I can't help noticing that all the reviews, right across the board, are getting a lot of negative votes, despite the fact that they're well written and argue their case well, no matter how many stars they awarded. Why do you think that is?
I wonder? Either someone has a particular hatred of Vine reviews, of this author or has a book of their own on the period due to come out sometime soon. None of those explanations seem particularly convincing to me. Whoever was responsible would need multiple accounts (or lots of friends with their own accounts) and would have to be a compulsive/obsessive.
The pattern of voting certainly looks odd, but I emailed Amazon about it a while ago and they claimed that their "filters" would spot and eliminate nefarious voting patterns. That doesn't convince me either...
I think some people may be jealous that Vine reviewers get to read pre-publication copies much earlier than the rest of us, but I have several pre-publication copies sold on by reviewers and they are neither paginated nor illustrated, a great draw-back in the case of history books.
Thanks all, I was beginning to get depressed about it! I think people are voting about whether they agree with the review rather than whether it was helpful in making the decision to read/purchase (which is what I think a review is for). I always try to give concrete reasons for my score. That way, people can say to themselves 'well, you may hate/love that but personally it would make me take a second look' or, in other words, I disagree with your vote but the review was helpful to me. I would expect a helpful vote for that but, instead, it seems low star reviews especially get a not-helpful vote simply because the person reading it is saying 'I loved the book'. Bizarrely, I've seen some reviews which just say 'this was very nice' (or words to that effect) but tell you nothing about the book. They get 100% helpful votes! It seems we just have to be thick-skinned.
Thank you everyone for sharing your opinions with me, I had already started to think I was being paranoid! I agree with you, and I think that probably all explanations have a certain bearing on why the reviews of this particular book have attracted so many negative votes already. I'm always interested to read why other reviewers have a different opinion about the product than I, even if I personally don't agree with them it's good to see them arguing their case, instead of just writing, "I loved/hated it.". Unfortunately I suspect that the simple matter of difference of opinion, just as you say, Mal Page, often attracts negative feedback, whereas it should be respected if the arguments are conclusive. As I'm still fairly new to reviewing, I guess I have to learn to grow a thicker skin, as you say.
One explanation is simple trolling/vandalism. I find these days that I often get a negative vote within a few days of posting it. I admit that, when this happens (first vote on a new review = negative) I simply "wash" the vote away (delete the review and repost it immediately. Those reviews often go on to pick up a decent helping of positive votes, so I am fairly comfortable that what I am doing isn't artificially improving my rating - it's "repairing vandalism".
I am convinced that there are people who browse amazon and chuck negs at reviews just for laughs.
I agree that a lot of people vote negatively simply because the reviewer's like/dislike of the book contradicts their own rather than on the quality of the review (personally I try to vote on how well written I think the review is even if I do wildly disagree with it lol). Still, once that Vine badge went under my name I noticed a lot more negative votes. Coincidence, possibly, but I think that there is a certain amount of anti-Vine vote trolling lol
Thanks everyone for your comments. I am reassured (was beginning to think it was my cologne or something). Actually, if the posts here are anything to go by, we reviewers seem a very nice, conscientious, bunch - to end on a positive note!