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star rating, is it broken?

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Showing 1-14 of 14 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 20, 2013 8:59:14 AM PST
Badger says:
I have been having this discussion elsewhere as well, but this seems especially obvious in Amazon: all ebooks are apparently brilliant, and self-published especially, even if from cover and sample chapter it seems they are complete tripe.
I looked at all Kindle books, and this is how they are broken up by rating (today):

Avg. Customer Review
4 Stars & Up& Up (698,767)
3 Stars & Up& Up (801,494)
2 Stars & Up& Up (828,052)
1 Star & Up& Up (851,164)

So, out of all books that have been rated at all, only 152397 (less than 20%) are rated below 4*. How is this helpful to any reader? Everything is super-duper good, how is one meant to make a selection based on that?

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 20, 2013 9:09:47 AM PST
You have to look past the number of stars to check the number of reviews. That's how averages work. There's a big difference between an item with 4 reviews with an average of 3 stars, and 100 reviews with an average of 3 stars.

Posted on Dec 20, 2013 9:20:25 AM PST
Badger says:
Yes of course, if there were any with 4 reviews avg 3 stars - this is not so easy to do though, there is no sorting-hat for it.

Posted on Dec 20, 2013 9:47:15 AM PST
L. Hill says:
Or...perhaps people only share and tell you about the books they like! I noticed on my reviews (for all items) I tend to have higher marks...but...part of the reason is that I try to research things before I buy them...thus, I try not to get "bad" items...although at times things do slip through. So...were I to review everything I bought, I would probably tend to have 90% positive reviews...because I spent a good deal of time reviewing before I purchased...and only purchased things I was fairly sure would be "good".

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 20, 2013 10:07:06 AM PST
T. Cannon says:
I find the reviews of books are very subjective. Because of this I like to get recommendations and reviews from people I know. That way, knowing them and their personality, the review means more to me and is more "in context".

If, however, that is not available I will read a few 4 or 5 star reviews and a few 1 or 2 star reviews. I look for things that sound like something I would care about. On a couple of occassions I have read a book based on a 1 or 2 star review because what they did not like in the book was something I enjoyed so the content of the review is more relevant to me that the stars if I do not know the reviewer.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 20, 2013 10:15:06 AM PST
I find a wide variety of reviews to be most helpful. I want to hear what people liked and didn't like about the product or book.

I feel the reviews would be even less useful than they are now if people only reviewed things they liked. I want to know if the vacuum blows rather than sucks. I want to know if the wheels fall off the toy cars. I want to know if the toy delights the 3 yo and the 6 yo.

Posted on Dec 20, 2013 10:23:41 AM PST
Just Peachy says:
If I book is really bad I don't finish it and may or may not leave a review.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 20, 2013 10:30:06 AM PST
I completely understand that. But I don't think encouraging people to review only if they liked XYZ will improve the review system.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 20, 2013 10:45:04 AM PST
Just Peachy says:
I agree with you, just saying some people may give up on a book and not bother to review. Sometimes I do review books that are so bad I can't finish them.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 20, 2013 10:48:56 AM PST
I have done both. My kid has been frustrated beyond measure with some toys, and I've given caveats. On the other hand, I've left reviews for things that he adored that I raved about so that others would know it worked well or was a lot of fun.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 20, 2013 10:49:41 AM PST
I think the worst duds are the ones that make me come and do a review.

"Wow. Really, REALLY bad."

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 20, 2013 11:18:31 AM PST
I've relied very heavily on reviews for toys of late. I have young nephews, and am always at a loss when it comes to birthday and holiday presents.

Reviews, both positive and negative, have helped me pick some things they've enjoyed.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 20, 2013 11:23:52 AM PST
I do, too, especially since the advent of Prime videos, we don't see a lot of regular commercials, so I don't know what's popular.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 20, 2013 11:42:06 AM PST
It's also helps a lot when the kids are at the ends of the age ranges. A toy marked for 3-6 yos might not work well for the 3 yo if there are a bunch of parents saying how frustrating it is for their 5 yos.

On the other hand, I've seen some where parents have raved about how much their younger kids and older kids enjoy a game - very good to know!
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Discussion in:  Kindle forum
Participants:  7
Total posts:  14
Initial post:  Dec 20, 2013
Latest post:  Dec 20, 2013

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