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Should People Who Don't Buy the Books Be Able to Review?


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Showing 26-50 of 77 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on Apr 13, 2012 8:42:14 AM PDT
Brent Butler says:
Yep. If I hire a painter who does sloppy work and appears to not know what he's doing, I'm not only not going to hire him again, I'm going to give him bad references.

If I read a book where the writer is not competent in clearly communicating, I'm going to give that author a bad reference.

Spelling and grammar are the most basic rules by which we clearly communicate with each other in writing, although competent authorship requires far, far more than that. If the author cannot competently use even the most basic building blocks of the trade, they are no author.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 13, 2012 9:41:03 AM PDT
Page243, that sort of behaviour is despicable. To leave a bad review on a book you haven't eveen read, just out of spite? Yes are are some people who can't take critism however kindly meant. We've had a few in our writers group. They think they are so great and even a minor crit will make them angry. They come expecting to be told that they are the next big thing. Most serious writers in the group though come to find out how they can improve.

To answer your question though, it would be unfair if readers who bought the book in a bookshop or were given one as a present, could not leave a review.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 13, 2012 9:44:31 AM PDT
If enough people press the report abuse button it may be taken down. I think you have to give a reason, but I'm not sure.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 13, 2012 9:46:39 AM PDT
Yes, I agree. I always read the sample. I can decide very quickly if it's something I don't want to buy. If the first few pages are promising I read the whole sample.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 13, 2012 9:49:42 AM PDT
There is a comment box. Maybe you could click on the review and reveal what he did. And then press the downvote button and the report abuse button.

Posted on Apr 13, 2012 9:59:23 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 13, 2012 9:59:39 AM PDT
I have theoretically decided that I will post reviews on books I DNF, but only if I read at least 50% of the book and DNF at that point. I don't think that it's particularly helpful to review only on the sample, since anyone can read that much of the book for free and make up their own mind about continuing.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 13, 2012 11:09:33 AM PDT
Rick G says:
I think that's fair. If a book hasn't hooked you by the halfway mark, that says something. However, I'd probably mention that in the review, therefore it gives context.

Posted on Apr 13, 2012 11:50:30 AM PDT
I was thinking about this the other day as I had decided NOT to purchase a book I had been considering- I would be interested in knowing why others did not purchase a particular book, assuming the book was in a genre or about a topic they normally like. Not a review that counted against the book, just some thoughts about why they passed on reading it. Unfortunately, that would be even harder to police than the review system.

I have reviewed books that I did not finish reading; however, I do try to at least skim through the rest of the book and I always admit that I did not finish it. As someone has already mentioned, the fact that the book did not hold your attention says something. Most of the time I just pass on the review though, especially if there are enough reviews that mine would not make much of a difference anyway. I also try to consider whether the book may have some value to someone else and include that information in my review, if relevant (i.e., you may like this book if...)

Regarding typos and grammar, I'm not as bothered by them as some, unless they are really bad. If the story is really good, a few editing issues do not distract me. If they are fairly pervasive, I will mention it in my review so others who care more about that will be aware, but I generally would not let it affect my review rating. I tend to be more lenient on self-published authors, for two reasons: 1) the books are cheaper, so I consider it a small trade-off- I have read some really great stories along with the inevitable duds- and 2) a book that is professionally published should be held to a higher standard.

Back to the original question, I do think non-verified purchasers should be able to review as long as they read the book in question. I borrow some from my library or my sister, so I can have a legitimate opinion on a book I have not purchased. I think it is up to us as purchasers to know how to interpret the reviews- e.g., if something is very positive or very negative with no real thought to the review, I figure it's a shill or someone with a bone to pick. Unfortunately, I know some people only look at the star rating; I'm not sure how the system could be improved without messing another aspect up.

Great question, and good thoughts.

Posted on Apr 13, 2012 12:00:26 PM PDT
Marty Shaw says:
Unfortunately, this is one of those examples that explains why so many authors say it's a bad idea to be both a writer and a reviewer, because somewhere down the road, someone will get their feelings hurt over a bad review and respond in kind, regardless of whether a negative review is deserved or not. It's one of those sad-but-true facts of life.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 13, 2012 4:13:43 PM PDT
I agree with you 100%, Brent. If you can't enjoy the story because of sloppy editing (and I don't mean occasional errors like the kind you see even with traditionally published novels) then it doesn't deserve high praise. However, I always explain within the review why I gave a lower ranking (or for that matter, a higher ranking). If the reason someone doesn't like a book is because of poor grammar and punctuation, then just say so in the review.

