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Customer Discussions > Romance forum

Help! My negative reviews are being deleted.


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Initial post: Mar 12, 2008 1:51:31 PM PDT
I have had two reviews deleted on Amazon (none of which contained poor language), but were highly critical of the books being reviewed. Have any of you had similar experiences? The most recent was 'A Restless Knight' by Deborah MacGillivray that I posted yesterday with a 1 star. It was deleted overnight. When I first bought this book, it seemed that there were more negative reviews associated with this book, but now there are 52-five stars and 2-three stars. I think all the bad reviews are being deleted.
Any thoughts????

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 12, 2008 2:02:38 PM PDT
Orion says:
DW,

I just checked, and your review is there, over on the right side.

I recently read half-way through this book, and I have to say I am surprised it is getting so many 5-star reviews. It was pretty good, in the beginning, but like I said, I only got half way through. I would not have given it more than 3 or 4 stars myself.

Lately I have been buying a lot of books because of their high ratings, and being disappointed in them. I sure hope authors are not deleting negative reviews. That would be unethical!

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 12, 2008 2:17:45 PM PDT
E. Burns says:
There is one author who has had almost nothing but negative reviews, and they've been deleted twice. It is something to watch for.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 12, 2008 2:28:19 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 12, 2008 2:29:08 PM PDT
No, you're not the only one. I had that happened to me (it was a Sabrina Jeffries book). I gave it 2 stars and submitted my review. I contacted amazon and I got some lame excuse that I gave too much of the plot away and that a good example of a "good" review was the product description (you know, the book synopsis amazon provides on the product page). I compared my review with the synopsis given for the book on amazon and I included as much as the synopsis so I cut and paste it and my review in an e-mail to amazon and they allowed my review to post, of course, they still edited it before letting it stand (which annoyed me!) but I didn't complain because it was only a sentence which stated, "don't buy this book, buy used or get it at the library".

So I totally think that maybe negative reviews get criticized and looked at more thoroughly. I was told that my review was flagged because it contained certain flag-worthy terms in the review which I highly doubt since my review was okay to begin with as they let it post eventually!=P

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 12, 2008 2:36:33 PM PDT
Orion,
My review is there for now, because I posted it again. I think I may just keep posting it, everytime someone complains about it to get it removed.

E. Burns and L,
Thanks for the information. I only thought that Amazon deleted reviews if it contained poor language.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 12, 2008 3:21:24 PM PDT
Beanbag Love says:
I've never had a review deleted but I don't think I've ever given a strongly negative review.

I can't imagine the authors have the power to delete reviews -- although I suppose they could flag it for Amazon and say it had to many details.

That's kind of creepy. But the fact is that anyone could launch a campaign for or against an author on a book selling site that includes reader reviews. People want to get a little money back on their investment, so they'll try to even it out. But to have many bad reviews and then end up with only a large amount of five-star reviews is almost hilariously obvious.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 12, 2008 3:41:10 PM PDT
Zéia says:
It's time consuming, but what I do is read one of the higher reviews which includes a good synopsis (I skip the product description completely). And then I concentrate on the lowest 3-4 reviews - they usually tell me more about the book than the high reviews. This way, I usually find out if a book is in first person, if there is extreme violence/torture/rape scenes, etc.; all of which I don't like in a book. Of course, if a book only has low reviews, I avoid paying full price for it, if I don't skip it altogether (it depends on the author). This system usually works for me. Of course, I've still been fooled. Personally, I'm not a fan of light chick lit reads, very few appeal to my funny bone. Sometimes a new author's book's reviews will fool me. But heck, it's better than buying "blind" from a store, based only on the back cover's description.

Of course, if Amazon is allowing the "fixing" of reviews, that is sooo like cheating. It would throw my system completely out of whack. But maybe that's why I've been buying more lemons these last few months than usual.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 12, 2008 3:49:29 PM PDT
As I mentioned before, I reposted my review of 'A Restless Knight' by Deborah MacGillivray 2 hours ago. It has been deleted again!

