I have been very lucky. Over the past month, my book ‘Deadly Election’ (shameless plug!) has received over thirty reviews. They range from three star to five star, and many contain valid critical points.
However, it is obvious to any interested observer that there is trickery afoot at both ends of the scale with Amazon reviews. We are all told that ‘good reviews help to sell books’ - usually by people who make more money selling books in one day than I do in a year – so we listen to them.
It would seem that there are those less scrupulous, and more impatient, writers (I won’t name names, but they are all over the internet if you search for them) who want to short cut the system and are either paying for hundreds of reviews to be written, or worse, creating lots of fake accounts to post wonderful five star reviews about their mediocre product.
Whenever I see a book with multiple reviews, all of them five star, I cringe – I only hope that readers are seeing through them. There is nothing wrong with a four star review – it usually means it is still a good book, but maybe the reviewer is conservative and a bit more thoughtful – we should all be happy with that.
And then, of course, there is the other end of the scale – the negative one star reviews. Now, I would be the first to admit that, unfortunately there are some books out there that really do only merit a one star.
But when you see a bunch of good four and five star reviews followed by a clutch of brief, negative one stars – you know there has been some trolling going on.
The sad thing is that these bad reviews DO affect our sales – they affect the mechanics of Amazon, so the book is not promoted so well – I am not sure about their effect on readers, but of course, they are also very hurtful to the author, and Amazon are slow to remove them, if you can get them removed at all!
Of course, the best and most reliable reviews I suppose will be the ‘verified purchase’ ones – at least you will know that the reviewer paid out real money to get the book. I had my second ‘verified purchase’ review today, a four star (the first was a five star) (second shameless plug).
I feel quite negative about the future value of reviews to us as serious writers. There are no controls on the fake good reviews or the deliberately savage ones, so I am sure they will continue, unless Amazon can think of a way to preserve the integrity of their system.
My reviews are, as I suspect are most reviews for indie publishers, are a mixture – what I can say is that NONE of them are written by family or close friends. They are mostly written by friends from Twitter and Facebook who I have sent the book too on spec., but recently a few from people I really do not know, who have bought the book, are popping up – and that is very satisfying.
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Third Shameless Plug
Well, actually – it’s quite a few plugs, but there are many things happening now. ‘Deadly Election’ is just beginning to do well, ‘Ninety Percent’ is well underway – and I am going fishing on Saturday. So, all in all, things are good
I have added a page to my website – with ALL my reviews (not just the best ones) – I hope you will get time for a visit – yes, there are cats! Off you go -> REVIEWS PAGE
Just in case you have not done so yet, PLEASE sign up for my newsletter and regular updates HERE – or use the box on the right hand side of this page ->
Please go and like my facebook page if you have time - www.facebook.com/arthurcrandonauthor and follow also - @arthurcrandon, so make sure you follow me on twitter.
That’s it – you can relax now – no more promoting for this week!
I had a complaint last week – I dared to put dogs in my cat blog. I have soughty guidance from the Animal Discrimination Board – and I am told that I must I operate and equal oppurrtunities policy – so there will now be many different animals – I hope you will like them;