However, I also think being a good storyteller doesn't necessarily make one a good author. For everyone, editors are important, but for storytellers who have weaker writing skills, a good editor is essential before getting one's work published.

Just to be clear, I don't think we're disagreeing, I'm just adding to the discussion.

Posted on May 10, 2012 5:06:59 PM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Aug 8, 2012 7:23:28 AM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on May 10, 2012 5:12:21 PM PDT
Mack Meijers says:
Amazon should allow it in service to the authors. Many of us are often given opportunities to preview book releases. Sometimes as a means of conceptual or story specific feedback, sometimes for QA, but most of the time to spread the word and aid in giving people insight in to the story and the feel of it.

The problem is, while that is possible in some online marketplaces, Amazon sofar does not support this. Particularly for emerging authors, self published or not, this is a rather substantial and unnecessary hurdle.

In reply to an earlier post on May 10, 2012 5:13:00 PM PDT
Mack Meijers says:
Amazon should allow it in service to the authors. Many of us are often given opportunities to preview book releases. Sometimes as a means of conceptual or story specific feedback, sometimes for QA, but most of the time to spread the word and aid in giving people insight in to the story and the feel of it.

The problem is, while that is possible in some online marketplaces, Amazon sofar does not support this. Particularly for emerging authors, self published or not, this is a rather substantial and unnecessary hurdle.

In reply to an earlier post on May 10, 2012 5:16:47 PM PDT
"Two individuals reviewed my books who did not read the books. One was my sister, so that doesn't count."

So, it only counts if it's a bad review.

Repeat after me: reviews are for readers. Your sister's shill review - not for readers. Not appropriate. Amateur hour, dude. Amateur hour.

In reply to an earlier post on May 10, 2012 7:58:27 PM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Aug 8, 2012 7:23:29 AM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on May 10, 2012 8:36:36 PM PDT
Explain how a book that is obviously fan fiction in a universe not your own is not a copyright violation when you are selling it for cash?

Posted on May 10, 2012 8:59:37 PM PDT
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In reply to an earlier post on May 10, 2012 9:18:01 PM PDT
COnsumers are smarter than you give them credit for. They will quickly realize that you are reviewing your own books and then will quickly go buy some other book.

Reading this post also doesn't fill me with any desire to buy your work. Spellcheck should be your friend not your enemy.

In reply to an earlier post on May 10, 2012 9:22:07 PM PDT
Please don't prey on the consumers. You could get in trouble for that.

In reply to an earlier post on May 10, 2012 9:24:47 PM PDT
I think the only thing he got right in that post was "I just prey".

In reply to an earlier post on May 10, 2012 9:27:40 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 10, 2012 9:31:50 PM PDT
Just becouse people can buy book NOT at Amazon(or read it at library,etc). They consider it helpful to others.

Well, I myself made at least one review considered unjustified by some people(I don't think so and I state that I like author and book itself(which wasn't bought at amazon))
Also, amazon have 'amazon verified purchase' - if you see that this mean person at least bought book(but possible requested and was granted refund. And now refund requests on kindle are very easy to do)

I personally think that some 1-stars are mainly problems with book itself(not story but format, grammar,etc)

In reply to an earlier post on May 10, 2012 9:28:03 PM PDT
You just buy it not at Amazon

Posted on May 10, 2012 11:20:26 PM PDT
SEMC says:
Yes, because things called Libraries still exist, and in this economic disaster where people are working any job available, and entertainment money is tight, people use them.

Posted on May 11, 2012 8:33:28 AM PDT
I see that our copyright violator has pulled his posts and run away.

Posted on May 11, 2012 11:30:28 AM PDT
I think it's very generous of Amazon to allow reviews without purchases. As has been mentioned, books can be acquired and read through many means, and the reader's opinion shouldn't depend on his cash outlay. That said, reviews should be posted only if the book was actually read, not heard about, or intended to help - or hurt- the author's ranking. An honest 3 stars is worth much more to prospective buyers than a fake 5 star or just-to-be-mean one star.
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Discussion in:  Kindle Book forum
Participants:  37
Total posts:  77
Initial post:  Apr 11, 2012
Latest post:  May 14, 2012

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