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.

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