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Wish Granted! Tips, Tools, and Templates to Write a Winning Grant
by Holly Rustick

$1.99
Kindle Edition published 2017-08-22
Bestseller ranking: 95983

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INCLUDES BONUS FREE E-DOWNLOADS: TEMPLATES FOR GRANT WRITING!

Grant writing shouldn’t feel like a trip to the dentist. Take the pain out of the process with this innovative and fun, yes fun, guide. Learn all the inside tips and tools of the grant-writing trade in this easy-to-read and upbeat book.
This book is definitely for you if:
•You break out in a cold sweat when your boss mentions the word ‘grant’.
•You’ve been tempted to throw your computer against the wall while writing a grant.
•You happily tell stakeholders there’s plenty of grants out there … but haven’t the faintest idea how to write and get one!
•You think you can send out a bog-standard letter to a bunch of organizations and get funded.
•Your eyes glaze over when you’re presented with grant writing jargon and acronyms.
•Your organization’s grant success A-game has r...

Author Topic: authors who purchase reviews  (Read 15108 times)  

Offline ccruz

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #100 on: December 26, 2015, 07:11:52 PM »
I'm one of those who doesn't leave less than a 5-star review on Amazon. If I didn't love it, I'm not going to bother reviewing it. I'm talking about books, though. I have no problem leaving a bad review on an item I've purchased and, for example, turned out to be of very bad quality, or didn't do what it claimed to do.
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Offline C. Gockel

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #101 on: December 26, 2015, 07:19:52 PM »
Quote
I'm one of those who doesn't leave less than a 5-star review on Amazon. If I didn't love it, I'm not going to bother reviewing it.

Me too.


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Offline Decon

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #102 on: December 27, 2015, 06:21:25 AM »
Its hilarious to see which authors purchase reviews. You can always tell because they are short, and when you click through the same reviewer has given EVERYONE 5 star reviews. Sorry but no one gives 5 stars to every single book they read.  ;D

Then you have the reviewer who has 5 starred every book the writer has done LOL clear giveaway ( It screams fiverr)

I'm sure Amazon will bring the hammer down soon and I imagine number of accounts will be nuked badly.

Before i purchase a book, i don't look at their reviews. I look at WHO their reviewers are ( and what they have reviewed ) it lets me know immediately if its a paid review or not.

It's hilarious to think that you make that deduction. That's a big, big assumption. There are real readers out their that give nothing but 5 star reviews, just as there are readers out there who only give one star reviews. There are also fans who will buy and review every book you publish and give them 5 stars, none of them paid for to review.

I have no axe to grind. My last two books that I have published have no reviews at all in the US. ( One three months old, In Search of Jessica. One around 9 months, Medium's Apprentice a novelette) People still borrow them and occasionally buy them.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2015, 07:11:38 AM by Decon »


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Offline Thetis

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #103 on: December 27, 2015, 10:18:11 AM »
I am definitely curious if that has changed. I have noticed quite a few 3-5 word reviews lately, not just on my books, but on others. <shrug?>

I've noticed that, too. The entire written review is "Good" with a four-star rating? Maybe this is something Amazon is "rolling out" in phases or depends on the kind of device on which a person is leaving a review?

Offline Thetis

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #104 on: December 27, 2015, 10:32:20 AM »
I disagree.  I have found reviews to be very accurate actually and on one or two occasions I regretted not paying attention to certain warnings in reviews and buying the book regardless. I learnt my lesson and now pay more attention to reviews.  And no, I am not naive, I can spot a spiteful fake bad review...

There's quite a bit of truth to this. I was recently looking at a book that had like 10 five star reviews, and one three star review. The one three star review complained the book was filled with grammatical errors and misusing common parts of speech. Maybe it's the author in me that made me wonder how that didn't bother those ten other people regardless, it didn't matter how much the storyline intrigued me. I didn't buy the book based on that criticism.

Offline TJBlain

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #105 on: December 27, 2015, 12:14:35 PM »
For me, when I am shopping for ebooks on Amazon I don't even look at the reviews.

I'm the opposite. I like reviews and read them unless I'm buying a book in a series that I'm already invested in.

