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The De-valuing of Reviews by Indie Writers Using the 'Friends and Family Plan'

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In reply to an earlier post on Apr 12, 2012 5:05:46 PM PDT
P. S. Wright says:
Was going to say something similar.

I go through phases. I dont review everything either. Right now, I'm looking for a good steampunk novel as I am interested in learning more about this genre. (Please don't post recommendations. I rarely read what others recommend.) I've gone through Sci Fi kicks, true story phases, police, psychological thriller, and biography phases.

Posted on Apr 13, 2012 2:46:11 PM PDT
R.K. Finnell says:
Out of curiosity I looked at 36 five stars review's other book. 21 five stars and 1 four stars. How is that even possible? Oh and he just announced another book coming out. I suspect I'll see a similar result. A few reviews I might consider the possibility, but not with this many!

Posted on Apr 14, 2012 7:09:48 AM PDT
Splinker says:
Some reviewers are enthusiastic. When i receive a five star review i look at the reviewers track record and generally find they give favorable reviews. Because they only review what they like, or they like a lot of what they read, I don't know.

Posted on Apr 17, 2012 7:28:20 AM PDT
Shy guy G says:
I find that I am getting more upset with this practice rather than less. Here is another book that looks like it has nothing but shill reviews: Vampire Dawn (Vampire for Hire Book 5)

I even like JR Rain's stuff, but I seriously am losing my respect for him when I read reviews that act like he is the second coming of Tolkein or Rowling.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 17, 2012 7:41:49 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 17, 2012 7:42:28 AM PDT
Rick G says:
Gotta be honest, I'm not really seeing it with this book. Looks like a fairly wide smattering of opinion there to me in the reviews, and with the rank of the book he's obviously pushing a lot of them which will lead to that wide range of opinion. Sure, there are some obvious fanboy/fangirl reviews there, but I don't think I would call this riddled with shills.

Unless you're talking about the blurbs in the description, but I wouldn't expect those to be anything other than gushing. One doesn't post a blurb to their own book that is mediocre at best.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 17, 2012 7:42:15 AM PDT
Ms. P. says:
I don't know. There comes a point when you're reading too far into things, I think. By the fifth book of a vampire series, who is reading it besides fans? Those pretty much read like reviews of people who've been following a series and anticipating the fifth book.

Complete shills hack me off. Fanboys and fangirls? That's the stuff authors dream of, even if their reviews are annoying for others to read.

Posted on Apr 17, 2012 8:03:07 AM PDT
Splinker says:
I thought the reviews of my book by Spleunker, Spinker, Sprinkler, Stinkler and Splinkeler were all honest and informative.

Posted on Apr 17, 2012 8:07:49 AM PDT
Shy guy G says:
Hmmm....perhaps you are right. I guess these are more in the line of fans who just think everything he rights is the best book ever written, which makes the reviews just merely unhelpful and not schills.

Like I said, I enjoy the books, so I will re-open my mind.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 17, 2012 11:01:45 AM PDT
R.K. Finnell says:
One of my reviewers is like that. Gives out a lot of five stars from what I've seen.
Five stars feed my ego, but my ego is full enough and I'd rather having a rating that was made for potential readers.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 17, 2012 11:57:26 AM PDT
Rick G says:
How well are their reviews written? If they're writing a fair, well thought out review of your material, then you shouldn't complain. Ratings are fine and all, but I typically think it's the meat of the review that makes the sale (if at all).

A five star review might feed your ego, but if it's an insightful five-star review don't think for a second that it won't help potential readers.

One of my readers comes to mind. She's given me two five-star reviews which is great, but even better is that they're also damn good reviews listing pros, cons, thoughts on characters etc. I don't exactly lose sleep at night thinking those are hurting me.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 17, 2012 12:27:37 PM PDT
R.K. Finnell says:
I have to say he does a good job of it. I certainly can't complain on the review he did for me. He did it without making it sound over the top, if you know what I mean.

