Is this a thing??

S. M. Bowles

Killed in the battle against the Mad King
#1
I am an independent writer and just like any other author I struggle to get noticed - and I'm sure I don't need to list all the ways to approach this. Well, I'm in between projects right now and figured I'd tackle some of the books I've been meaning to read.

The very first book I chose was a very popular book 1 to a series. Figuring it was so well regarded it would be a great read and a worthy investment.

I could only manage the first 7 chapters and I had to put it down. It was not at all what I expected and I cannot for the life of me imagine why it was so popular.

I posted my thoughts on Amazon 2/5 stars and a bad review which I am not at all fond of doing but this book was such a disappointment!

Much to my surprise not 20 minutes after I posted my review 2 new 5/5 star reviews were immediately posted. I was surprised because really this particular book is beyond it's heyday and who other than myself just finished it.

I feel very suspicious now - is it possible that big publishers monitor their $$ makers and put several new reviews up for every bad one just so they can keep the ratings high?

I am anxious to hear some thoughts on this. I went back through several pages of the reviews for this particular book and I swear it is like a pattern - bad review then immediately afterwards 1 or 2 new 5 star reviews with very little to say about the book and next to no information about the reviewers.
 

Sneaky Burrito

Crazy Cat Lady
Staff member
#2
I am an independent writer and just like any other author I struggle to get noticed - and I'm sure I don't need to list all the ways to approach this. Well, I'm in between projects right now and figured I'd tackle some of the books I've been meaning to read.

The very first book I chose was a very popular book 1 to a series. Figuring it was so well regarded it would be a great read and a worthy investment.

I could only manage the first 7 chapters and I had to put it down. It was not at all what I expected and I cannot for the life of me imagine why it was so popular.

I posted my thoughts on Amazon 2/5 stars and a bad review which I am not at all fond of doing but this book was such a disappointment!

Much to my surprise not 20 minutes after I posted my review 2 new 5/5 star reviews were immediately posted. I was surprised because really this particular book is beyond it's heyday and who other than myself just finished it.

I feel very suspicious now - is it possible that big publishers monitor their $$ makers and put several new reviews up for every bad one just so they can keep the ratings high?

I am anxious to hear some thoughts on this. I went back through several pages of the reviews for this particular book and I swear it is like a pattern - bad review then immediately afterwards 1 or 2 new 5 star reviews with very little to say about the book and next to no information about the reviewers.
Which book is it? If I could see what was going on for myself, I might have some thoughts. (I spend a LOT of time on Amazon.)
 

ofer

Journeyed there and back again
#3
I feel very suspicious now - is it possible that big publishers monitor their $$ makers and put several new reviews up for every bad one just so they can keep the ratings high?
To quote the great Kurt Cobain - Just because you're paranoid don't mean they're not after you. ;)

I rarely pay attention to Amazon reviews myself. I never posted a review there, and after reading Sneaky Burrito post about how a bug in Amazon allows people to know your true identity (or at least your Amazon username, which in most cases is the same) I never will. Not that I have anything to hide, but I have no wish to find a bunch of goons on my doorstep one day and through a haze of pain hearing one of them say "Mr. Del Rey is very upset" :)
 
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Alucard

In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge!
Staff member
#4
I find Goodreads much more useful in this. Hey it's also owned by Amazon, but oh well :)
Anyway, if we have a popular book for example. Let's say there are 10.000 5 ★ reviews. Usually, you get a decent amount of 1 ★ reviews as well, maybe around 1000 or more.
I check one and the other and see what these people find problematic/awesome. Top reviewers are usually people who are doing reviews regularly, they get the most likes and they float to the top. They usually don't have a bone to pick with authors themselves, or the incentive to praise them.
Also, if they start with: I usually don't read fantasy, but this book is awesome...I disregard their opinion. Sorry but the chances are you have no idea what you are talking about. Anyway, what I'm trying to say is it's much easier to see from what kind of a reader you are getting a review from then it would be on amazon.
There are sock-puppet accounts on GR too, but they are not so often as amazon ones.

Anyway, once you read one or two of the 1 and 5 ★ reviews, you can pretty much know if you will be bothered by the same things as people who wrote negative reviews, or if you care about positives mentioned in a 5 ★ reviews.
 

Sneaky Burrito

Crazy Cat Lady
Staff member
#5
Also, if they start with: I usually don't read fantasy, but this book is awesome...I disregard their opinion.
Sound strategy. Or if it starts "I don't usually post reviews" or any junk like that. Or if it's supposed to be vampires and they compare it to Tolkien. Or if the reviewer has only posted one review, ever, or only reviews books by one author, or has taken 17 different dietary supplements and lost different amounts of weight on each one (in a 2 month period of time). Or if a review is posted by the author's mother (Jon Sprunk's mother did that on Ammy and he's not even self-published).