I will try again I guess.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 12, 2008 3:52:14 PM PDT
Perhaps the next time you post, you might consider not mentioning that your previous remarks had been deleted. Maybe that is why they are getting flagged. Just a guess.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 12, 2008 3:56:20 PM PDT
It seems rather strange that critical reviews would be altered or deleted. I've seen many reviews, both favorable and unfavorable, showing up on most books, and I really appreciate the opportunity to check out the "best" and "worst" said about a given book. It would destroy amazon.com's reputation to go around removing all negative reviews of books.
That said, let's also remember that not all readers are fair minded or necessarily well-rounded. I have seen negative reviews that seemed more against the author than the writing. Amazon tries to moderate the open conversation, so occasionally certain reviews will be flagged that probably should stand. My recommendation would be to check your review for flag problems and then re-submit.
I have written many reviews, most of them three to five stars. The simple reason is that I would rather praise a good book than to diss a poor book.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 12, 2008 3:57:58 PM PDT
Karlyn says:
I've seen posts here before of people reviewing Deborah MacGillivray's books and getting the negative reviews deleted. It's why I wont buy/read her stuff as something smells fishy. NO author is so great that they get nothing but top ratings! I did read 'A Restless Knight' long ago, which I thought was only so-so but I never bothered to write a review.

Reviews can be deleted if they are reported as being inappropriate, but I don't think they really need a reason to delete. Yeah, they may say there is a reason but I get the feeling they will delete anything an author reports as inappropriate.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 12, 2008 4:22:20 PM PDT
DW,

I checked out the reviews for the book you're talking about and you're right. There are only 3 reviews not 5 stars (including yours!). The other 2 I read weren't bad reviews, but I noticed that they had a lot more "unhelpful" votes than the ones that had 5 star reviews. It's not like the people were bashing the book, they were honest about it being mediocre, so I think the negative votes was not fair to those reviewers.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 12, 2008 4:26:18 PM PDT
Yeah, I've received 40 'unhelpful' votes since last night (on deleted reviews and others that I have posted in the past), when I normally get 1 a week. There is definitely a little watchdog group on Deborah MacGillvray's books. Reviewers beware!

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 12, 2008 4:46:54 PM PDT
Wow, that is pretty brutal. Just for a negative review (that later got deleted?LOL). Thanks for the warning. I can't say I've ever had an interest in her books. These types of tactics to inflate the average review until they are 5 star rating isn't, IMO, ethical.

I have only written one 2 star review (the lowest review I've given to a book) and it was the one I had a problem getting posted. But even in some of my 4 and 5 star reviews where I found little things that annoyed me I pointed them out. I try not to be overly gushing or scathing of a book (you know the type, "I sooooo loved this book" or "This book was utter trash"). I try to be balanced and not emotional. I think as long as you're not being rude in your review then it shouldn't be receiving non-helpful votes. Just because you don't agree with the person's review doesn't mean it's not a good review.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 12, 2008 4:54:15 PM PDT
I want to thank everyone for their responses and support. I appreciate your feedback, it has given me a lot of insight!

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 12, 2008 4:56:12 PM PDT
Amy Lane says:
Sometimes the reviews just get wonky--and boy, do I wish I could delete my negative reviews! (I can't!) Seriously--I've seen the review numbers fluctuate all day--I wonder if they're having a server issues.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 12, 2008 7:20:11 PM PDT
Earth Witch says:
I've notice this too. I think some authors have a system of people who go through the reviews and report negative ones as inappropriate, I doubt Amazon does much scanning before deleting. When I see 55 five stars in a row I get suspicious, especially since this is an author who can be rather mediocre.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 12, 2008 7:56:26 PM PDT
Your review was still up at 10:30 pm Eastern, Mar 12. Was your original review longer? or did Amazon cut out the rest? There were only 2 sentences when I read it.