Posted on Apr 17, 2012 12:33:29 PM PDT
Splinker says:
I'm impressed with the detail and structure of most of the reviews I've received. Writing a good review isn't easy.

Posted on Apr 17, 2012 12:36:04 PM PDT
Luke says:
Wow long discussion! What's worse than shill reviews and family and friends diving into bomb a book up the charts??? Having family and friends who won't lift a finger to help. Wow I attended every business opening, open house, flower show, whatever and now that I write a novel and beg them to just take a look they refuse - not one of my family or friends even read the book! I wouldn't mind a shill review or two :)

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 17, 2012 1:15:49 PM PDT
Iola says:
"I even like JR Rain's stuff, but I seriously am losing my respect for him when I read reviews that act like he is the second coming of Tolkein or Rowling."

But he must be - even his initials are the same (JRR Tolkein, JK Rowling, JR Rain). It's obvious.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 17, 2012 4:44:38 PM PDT
G. says:
He is one of the few new self-pubbed authors that I enjoy. Is he in line with JRR Tolkien? No, but I would rate him a solid "4" on most of his books. I think he actually has some serious storytelling ability, and along with CS Marks, Frank Tuttle, I would say these once self-pubbed authors are worth the read :). Based on my own experience with these books, there may be some inflated or over enthusiastic reviews, but I don't think this particular author uses or NEEDS to use shills. I think he is one of the stand-out self-pubbed authors right now, among a large slush pile that doesn't fit with the quality of his writing. JMHO; and, I am not typically a fan of self-pubbed works, but I will advocate for a legit author whenever possible ;).

Posted on Apr 17, 2012 7:54:30 PM PDT
Lanie Malone says:
First: Can I get a link to the book with the 36 or so 5 star reviews, simply because I'm curious?

@Luke: My mother read half my book and then said she couldn't finish it. Why? Because it was too much for her hard core Christian point of view. Other than my husband, no one else in my family has read my book, or if they have, they haven't said a word about it. They all say things like, "Oh, wow, congratulations, what an acheivement, woo hoo, blah blah blah, I'm gonna have to buy it," and then don't. It is...frustrating isn't a strong enough word. I can't add the expletives I would like to in order to bring it up to how I really feel.

The funny part is, I'm not an an atheist or anything. My book isn't anti-christian.

Now as for the reviews, please don't read any I've written because to be perfectly honest, I suck at it. I won't be writing any more reviews either, for that reason and because that just isn't how I like to read. I like to read for the sheer pleasure of it. If I pick up a book with the intention of reviewing it, I automatically shift to a different frame of mind. I don't like that frame of mind. I don't like being critical or analytical of other people's work.

I myself, need more reviews for my book on Amazon. I have 9 on Goodreads, but they didn't all make it over here. :(

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 18, 2012 12:06:41 AM PDT
"Frank Tuttle, I would say these once self-pubbed authors are worth the read :)"

His name keeps being tossed in as self-pubbed, but he's not. He is published by a small press. Even the short stories in the collections he is selling on Amazon were originally sold to and published in established genre magazines.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 18, 2012 1:10:37 AM PDT
G. says:
@Robin: I thought Wistril Compleat was originally self-pubbed? Thanks for the correction :).

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 18, 2012 6:32:36 AM PDT
I don't read Vamire novels, but I clicked on the link. His / her book is ranked 145 in paid Kindle store. That's a terrific ranking, so perhaps his reviews are genuine.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 20, 2012 9:08:47 AM PDT
Luke, I hear you. I've begged (on bended and bruised knees) friends and family to review my book - anything, please - I'll even live with a 1-star rating, but give me SOMETHING. The response? Nothing. Thank God other readers have reviewed my book.

Posted on Jul 12, 2013 3:13:04 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Jul 12, 2013 3:13:09 PM PDT]
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Discussion in:  Kindle Book forum
Participants:  137
Total posts:  1346
Initial post:  Mar 29, 2012
Latest post:  Jul 12, 2013

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