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readers reviews on amazon so subjective their near useless ?

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In reply to an earlier post on 2 Mar 2013 14:27:02 GMT
Bookworm says:
I think you're right. I don't read reviews before I buy a book, I read the blurb and if I like it, I'll buy it! As a writer, I know the long night and days I spend trying to write a great book could be destroyed in an instant by a horrible review but like everything in life, everyone cannot like my book, it might not be to some people's taste while some might absolutely love it! Hopefully, people would be sincere in their reviews!

Posted on 2 Mar 2013 12:08:49 GMT
byekitty says:
its interesting the range of reviewers on here some serious and trying to be helpful others merely trying to get noticed for being controversial and if you can be bothered looking at other reviews by them it often tells you a lot, i recently came across a reviewer who has reviewed a lot of fiction and given very poor ratings to many pretty universally praised books his reviewer rating was quite high and he'd received many helpful votes but on actually reading some of his reviews i found them to be very vague and quite often factually incorrect leaving me with the impression that he'd not really read most of them

Posted on 2 Mar 2013 11:25:57 GMT
Joo says:
Whilst perusing a reviewer's reviews I spotted that he only reviewed the samples as he very rarely went on to buy the book. He was very thorough in his reviews and explained just why he was giving that particular rating.
What was queer though, was that he gave 5 stars and ended the review by saying "recommended" but he hadn't bought the book !! If it's not recommended enough for him to buy it, why should anyone else pay any notice to what he said.

Myself, I'm not very good at writing a review as I'm rubbish at writing and never want to give away any part of the story, so mine will be based on whether it was a good read, or if there was anything that would stop you or pull you up.
Also, until a comment by another forum member, my policy was to review books that I like. So most of my reviews were 4 or 5 star as I couldn't be bothered to write a 3 star or less. So I went back through my list of read books and started reviewing the ones I could remember. I have even posted a handful of 2 stars but they were for books that I "had" to read (bookclub choices etc) I'd never post a 1 star read as I'd never read one.

Posted on 22 Feb 2013 09:41:33 GMT
Yes, that happened once, I was up-rated one star by a reviewer after i posted the book had received another proofread. That was good, but better for future readers.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Feb 2013 21:59:14 GMT
Steven says:
thats one of the great things about ebooks Roy-- the ability to instantly pull the book and amend any proofing issues really helps to improve the reading experience for future readers.
I've never needed to write such a review but if I did and the author sorted out the issues, I'd always be happy to amend my review accordingly. after all, if you pull the book and pay again to have it proofed, the last thing you need is a review criticising proofing that is now out of date. :)

Posted on 21 Feb 2013 19:11:12 GMT
I always thought a review should contain nothing but a personal evaluation. I have been critisised a couple of times for poor proofing yet I paid good money to have this done cos I'm useless at it. First thing i did was pull the book out and pay again for a proofread. Most of these complaints came from reviews where readers said, 'good read, but.' Others came in the form of emails cos my address is available. So, in my opinion reviews can be essential, if you take your writing seriously.

Then again this is just my opinion.

Posted on 20 Feb 2013 16:37:53 GMT
Mal Rivers says:
A large percentage of readers aren't even swayed by reviews anyway. If reviews are subjective, so is the train of thought to ignore them.

If you passed on every book that had a 1* review, be it constructive or not, then you won't be reading much in the near future.

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Feb 2013 16:26:31 GMT
look all this about books ,i get dissapointed with rubbish endings then whats different to many films. some you win some you don't. i think e books on amazon generally represent good value for money.and as a thriller freak many good free books to be had. certainly much better than spending an hour perusing in library and ending with a book you don't enjoy.

Posted on 20 Feb 2013 08:34:41 GMT
byekitty says:
yes i have noticed that the amount of fake reviews has increased especially over the past year it seems but i think most are fairly easy to spot

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Feb 2013 19:38:06 GMT
Sou'Wester says:
True - as far as the genuine ones go - but there are any number of shill reviews posted on Amazon (along with the infinitely tedious promotional posts on these threads) that are just as ridiculous, and often downright dishonest.

Posted on 19 Feb 2013 19:09:07 GMT
byekitty says:
one thing that is definite is that customer reviews are much better than the advertising blurb on paperbacks covers the amount of crime and thriller writers described as the new stieg larsson is just ridiculous

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Jan 2013 23:00:28 GMT
Steven says:
lol.true enough. ;) don't give her ideas though.

