Amazon Reviews: Positive = the New Negative

Amazon Reviews are out there in their thousands, and just about anything that has been invented or created has a comment from a customer. Some are satisfied, some middle-of-the road, and others are very disgruntled.

As an author I take note of my book reviews, and have smiled over the generous comments. Those not so glowing are a lesson to be learned for me, and important enough for me to take heed of the customer. That said, I have been very fortunate and received positive messages about my novels. Some of my writing friends have been subjected to some cruel reviews, and I feel so sad that someone can be hurt so much by a stranger.

One of the things I find frustrating is the fact that Amazon tend to email and ask the customer what they think of the book, and the customer is panicked into a response. They offer up a 1 star rating, and a statement, ‘I have not read this book yet.’ What they think is an immediate response requirement can be a killer for the author’s ranking amongst the ‘Zon algorithm, and the book slides down a notch.

What can you do to help the author maintain a standing in the ranks of the almighty Amazon?

As a reader, review with a positive, even in a negative review. Just to counter-balance the pain the person who has spent years, months and days of their lives creating something to sell, will feel. Critique in a positive manner so the writer can obtain some sort of feedback and act upon it accordingly.’It’s crap, or ‘what a load of tosh’, is not a book review, it is a personal opinion.

Ignore the email asking you to rate the item until you have read the book from front to back. If you do not read a book until the end, you cannot possibly give a full review. Even a negative review of a book needs to be one that shows you have read the story. If it is obviously in poor shape and cannot be read then the writer needs to be aware, in this case, email them. Let them know you are dissatisfied and why.

Five star reviews are great, wonderful, and makes the writer happy. A range of varied stars are useful to the reader as they show a cross-range of opinions, and leaves the reader able to make up their own mind. A bucket load of abuse in the form of 1 star reviews should be a flag up to the reader that the writer is a victim of some vendetta, (yes, it can happen), and they should go ahead and purchase to make up their own mind. If the plot and cover catch the eye, then the adult reader should be able to find something they enjoy reading, and as I said, if they don’t they should contact the writer privately, and say nothing in public at all, unless it is a proper book review. Rants are not reviews. Make positive the new negative is all I ask of those who vent their disappointment in a one word statement.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank my readers♥ for their wonderful support. Some left positive critique and I acted upon their words. My books have recently undergone proofreading/edits by eBook Fixer (link in sidebar), and I am delighted I took advantage of their Christmas offer. My next novel will be going into their hands prior to publication.

Read the latest review for: Ripper, My Love by Glynis Smy via Vine Leaves Literary Journal

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About Glynis Smy

I live in the UK, in the seaside town of, Dovercourt~Harwich, where I enjoy writing novels. I've written historical romance/suspense, Medical romance and my latest WIP is in the crime genre. The Victorian era fascinates me and the best part of writing a novel is often the research. Proud writing moments in my life: Shortlisted for Festival of Romance Fiction 2014 New Talent Award Reaching second round of Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award 2014 Maggie's Child: reached #1 Amazon best-seller: Historical Romance Victorian /February 2014/ebook & book paid list. May 2014 #3 Historical Romance Victorian, and #25 in Historical Romance paid top 100 best-seller list. Top 100 in three categories on Amazon UK best-seller listings in 2015. Seeing my books in a Suffolk (UK), library. Over the years I've written short stories in a variety of genres. I've also won a few poetry contests, my first was at the age of twelve, (a poem about the Bangladeshi war). I also won a children's short story competition where the prize was a first-aid box, I was so proud but my husband found it amusing because we owned two pharmacies. My articles have been published in magazines both in the UK and Cyprus. I am also featured in various places on-line. When I am not writing, I enjoy making greetings cards, Cross Stitch, fishing and the company of my little granddaughters.
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21 Responses to Amazon Reviews: Positive = the New Negative

  1. I wish this could go out to every reader – I’d like to copy it to my own blog.

  2. Reblogged this on Marilyn Slagel and commented:
    Author Glynis Smy on book reviews. Great information here for readers. I wish every reader could read this and follow her suggestions!

  3. You add a fresh look at what might be some of the motivations for bad reviewers on Amazon. I think sometimes the book trolls mass up in herds to defame a book and/or its author. This should be discouraged at all costs.

    My own philosophy is to not review a bad book, since quality will eventually out. I’d much rather spend time writing a review about a book I enjoyed immensely. These authors deserve praise.

    Thank you for posting this article.

  4. Fascinating! I had no idea people actually gave books 1 star reviews because they hadn’t read them yet. What a … strange thing to do, lol. I get those emails from Amazon all the time, but I just delete them. Apparently some people are incapable of doing that? 😀

  5. Loribeth says:

    I always read the one star reviews first. I’ve learned that a one star review reveals more about the reviewer than the book. Often a one star review is more of a rant than an actual review of the book, and that’s the case, I know I can dismiss the review.

  6. denizb33 says:

    “Ignore the email asking you to rate the item until you have read the book from front to back. ”
    I hate to say this, but I’m not sure why this isn’t obvious to everyone. Why on earth would you give one star to something you haven’t even read yet? Why jump to do something Amazon is asking when there must be a hundred other emails/items on the task list that aren’t being completed?
    How strange…

    • Loribeth says:

      I must admit that I have left comments for books that I haven’t finished reading, but it has been because the writing was so bad that I could not bear to finish it. I never leave a 1* review though, because I believe a writer who goes through the entire process to write and edit an entire book deserves more than a 1* rating no matter how bad the writing is.

      • denizb33 says:

        Ooh, good point Loribeth – of course, if the writing is so atrocious that the reader can’t get through it, that’s a different case altogether!

    • Glynis Smy says:

      Deniz, some people often feel pressured to write something, and I wonder why.

  7. hilarymb says:

    Hi Glynis – I always get irritated to get an email saying review – it gets ignored and I usually forget about it … but I must make a point of writing reviews when I get to read a book – the when I get to read is the pertinent point here!

    Cheers Hilary

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