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Book reviews
#1  Gmes 10-14-2021, 05:06 PM
Hello,
I'm the author, and I struggle with my book reviews, especially with new releases. I'm sure many of you are familiar with the situations when you ask your friends and family to download/buy your book and write a review.
I know that feeling.
For months, I thought of creating a platform where authors can help each other get reviews for the books for free!
Later I discovered a similar service pubby.co, I've tried that but you have to pay money for the membership.
Ok, friends.
I've built that platform, yes it's ugly now, but it works! Later if YOU need it, it will work better.
The idea is that you have to write a review for someone first, then you'll get the point that you can use to upload your book and get reviews.
I'll not share any links, for now, to see how many people want to join the project.
Please, share your thoughts.
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#2  gmw 10-15-2021, 07:37 PM
[crickets singing in the dark*]


Of family, my wife and I are the only ones using ereaders, and the only ones that frequent online book stores ... and my wife never left a review, not sure what that says.

Seriously though, the only reviews worth much are unsolicited, and since only a small percentage of readers leave reviews the only way to get many those is to market your book well enough to have lots of readers (note to self: need better marketing).

I'm not even much of a fan of the "free copy for a review" basis you see spoken of in Goodreads reviews, but a quid-pro-quo system of reviews seems too much like buying reviews if you ask me, and that's not something I'd be happy to support.




* We need a smilie for this!
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#3  Karellen 10-15-2021, 07:49 PM
Solicited reviews (and we all know they happen) have ruined my trust in reviews on most sites. Paid reviews should never be allowed, but that is the world we live in.

While I can understand authors wanting to get their work out there and noticed via a "snowball effect", I would never be part of a project like that.

Trusted authors, samples from Amazon and recommendations from friends are the only methods I now use.
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#4  Hitch 10-16-2021, 12:06 AM
Quote Gmes
Hello,
I'm the author, and I struggle with my book reviews, especially with new releases. I'm sure many of you are familiar with the situations when you ask your friends and family to download/buy your book and write a review.
I know that feeling.
For months, I thought of creating a platform where authors can help each other get reviews for the books for free!
Later I discovered a similar service pubby.co, I've tried that but you have to pay money for the membership.
Ok, friends.
I've built that platform, yes it's ugly now, but it works! Later if YOU need it, it will work better.
The idea is that you have to write a review for someone first, then you'll get the point that you can use to upload your book and get reviews.
I'll not share any links, for now, to see how many people want to join the project.
Please, share your thoughts.
I'll share my thoughts, having spent some time working on something like this, 7 years ago.

Here's reality--you can get reviews one of two ways. Your way, or via paid reviewers, period. There has to be an upside for the reviewers. They have no reason to leave the reviews, without either a) getting a review in return or b) being paid. You're not paying, so that leaves a).

If Amazon can crawl the site, all your "customers" will have their reviews removed--all of them. Anything that looks remotely like batches of reviews, etc. Review swaps--and let's not blow smoke up our own asses here, that's what you're talking about--are strictly forbidden.

Strictly. Forbidden.

I discussed it with ECR (Executive Customer Relations) and several other execs at Amazon. They're not having it. I wish you'd mentioned this here, first--I'd have told you this to save you the work.

Hitch
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#5  Dr. Drib 10-17-2021, 12:03 PM
Quote gmw
[crickets singing in the dark*]


Of family, my wife and I are the only ones using ereaders, and the only ones that frequent online book stores ... and my wife never left a review, not sure what that says.

Seriously though, the only reviews worth much are unsolicited, and since only a small percentage of readers leave reviews the only way to get many those is to market your book well enough to have lots of readers (note to self: need better marketing).

I'm not even much of a fan of the "free copy for a review" basis you see spoken of in Goodreads reviews, but a quid-pro-quo system of reviews seems too much like buying reviews if you ask me, and that's not something I'd be happy to support.




* We need a smilie for this!


I'm with you on this: I don't solicit reviews.

You want to write a review - Great! You don't want to write a review - Great!

I'm not going to waste my time sharing reviews. I'm going to read books - good books, bad books. Books that make me cry. Books that make me laugh. Great books and trashy books. And books that make me throw up.
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#6  graycyn 10-19-2021, 12:50 AM
The soliciting of reviews also has the potential for a "Be careful what you wish for" situation.

I read a lot. I write reviews seldom.

But, one instance, long ago, where I remember actually bothering to write a review, it was a rather scathing one. I hadn't even spent money on the book, it was a freebie.

I'd been sucked into the book because it was listed as a mystery, only to discover that the supposed "mystery" had an exceedingly lame plot that was just an excuse for porn. Graphic porn. I felt the need to warn others.

I know there are those out there that like that sort of book and that's fine by me, but the book should have been listed in the proper category.
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#7  gmw 10-19-2021, 03:23 AM
Quote graycyn
The soliciting of reviews also has the potential for a "Be careful what you wish for" situation.

I read a lot. I write reviews seldom. [...]
I find this sort of thing (people with bad experiences being more inclined to leave negative reviews to help protect others from making the same mistake) across many products, not just books. Does anyone know if this phenomenon has a name?

In fact it is so much the case that I am sometimes sceptical of negative reviews because the bad side of the bell curve is not necessarily representative of the product: most product lines produce some failures, and most books have some people that despise them for one reason or another.

Of course, if many reviews are negative then that suggests the product line is producing a high proportion of failures, or the book is upsetting many readers. But a few negative reviews are to be expected, which feeds into...

All positive reviews can be a problem because many people, including me, don't trust them. It looks like all the friends and family have been in leaving reviews, or the publisher has perhaps paid for reviews. In Goodreads I regularly filter to score 3 because I find these fence sitters often offer the most balance in their reviews (I ignore those that don't leave a reasonably detailed review), but I'm probably not going to buy a book that is all 3s, either.

I look at my own fairly whimsical way of choosing books to read and I despair of ever finding a good way present books for sale.
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#8  Deskisamess 10-19-2021, 08:26 AM
One of my Amazon pet peeves is when a books has a lot of 5-star reviews, all left on a one or two day spread. Especially when those reviewers have not left any other reviews.

I would not trust reviews on such as site as you mention. I don't really trust any 5 star reviews, especially for the lite fiction I find myself reading. While a decent way to spend a couple of hours, I've rarely read that genre of book that deserves 5 stars.

If an author wants to right a forward, or recommendation for a book, that's one thing. But a site for authors to trade reviews? Nope. It happens enough under-cover.


Authors trading reviews in such a way leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

Adding...to the OP...your last post here was to advertise your Instagram account to promote books, but that account has no posts, and that was 2 years ago.
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#9  issybird 10-19-2021, 09:52 AM
I find two-star book reviews the most useful. If I’m looking, it’s because I’m already interested and expect to like it, so confirmation adds nothing. With a two-star review, I’m looking for comments that identify the type of issue I also dislike.

It’s generally pretty obvious when reviews are solicited; too many four- and five-star reviews and reviewers that have reviewed little else. Hard pass. Another thing I see frequently on Goodreads while not entirely a deal-breaker, but pretty close: the author gives his/her own book a five-star rating which is meaningless in itself but skews the total upward when it’s a case of only a few. Makes me want to offset it with a lousy rating.
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#10  Deskisamess 10-19-2021, 12:23 PM
Let's not forget the "reviews" on Amazon that have nothing to do with the writing/topic etc. The ones saying, "I didn't order this" or the ones about a physical book's condition.
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