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Jan 2013 22:54:51 GMT
Anita says:
At least she's not the worst. She hasn't yet spammed the "who should play Jack Reacher" thread yet. Someone has a while ago :)

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Jan 2013 22:38:47 GMT
Last edited by the author on 9 Jan 2013 22:43:04 GMT
Steven says:
troll... this had nothing to do with the discussion at hand.
i hear the sound of a book sinking without trace...
seriously dear, your starting to sound a little desperate now... :)

Posted on 9 Jan 2013 20:29:42 GMT
cod says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Dec 2012 10:52:35 GMT
David Conroy says:
Book reviews do avoid this a bit, where a book club might compile their thoughts and give some insight.

Product reviews can be filtered quickly by looking at the reviewer's review history and deciding for yourself if they are trustworthy.

Reviews of certain products, cameras for example, will indicate the level of expertise of the reviewer, and perhaps this should be asked for in the review title line.

Unfortunately, in the end, we just have to take a punt.

BUT... Why on earth do some people give one star reviews simply because they didn't receive the product? This irrelevancy wastes everyone's time and effort, and does a disservice to the product manufacturer. Rant over.

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Dec 2012 08:29:07 GMT
C. E. Taylor says:
Tweedledum is right of course, but to the reader the most important thing is information which enables him/ her whether to buy this unknown thing .

Posted on 22 Dec 2012 07:52:59 GMT
Tweedledum says:
Should a reviewer not aim to entice then? To persuade?

Surely going into details of the book without any personal comment should more correctly be described as a précis or summary NOT a review.

A review by definition must contain some personal evaluation.

Posted on 20 Dec 2012 17:01:37 GMT
C. E. Taylor says:
Reviews come in different types. some useful to a prospective buyer, some not.

The main tpes are

The subjective. One persons view on his enjoyment or otherwise, the review reader can make his own judgement on how other people have enjoyed the item.

The erudite. The reviewer is usually attempting to show off his knowledge of the subject, although more often his ignorance. Usually of very limited use to the review reader unless the reviewer points out factually errors or strenghts.

The factual. The review goes into the details of the book not given by the sale description, with the purpose of helping the reader to decide whether to buy or not. This I find the only useful reviews

Posted on 20 Dec 2012 09:00:24 GMT
Tweedledum says:
Posting anything publicly whether a review or anything else means people you don't know will see it, read it and some of them will even bother to venture a public opinion on what you write. Which might make you feel uncomfortable. You know what they say...if you can't stand the heat....

Personally, and this is a highly subjective view, I think it's great that people who might otherwise be voiceless can tweet their opinions whether on books or anything else. Any halfway intelligent novel ( as in new) reviewer will be actively scanning what others write and learning from this.

Lets hear it for tolerance and respect...

Bottom line is

Make up your own mind don't rely on someone else's.

Posted on 20 Dec 2012 07:46:42 GMT
byekitty says:
no certainly not i do find reviews helpful im not advocating some kind of gagging order on people's opinions think people are taking this thread a bit too seriously, i was just wondering if other people had noticed that some reviewers seemed to take a book they don't like as a personal insult

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Dec 2012 06:49:54 GMT
Steven says:
so you are advocating removing the review system from amazon? to be clear, reviews you read in the press are no less subjective and, in many cases the reviewer knows the author/is published by the same publisher so the reviews are even more slanted.
the reviews on amazon are there for readers who find them helpful. no-one is making you read them but they are of use to many.
we usually only hear this kind of comment from an author who has just copped a bad review...

Posted on 19 Dec 2012 19:06:48 GMT
byekitty says:
what i was trying to say is that i frequently find book reviews to be far too personal some reviewers " not all " seem to take it as a personal insult that the author has written a book of course there is no such thing as an objective review it would be rather dull

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Dec 2012 10:56:57 GMT
Steven says:
um no... people just enjoy different things.
do you want everybody to blindly follow the pack without any thoughts and views of their own?

Posted on 24 Nov 2012 10:14:34 GMT
I enjoy reviewing and hope my reviews are helpful. However, if I start a book which is not to my taste then I rarely continue reading it. If it is just a case of not being interested in the plot but the book is well enough written then I don't write a review as I think I would be doing the author a disservice. I've only written one review on a book I didn't finish and it was by a well established author whose work I normally enjoy but in this case I found that the book wasn't up to her usual standard. Being a regular reader of the forums I have discovered several posters who enjoy similar books to me so if they recommend a book I know there is a good chance that I will like it too. I think reviews are helpful but I also like to download a sample if the author is new to me and I find this invaluable even if I intend to buy a paper copy of the book.
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Discussion in:  thriller discussion forum
Participants:  21
Total posts:  38
Initial post:  16 Nov 2012
Latest post:  2 Mar 2013

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