Lake Atitlan, Panajachel, Guatemala

“Reading and writing are acts of empathy and faith. Guard that trust carefully — in this rapidly changing business, it’s the only sure thing.” ~Erin Keane
"Never give up. And most importantly, be true to yourself. Write from your heart, in your own voice, and about what you believe in." ~ Louise Brown

"Write something to suit yourself and many people will like it; write something to suit everybody and scarcely anyone will care for it."
~Jesse Stuart

"A writer's job is to take one thing and make it stand for twenty." ~ Virginia Woolf

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Amazon Reviews: A Joke or Not?

There's been a lot of news lately on author blogs about Amazon's latest clearing out process of reviews that don't "fit their guidelines."

I don't review books on Amazon since as both an author and a publisher, they don't allow it. Plus they might look more closely at my own books and start eliminating positive reviews. And leave the one-star reviews like "worst book I ever read."

Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with Amazon's review policy, it's always fun to discuss. Here's a few on WiDo books that have made me chuckle.

"I honestly can't remember this book at all even though I know I've read it. Here, Amazon, here's your review. Now you can stop asking me." (Predator Girl by S. B. Roozenboom)

"Hi I am going to the store with my family and my dog we need lots of dog food." (Arizona Guy by Raymond Spitzer)

"Maybe more stars if I were in my teens and I was a girl. Good story though." (Perilous by Tamara Hart Heiner)

"and one good looking author. I look forward to seeing more of your books, so keep it going. and I be reading." (Predator Girl by S. B. Roozenboom)

And another one clearly annoyed by Amazon's repeated requests to submit a review:

"Cannot give any good rating on this book as I didn,t finish reading because I thought it was boring." (Red-tailed Rescue by John Irby)

So on one hand you have Amazon begging people who have downloaded books to please, please, please, for the 40th time will you tell us how you liked it. And on the other hand Amazon takes off reviews from serious readers.

A thoughtful review comes down while a comment about going to buy dogfood stays up. I don't know about you, but regardless of where the discussion takes us, I'm amused by all this.


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  2. Well, dog food is important if you have a dog. It's truly amazing that leave that up there when it's so blatantly not a review. Predator Girl gets the best reviews!

  3. I suppose it just highlights the ridiculousness of the systems, though I've no idea how you develop one that actually works!

  4. Hi Karen - one just has to go with the flow .. but hope that not too much dog-food comes your way. I usually go to books recommended ... so I have a degree of lee-way re the review but can always look at the opposite angle ... as someone said - people buy to see why the book was so disliked.

    Happy Thanksgiving ... cheers Hilary

  5. I've been tempted to just throw up a snarky comment when Amazon consistently requests that I submit a review on a book I bougth. Poor author that gets stuck with that peevishness!! I've reviewed too many books to check and see if any have been taken down. Does make me snicker at their contradiction. What really boggles me is getting all these emails with special offers on books I've already purchased.

    I hate being on mailing lists.

  6. I think that is manipulative of Amazon and annoying. I would be tempted to be very snarky

  7. You can't buy a can of beans from Amazon without them annoying you about a review of the product. Of course, they want you to do this to collect more info on you and maybe even get you to buy and review carrots.

  8. Maybe they don't like me, but I rarely get asked by Amazon to review, and I do buy some books from them. My book's one star-review to date is a rather funny one. DS's reaction to it was that it's a good one as far as bad ones go...

    1. Mirka, They ask me to review all the time but I know if I did, then they'd take the review off, as it's happened more than once. It's all so funny!

  9. I've seen at least one of my reviews deleted by Amazon--don't know why as I thought it was a good review. Maybe they took it off since I was from the same town as the author--who knows? Most of mine have stayed up though.

    I enjoy reading especially the one and two star reviews as often they are a hoot.

    I need to start reviewing more things again. I've kind of slacked off and my reviewer ranking has dropped considerably.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    1. Arlee, If I weren't a writer and a publisher, I'd choose to be a professional book blog reviewer, and an Amazon reviewer. Not that's there any money in it, but there are plenty of free books and other perks.

  10. It is truly amazing, Karen. I'd like to know if a real person from Amazon reads the reviews or if a machine randomly plucks out reviews to delete [usually the good ones] and keeps the nonsensical ones. And who decides that the reviewer KNOWS the author and therefore the review is biased.

  11. Some reviews are just hilarious aren't they? It always amuses me when the star-rating is completely at odds with the text - those one-star "loved it!" reviews. These days I try very hard not to look at any of my reviews I must admit.