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Bad Reviews


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Posted on May 16, 2012 3:57:59 PM PDT
Shane says:
Amazon Discussions: Microcosm of Society. Appreciate everyone's imput!

In reply to an earlier post on May 16, 2012 9:49:42 PM PDT
Iola says:
Input, not imput.

Have a look at Passive Guy's blog for today - there is a post on Professional Book Reviews vs. Amazon Book Reviews, where the mighty researchers at Harvard Business School have found that Ammy reviews tend to be kinder to debut novelists than professionals, professionals tend to favour award-winning writers, but on average, Amazon ratings are pretty consistent wtih the findings of professional reviewers.

Thus providing evidence that, yes, Amazon is a microcosm of society.

In reply to an earlier post on May 17, 2012 2:02:12 AM PDT
"You may be a well behaved author, but there are many examples--increasing at an alarming rate on a discussion thread nearby!--which illustrate the darker side of reality."

Too right. So much so that I'm seriously toying with the idea of pulling the whole lot and doing it the old way - leave the whole lot in a cupboard for 10 years while I get a publisher.

Cheers

MTM

Posted on May 17, 2012 3:24:16 AM PDT
If it helps any don't think of it as a "bad" review, think of it as a critical review.

In reply to an earlier post on May 17, 2012 3:25:50 AM PDT
Please don't! There might be only a small group of us, but we really do enjoy your books, and we would miss you.

Posted on May 17, 2012 9:19:35 AM PDT
@ Gingerlily, OK, just some of them then. ;-) I notice you've got four downvotes for being nice to an author by the way but I'll see you with my four for being one. Mwa ha ha hargh!

@ everyone, we have a special mini-troll in the UK who downvotes every post in pretty much every .co.uk forum. I reckon it's a piece of software that downvotes any new post automarically. McMini, at 3, is more mature. However, I'm impressed to see how many you guys have! Four at least. Geez.

Cheers

MTM

Posted on May 17, 2012 1:42:40 PM PDT
>>> there is a post on Professional Book Reviews vs. Amazon Book Reviews, where the mighty researchers at Harvard Business School have found that Ammy reviews tend to be kinder to debut novelists than professionals, professionals tend to favour award-winning writers, but on average, Amazon ratings are pretty consistent wtih the findings of professional reviewers.

I think they just found Rebecca's page.

Posted on May 22, 2012 6:29:34 AM PDT
I recently read Satantango Stntango, an unreadably garbled mess. I showed it to several friends, and they too were appalled by it.

The book only had one other review, showing five stars. Not to be mean, I gave it three stars and carefully explained why without saying the author was a bad person. The publisher began waging a campaign to attack my review and characterize me as insufficiently sophisticated to appreciate fine literature.

So I reduced my review to one star. Without attacking the author as a bad person, I explain why the book is unlikable and complain about the publisher's tactics. The publisher continues with daily efforts to vote down my review.

Any suggestions about what I should do next?

In reply to an earlier post on May 22, 2012 7:51:49 AM PDT
J. Faulk says:
TB: I expect your review will accrue many more Unhelpful votes as forum followers check it out.

Posted on May 22, 2012 12:32:35 PM PDT
H. P. says:
"You didn't like the book. You said so. A bunch of people came along and disagreed. Forgive me, but a couple of flies just died of boredom."
I'm sorry, is that commenter unaware that Amazon reviewing is SERIOUS BUSINESS?

On a serious note, what reason do you have to believe the publisher has "dragooned" people into voting your review as unhelpful?

In reply to an earlier post on May 22, 2012 3:04:43 PM PDT
I saw that blog post. Passive Guy has some interesting information he puts out.

In reply to an earlier post on May 22, 2012 4:47:34 PM PDT
>>Any suggestions about what I should do next?<<

Nothing.

You wrote your review. It is up to people who read the reviews of this book to determine whether it's worthwhile or not.

In reply to an earlier post on May 23, 2012 6:48:56 AM PDT
JF--

Good point. Probably with a little help from this forum, this one review has more positive votes than any of my other reviews, and more negative votes than all of my other reviews put together. (For those benchmarking Amazon's algorithm, this moved my ranking down from about 7500 to 11500.)

I'm getting used to the idea that the quality of my reviews has little relationship with the votes they get in return.

It looks as if there's a whole world of games to play with these ratings, but it's easy to spend too much time doing it.

