews. I see that virtually no one even began to understand that.
Except, we do understand it. And as we've said over and over, it doesn't matter. Amazon will almost never remove this kind of review, no matter how many times they're reported. Do you seriously think this is the first thread complaining about reviews? Because I can assure you, it's not. Not even in the first thousand.
The reason we tell people to move on from this sort of thing is that nothing we do will change it, and it makes people look petty and frankly, ignorant of how Amazon runs things. The customer is king at Amazon. We are not customers. We are content providers, and there's a ton signing up everyday to sell their books. Amazon doesn't need us. They don't care if you take your jacks and go home to mommy.
And come on. Give readers credit for knowing these reviews are dumb. Do any of you really think no one will buy a book because some schmoe complained the toaster he ordered was a two slice instead of a four? Or that the reviewer thinks the book sucks because she read the Look Inside, and it was about cats instead of a woman's you-know-what?
Review average only counts on those promo sites that require a base level to get in on the action. Readers normally don't care that much if it's not solid five stars. Every book gets "bad" reviews. Even the Bible. It's one of the things we have to deal with as business people. If you need to up your rating, try finding more people who will love your book and give you good reviews. Don't do anything scammy, unethical or against TOS, but search for legitimate ways to get more reviews.
Yea it really doesn't matter whether Amazon takes action or not because no one cares about indies anyways. If you talk to the average person on the street, they're not reading KDP books. If they are even reading at all, they are reading major published backed mainstream books. A millennial (or Generation Xer, depending on whether being 37 falls under millennial or not) on a podcast I listened to recently once said "who has time for books anymore?" He buys Audible audiobooks and listens to them while he is doing something else. No one sits down and actually reads. And audio books are usually non-fiction. Fiction writing is really on the way out in general.