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Incentives for Reviews? Frowned on or Normal PR/Advertising

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Posted on 11 Nov 2012 09:03:28 GMT
also at the end of ebooks now its easy to give star rating - not a review but just a "how would you rate this book" and the star rating where you can go 1 - 5 stars as normal - reading alot as i do i often forget to do this when on pc next day so this is an excellent compromise. i do leave written reviews for some books when i've spare time esp if they have none or just a few - if they've loads then seems pointless to me. i see reviews as for book content only not dleivery etc - when i've ordered other stuff via amazon 3rd party sites (here and ebay my main present buying places!!) i get email saying will i rate seller same as ebay does, and thats where buying experience needs to go. amazon themsleves are always pretty quick - i've placed orders at 5pm and had them arrive next moring so if they don't arrive quick and amazon haven't given notice of a delay - stock shortage or something - then its courier service at fault. complain to them and to amazon direct so they can chase up but its not something for review as its not normal service.

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Nov 2012 14:56:42 GMT
A. B. Syed says:
This is great news.

Posted on 8 Nov 2012 13:20:29 GMT
Amazon is getting quite forceful, I mean they're on the case. I received an e-mail asking me how many stars I would give *insert book's name here* then ask me with big fat buttons to review. That includes free downloads as well as paid for novels. Probably one way of fighting the fake reviews and authors begging for them.

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Nov 2012 13:04:10 GMT
I Readalot says:
Trouble is there are lots of 3rd party sellers, some are excellent some not so good, the only way mentioning lousy service can help at all is if the specific seller is mentioned and as far as I am aware that is not allowed in reviews of a product. Seriously though would you say that you hated a particular book simply because the delivery was slow? Or because the copy you received was damaged, when the damage could have been caused by the package being badly treated during the delivery process?

Posted on 8 Nov 2012 11:57:17 GMT
I still think that it's not the author's place to whine about the content of an honest consumer review. If you order a paperback and it arrives damaged, then yes, Amazon would probably prefer you to bury your legitimate complaint in seller feedback. But as a consumer you have every right to complain about lousy service in a review, however inconvenient that might be for the author, and for Amazon.

And, you know, I think we get too hung up on reviews anyway. I've got some lovely reviews of both my short story collection and of my contribution to a new anthology. I am reviewed up, I have been very lucky with reviews. But, as discussed above, I still often go weeks between sales. If eleven glowing reviews do nothing to shift copies of my book, then I really don't see how a review complaining about delivery delays, cracked spines, or high prices (that Rowling fiasco the other week) can really do any damage.

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Nov 2012 11:43:22 GMT
Frenchie says:
I think these customers must think that Amazon is like eBay. It is the kind of feedback you would leave on eBay as you review the seller, not the product.
But is a review different from a feedback?

Interesting piece on Wikipedia about reviews. :
A consumer review refers to a review written by the owner of a product or the user of a service who has sufficient experience to comment on reliability and whether or not the product or service delivers on its promises, otherwise known as product reviews.. An expert review usually refers to a review written by someone who has tested several peer products or services to identify which offers the best value for money or the best set of features. A bought review is the system where the creator (usually a company) of a new product pays a reviewer to review his new product.

Posted on 8 Nov 2012 11:39:26 GMT
Oh, thanks! The stories were written over an eleven year period, so I can honestly say they were as good as I could possibly make them - I've been very lucky that readers seem to have enjoyed the work so far. I have a four star review over on the US site, and a few three star ratings on Goodreads, so it's not quite a clean sweep - still no secret, I'm afraid! :)

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Nov 2012 11:19:48 GMT
A. B. Syed says:
Well I wasn't being so personal as to talk about your sales :D
I meant your amazing collection of amazing 5 star reviews :D

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Nov 2012 09:49:25 GMT
My secret? I wish I had one, my sales are nothing to write home about at the moment!

I hope you enjoy the books!

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Nov 2012 22:00:22 GMT
I Readalot says:
I agree Monica, I actually thought it was against reviewing guidelines to comment on sellers. As I mentioned above how can someone say that they hate a product just because it arrives late? Also there are losts of reasons why this might happen, if it is from a 3rd party seller than Amazon have no control, it is then up to the buyer to contact that seller direct to complain and leave negative feedback to warn others. They are called 'product reviews' after all and not 'experience reviews'.

Posted on 7 Nov 2012 21:18:18 GMT
monica says:
Have to disagree, Andrew. Strongly. I want a review to give a good idea of what the item purchased is like, and don't care tuppence whether the reviewer had an easy or a tough time getting it. Besides, there are usually at least a few sellers flogging the same thing, and as they're rarely mentioned by name in reviews like that, that information is of no help.

I feel a bit sorry sometimes for the people who put info re seller in reviews, as I imagine they're often bewildered by the negative votes they (rightly) get. As I remember, if you don't enter seller feedback amazon leaves a reminder to do so and I'm guessing that there are those who think that a review is the place to do so (though you'd think they'd get the right idea from reading other reviews). When I'm in benevolent mood I comment that what they've written is in the wrong place, but people nicer than I make the same comment regularly. In the same way, I've noticed posts/reviews from people who excitedly remark that amazon asked them to write a review, not realising that they've not been specially invited to do so . . .