Deborah MacGillivray has been known to answer posts on this forum--maybe she would care to chime in? I'll bet she is reading this--the ethics of erasing negative reviews is staggering!

Keep up the good work--remember, something about freedom of the press. You are certainly entitled to your opinion. It has been so long since I have read Restless Knight, that I can't give an review, but now I am tempted to reread it.

I hope this is resolved to your satisfaction. Catheryne

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 12, 2008 8:54:32 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 12, 2008 8:57:46 PM PDT
My original review mentioned that I thought the other reviewers (giving 5 stars) may be friends or family of Deborah MacGillivray. (I think this is what got me into trouble.) They were bashing the two dissenting reviewers and the imbalance just seemed so extreme to me, for such a mediocre book. I know there were other negative reviews for 'A Restless Knight' that seem to have 'disappeared' as well. I keep posting modified reviews (as they are deleted), because I want to warn the consumer that this isn't the 'best novel of all time'.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 13, 2008 3:54:23 AM PDT
C. Vowels says:
DW: I admire you for keeping up with the re-posts and agree that I've seen a similar story about this author on this forum before. The online romance world seems to be a small one, and these incidents definitely do not go unnoticed by readers--so take heart that a bully can't fly under the radar.

Amazon really is more likely to remove a negative review that gets a complaint than they are a positive review. I've complained about a few positive reviews (rule violaters, including one who said something to the effect that I should be in a car crash for my negative review) and nothing was ever done about them. Negative reviews, though? Yeah, they disappear all the time. Still, Amazon's system has done more for my everyday book buying than any other research tool I've come across, so I can never hate on it for long. ;)

***As a sidenote, I will say that you may not know for sure why Amazon is pulling your reviews. I once had a review (pretty negative as I recall) that wouldn't stay posted, and I was convinced I was a victim of the same circumstances as you. I edited the review for anything that might be remotely rule violating, and even sanitzed the word "rape" for fear it was the problem. After about the twentieth time I submitted it someone at Amazon decided to end the re-submission cycle and edited it for me. It turns out I'd used the standard term for an illegitimate child without thinking about it, because it was an accurate description of the character's family background, and that was the problem. So now the review is posted with my ridiculous, and as it turns out unnecessary, politically correct term for rape.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 13, 2008 7:08:19 AM PDT
seton says:
Never heard of this author but sad to say, certain authors do have posses that try to control the reviews.

I have a few 2 star reviews and none of them have been deleted but I usually review books that are OOP and have very few reviews.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 13, 2008 7:25:18 AM PDT
E. Burns says:
First off, the most USELESS review to me is one with the synopsis of the story....I always find myself thinking "why are you simply telling me the story--- this is a review!"

What I want is why someone liked or didn't like the book--- info dumps, weird plotting, unlikeable characters, all misery until the end, too much verbage and not enough story, and my biggie--- No romance in a romance book (or a lame one that couldn't stand strong without the surrounding story).

Sheesh, if all they want is a synopsis...why ask for reviews!

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 13, 2008 7:43:07 AM PDT
I agree. I like one review to have a synopsis, but then I just want to know why you like or dislike the book.

I don't blame Amazon for pulling my reviews. I believe that they are just responding to some very persistant complainers. But I am disturbed about C. Vowels experience where they wouldn't pull a 'hostile' positive review. It really should go both ways.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 13, 2008 9:04:42 AM PDT
Too weird. Sounds very suspicious to me.

Maybe you should start a thread on that book's discussion forum. I bet you'd find other people whose negative reviews on that book have been deleted as well.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 13, 2008 9:11:21 AM PDT
Beanbag Love says:
Well this author's 'friends' haven't done her any favors with me. I will not buy any of her books.

Too bad. I'm always willing to try a new author (new to me anyway), but this is very bad form.
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Initial post:  Mar 12, 2008
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