Many of you are familiar with my reviewing practices. I rarely do negative and if I sense it going that way I change lanes giving it the review of silence. There are two works I finished reading yesterday and when I went to post something about them this morning I found that one of them had tons (in this reality 100+ = tons) of reviews putting it in a really undeserved bask of glory. The story was underdeveloped to the point where the read would likely need to start smacking a tin cup against the bars to escape from the protagonist’s brain. This one I gave a 3(?) because I still believe it is worthy to reward someone who has taken a leap and written. I limited my posting to Amazon US and Good Reads.
The second work I went to review I found I could not in good conscience give it any buzz. At the steep cost of $.99 for an estimated 20 pages this…thing was full of grammatical eff-ups, the science fiction was developed in a substance induced coma with no anchor to get the reader grounded and it never developed. It is being marketed as a series and I’ve noticed this author has ‘started’ a couple of series. I’m not sure which shell the pea is under leading me to another action. I’ve removed all other unread-works by this author from my collection due to the idiocy that I view my time as valuable. If any of these were physical books I would return them but ‘returning’ eBooks is…theft so I will not be doing that.
What is the common thread? The second work had almost a hundred reviews painting a much rosier picture of the situation and it had over 400 ratings. These tools are supposed to be helping consumers spend their money, disposable or not, where their interests may be satisfied. The first work also had a severely distorted picture painted by numbers and ratings though it had more substance for basis.
The common thread that I wish to point out is that getting a bunch of questionable reviews to boost your sales is a dead-end and a betrayal of any potential fan base that might have taken you seriously. My advice is don’t do it.
I haven’t reached a level of sales or froth worthy of putting my advice on a pedestal. At this rate if it happens it might likely be postmortem. As an author I’m looking for fans to share my written visions and peers to find something they liked about what I’ve done. I would much rather endure some bashing than know that I’ve misled readers to turn a buck.
Summing up. Normally there would be a review of a read here but I felt this would be more appropriate for today. Not to worry, I literally have hundreds remaining in my ‘To Be Read’ pile and am moving along.
I’m also going to try something a bit new here.
(Cue Entry Music!!!) ‘A POLL’
I’m leaving it open for a week. We’ll see if the number of responses merit a future blog posting. Feel invited to share this as it is likely the only way to get semi-objective in our world views. (Now that is pompous)
There should be an option for not considering the reviews at all, but basing the choice to read upon the description/blurb.
I would have Edward except it was outside the scope of the question. The question in it’s most basic is at what numbers level do we begin to view the reviews and ratings as false.
Can’t participate in the poll because it isn’t about numbers for me. Rather, it’s the quality of the reviews themselves. (Yes, I actually read them. Not all, but I definitely spot-check throughout the time period.) I mostly don’t care about positive or negative categories regarding book reviews. That’s because one person’s “positive” (let’s say, sex scenes) might be a negative for me. Or maybe someone has down-rated a book because of a critique of battle scenes which I don’t really care about. I read the reviews to see if my likes/dislikes line up with the reviewer’s.
Fair disclosure: I’m an Amazon Vine Voice and I got that way by doing a lot of reviews. I don’t get paid for reviews and I no longer get freebies as part of the Vine program (my choice). I only review stuff I’ve actually purchased and used/read. For the most part, I don’t review books. I’m an extremely picky reader and probably 80% of my reviews would be negative so I don’t feel that’s fair to authors. Additionally, writing negative reviews usually hurts your standing as a reviewer — not that I care about that any more, but it is a fact — which may be another reason why positive reviews are more prevalent. For example, the first time I reviewed a book, I eviscerated it and gave plenty of examples of my problems with the book. The result was my worst-rated review of all time. (Not sure if the author sent her goons to down-vote but I prefer to surmise that it’s just something inherent in negative reviews.)
So…. it’s a complicated question with no straight answers easily categorized in a 3-choice poll. 🙂
The question is really straight forward. It is merely asking where in the number spectrum you would start to question whether fraudulent or inflated reviews are starting to accumulate. It is not meant as a judgement just a purely academic and statistically based exercise. You would expect something put out by the big 6 to have tons (same definition as in the post) of rants, reviews and ratings. Those sources have herds (similar loose definition as tons) of minions poised to generate as much buzz as possible to please stock-holders, boards and CEOs. When similar huge numbers start to hit Indie and Self-pubs I really start to wonder…
I have already stated that I tend to find something positive in anything I read to completion and I always post the reviews I write. If I didn’t like something and can find no redeeming qualities then it gets the review of silence to reduce the ‘buzz-carry’ effect.
The 3 choice poll represents the entire number spectrum to where a person’s disbelief resides.
Let me clear something up about the poll. If your answer is that you don’t care or give any credence to the reviews and ratings that would place your answer at less than 50. If you read the reviews, notice ratings, then you have an answer to when your BS detector starts alarming and it lives somewhere on that spectrum.