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Nov 2012 20:10:48 GMT
A. B. Syed says:
That's interesting, never thought of the reviews that way. I presumed that they were purely for the books themselves.

I wish you would tell us what you secret is Andrew :)
I've now got both books in my wish list.

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Nov 2012 20:04:14 GMT
A. B. Syed says:
Must admit I've also seen the ones which give 5 stars that say, 'book arrived this morning, very happy' etc. :D

Posted on 7 Nov 2012 13:44:23 GMT
No, it's totally fair enough, people who are writing Amazon reviews are commenting just as much on the experience of using Amazon as they are on the product itself. The author should be asking Amazon what the hell went wrong with the customer's delivery of their book, not moaning about a legitimate review.

Posted on 7 Nov 2012 13:38:30 GMT
I Readalot says:
I really don't know although someone out there might. I am just surprised that that Amazon post them in the first place. How can someone say they hate a book (which is what 1* equates to) simply because it took a long time to arrive or the packaging/book was damaged, makes no sense to me.

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Nov 2012 13:02:13 GMT
A. B. Syed says:
But can the author ask Amazon to remove the review?

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Nov 2012 11:45:02 GMT
Last edited by the author on 7 Nov 2012 13:26:24 GMT
I Readalot says:
Unfortunately that sort of thing happens quite frequently, I have also seen 1 star reviews because a book was damaged on arrival don't these people get the fact that they are supposed to be reviewing the product. Any complaints about delivery/quality should be addressed to Amazon, also late delivery is often down to the postal service so maybe they should complain to the carrier as well.

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Nov 2012 10:53:51 GMT
A. B. Syed says:
I've just seen a review give 1 star to a book because it took a week to arrive.

Posted on 19 Oct 2012 09:41:55 BDT
ethereal - one of the things i look at when a book i fancy has a crop of 5 star reviews is the reviewer history - its amazing how many only do 5 star ones or who've only done one review and that ages ago - makes me think they've some other factor in mind rather than saying they enjoyed the book
also amazed at how many 5 star ones there are when reviewer says they haven't read book yet but it looks a good read ??? or they've read first couple chapters and just HAD to tell everyone how good it was - then why not first then review.

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Oct 2012 08:59:25 BDT
Ethereal says:
"if i always gave good reviews..."

Given the current atmosphere, a reviewer posting only good reviews would likely be viewed with distrust by other readers too!

Posted on 19 Oct 2012 08:55:41 BDT
the site i review for authors offer their books, we reviewers get a list and pick what books we want to review - i stick to my proferred genre. no one gets money direct - the site gets material and hopefully more visitors = increasing ads revenue, reviewers get a free book, authors get an honest review. i've done a couple of critical reviews when i've really struggled with a book that description suggested i'd like- felt sorry for author but thats what happens when you offer up for someone to read and comment. if i always gave good reviews regardless of how i enjoyed book then i'd be letting down myself and any readers of my review. i'm not saying my review will soley influence a customer but i know as a reader how i read and take note of reviews when i'm buying.

Posted on 18 Oct 2012 11:55:27 BDT
A. B. Syed says:
The papers may not sell, but i don't know of any book that has not had the benefit of a boost from a bit of controversy do you? Lady Chatterley's Lover, Catch-22, Da Vinci Code, even Mein Kampf. The only ones I know which probably have not reached notoriety, acceptance and champions are probably the banned books from the bible :)

I don't know what sneering slightly snottily would do for a book though, so you're right Andrew.

Posted on 18 Oct 2012 11:37:50 BDT
"Controversy always sells" While this may be broadly true, no paper or magazine has ever managed to boost its sales through slightly snotty book reviews. Much as every professional critic in the history of journalism would love to think otherwise.

Posted on 18 Oct 2012 11:36:41 BDT
A. B. Syed says:
I get what you are saying Jeannie, but if I read a book and thought it was rubbish, I would feel very bad writing a good review about it even if I was being paid.
I think that most payment systems are set up so that there is a buffer between the author and the reviewer. The one that I have seen is where the author uploads their book and pays and then the reviewer chooses from a list of books.
I would not feel right paying for a review. It feels slimy.
Its difficult isn't it?
So what really is the answer? we sit around like wallflowers until we're asked to the dance?

Posted on 18 Oct 2012 08:54:54 BDT
paid reviews - well i get a free book but always point that out - if i was getting actual money or something more i think however moralistic i want to be i'd feel bad about writing neg review and of course if i wrote many then i wouldn't get much other work. if its through a third party - say a paper or mag - then they also have an agenda and may want crit reviews however good the book may be just to push sales - controversy always sells - just ask J K Rowling - works well for her, or phillip pullman when churchs were saying his books were full of bad stuff - or of course salman rushdie - anyone read his book? everyone knows of it though :) even the Sun and the Harry photos - record sales when they were printed plus endless publicity via news progs.
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Discussion in:  fiction discussion forum
Participants:  16
Total posts:  95
Initial post:  10 Oct 2012
Latest post:  11 Nov 2012

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