Saturday, April 20, 2013
Reviews. We all want them. We crave those scintillating 5 star reviews so we can jump up and down and post in our groups what wonderful authors we are and here is the validation to prove it. But what is 5 stars? Do all 5 star reviews deserve 5 stars? What does it mean when someone gets one star? (Thankfully, it wasn't me.)
I started out checking my stats on Amazon, then I moved over to the "top 100" books on Amazon. Curiously, I saw a book there with only 8 reviews, then I saw another with only 6 reviews. I thought Amazon adjusted their ratings to only count paid sales, but I am left to assume that these books must have been given away for free to earn their rank.
Out of curiosity, I decided to read the reviews on one of them. Only 6 reviews, sounds easy. But what I found was unexpected. The book had a few 5 star reviews plus a four star and a ONE star. The reviewer ripped the author for poor grammar and juvenile writing style. Personally, I suspect that there are scads of independent books released under these same conditions. My first reaction was BRAVO! Someone tells it like it is. But then, I clicked the link to read the reviewers other reviews. I was curious to see if he trashed all books equally. It was his only review.
I'm not naming names, chiefly because I don't want him to go post one star trash on my books. I thought Amazon was rooting this crap out of their review system. I don't know about you, but I think that only one review of one star is a mighty big red flag. Maybe they need someone to post a complaint first.
Of course, it is possible that his assessment was spot on.