In reply to an earlier post on May 23, 2012 7:20:28 AM PDT
Ciaran says:
"I'm getting used to the idea that the quality of my reviews has little relationship with the votes they get in return. "

ThirstyBrooks - this is exactly the reason why I stay away from reviewing the latest technology (i.e. the Canon 5D MkIII that just came out) - the first few reviews instantly garner a ton of negative votes from other reviewers vying for top spot, product-haters who don't care what you say, and product-shills who jump on any minor criticism...

I'm not ashamed to say that rank is important to me, and besides, I can spend the emotional and mental effort towards writing a handful of other reviews to contribute to the community anyway.

In reply to an earlier post on May 23, 2012 7:26:05 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 23, 2012 7:45:20 AM PDT
J. Faulk says:
TB: A day or two ago I checked the product page of

SatanTango

and your 1-star review showed 6 Helpful votes out of 35 Total. I then voted Unhelpful because I consider your review, your comments, and your original post on this thread to be misapprehensions. So your review was 6 of 36, a 17% Helpful rating.

Since then, 8 forum followers (?) have added Helpful votes: 14 of 44, a 32% Helpful rating. You have benefited from the Top Reviewer Club, and their Oath of Allegiance.

Meanwhile the Hungarian author, publisher New Directions, and movie maker Bela Tarr tower above this incident.

In reply to an earlier post on May 23, 2012 7:55:04 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 23, 2012 8:11:25 AM PDT
JF--

Based on the book Satantango, it's hard to figure what people see in Krasznanorkai. A good number of people voiced the same opinions you have posted. You are the first person who has posted a substantial number of reviews so I learn a bit more about your tastes. Maybe I need to see the movie to jump start an appreciation for this book.

I freely admit that the number of positive votes the review has collected is more than the review really deserves, but there's an integrity issue here with the contention that dozens of negative votes show up ...and more every day... on an obscure review of an obscure book that would normally languish unnoticed.

I worry that I'm listening to people who've been to the Rush Liimbaugh school of marketing, who sell by attacking a straw man in the audience and contending that disagreement is futile. How many column inches do we have to write before we generate sufficient attention to get the book serious publicity that attracts paying customers?

In reply to an earlier post on May 23, 2012 7:58:26 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 23, 2012 7:59:12 AM PDT
Mistress--

You. Are. Right.

Thanks !

In reply to an earlier post on May 23, 2012 8:23:37 AM PDT
And another thing for JF--

What happened to your reviews for "Anna Magnani" through "Held by God"? That isn't normal.

In reply to an earlier post on May 23, 2012 8:46:35 AM PDT
J. Faulk says:
TB: No review votes on "obscure" products, and "unwarranted" Unhelpfuls by the vengeful, are familiar to many reviewers. So be it.

In reply to an earlier post on May 24, 2012 9:58:42 AM PDT
Teahouse Fox says:
ThirstyBooks, you cannot really do a great deal about fanboi downvoters. Clearly, the author has a silent following of fans who appreciate his prose and have taken offense at your unfavorable review of it. Or, people who thought your edited review unwarranted.

No one has to explain their Unhelpful or Helpful votes. You'll have to take this in stride, or you'll make yourself nuts.

For example, I reviewed some copper plate plant markers some years ago. The review was not any tour de force, and got all of one helpful vote, then sat dormant for years. Then one year, an ant's nest erupts under the thing and I get a (small) flurry of downvotes. Who knew people felt so strongly about garden plant markers?

Finally, someone commented on my review - the review was for the wrong product. So I left a response asking what it *was* linked to - When I clicked on it, it just went to the product page for the plant markers. I heard back some months later that the review appeared on the product page of a seed starter tray. The picture in the review was the plant markers, but the ASIN had been reused for a tray. I wound up deleting the review since it was appearing for the wrong product anyway.

My point is, there was no way for me to stop the downvotes, or question their justification, nor do they really have to be justified.

It's just an opinion of your opinion. They disagreed.

In reply to an earlier post on May 24, 2012 6:52:16 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 24, 2012 7:12:41 PM PDT
You write well. My interests probably differ greatly from yours. Still, some worthwhile posts drew my interest in the book or my sympathy to the reviewer.

In reply to an earlier post on May 24, 2012 8:04:49 PM PDT
J. Faulk says:
TB: Thanks for your kindness.
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Discussion in:  Top Reviewers forum
Participants:  26
Total posts:  47
Initial post:  May 11, 2012
Latest post:  May 24, 2012

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