If a book only has five-star reviews, I don't automatically think they're fake, especially if the book is by a well-established author. Personally, I tend to find the three-star reviews the most helpful, as the reviewers usually describe their likes and dislikes in a balanced manner. I used to skim through books in bookstores before deciding whether to purchase them or not. Reviews have replaced skimming for me. I do still read the preview, however.






Online Usedtoposthere

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #106 on: December 27, 2015, 01:07:25 PM »
I agree with all of this - great points.

For me, when I am shopping for ebooks on Amazon I don't even look at the reviews. I tend to follow the flock by looking at what's selling - to me, knowing a book is on the best sellers list for a given genre or subgenre tells me more about readers' opinions than written reviews might. Though I do admit, once on the best sellers lists, I tend to buy based on what's on the cover, the title, the price, and the blurb (not necessarily in that order).

Of course, always gravitating toward the best sellers lists means I don't discover a lot of great work from fellow indies. But the sea of ebooks is so vast, I'm not sure of a better way to look for something fun to read, and knowing that a book is on that list gets me excited to see what all the excitement is about.

Discoverability is an issue - and I realize BookBub currently requires 'x' amount of reviews - so, maybe Amazon should turn the whole thing on its head and ditch reviews for books entirely and instead post the actual sales numbers for each book and have it all searchable and sortable by genre and subgenre. I know, I know - I'm really dreaming in technicolor now...  :P
I think most readers do read reviews. They read the lower-star ones as well. They want to know whether the things that bug other readers will bug them. (Poor mechanics; simplistic writing; cardboard characters; upsetting story line or non-happy ending; too much violence; too much sex; not enough sex).

The first 4 of those would make me a non-buyer; the last 3 might or might not depending what the reviews said.

They also look at the most helpful reviews, I think. If the most helpful reviews are 'OMG this was the best book I ever read. Can't wait till the next one,' -- not that helpful. Certainly could be legit--lots of readers will write that review--but doesn't help a reader figure out exactly what would be appealing about the book.

If nobody could leave reviews, however would new indie writers be discovered? How EVER would that happen? Scratching my head over that! That's definitely how I got discovered and got visibility. People were posting reviews, and readers were taking a chance on the books based on the reviews. I can tell you a bazillion times when I've bought books for the same reasons. I'm searching around, I read the reviews, the author's selling well (yes, that matters to me too--partly because if they're not selling well, I'm not going to see them), and I buy the book.

Sometimes I don't like it at all despite the fact that other readers seem to love this author. I have plenty of reviews like that on my own books--people who can't understand why ANYONE would want to read this boring, slow, stupid story that barely has any sex or action! Or people who were loving it and the wonderful characters up until I ruined it with the pornography. Those are the reviews that I think most readers can glean their own "truth" from. (It has some sex scenes, but it's not erotic. It's more character-driven. Etc., fill in the blanks for whatever book.)

Reviews are here to stay. Reviews are the way that consumers have power in this marketplace. Reviews changed everything and made Amazon what it is. They're frustrating, and it's sure discouraging to think that some people are buying them. But they're also how a book and an author can get discovered and shared and can break out.

Offline 555aaa

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #107 on: December 27, 2015, 03:40:12 PM »
Hey- who brought this thread back from the dead anyway?

I did get an R2-D2 salt and pepper shaker set for xmas. :)

To recap what I think I posted upthread, a better system than the star system for reviews is ranking within a user's library. There's some interesting ways that could work - the Amazon tool could pull your prior purchases/reads in that genre, and then either ask you to rank them either in order or to pull pairs and then have the reader pick the winner of book pairs.  I'm not really down on the text review per se but the star rating thing is crap, and if people didn't read my earlier posts the way you know is that as books pick up sales, their average star rating drops. And that's not exclusive to books. The average book star rating is (last time I checked) about 4.5.

I think the pairing system/ reader ranking approach would be much better for new author discovery. Another idea would be to borrow the structured review system from Audible - it helps to draw out from the reviewer a more nuanced response, and the Audible star system also has three categories, not one.  Yet another way to aid in discoverability is to pull reading engagement data from readers' devices. How many of the readers stayed up all night to read it? How many re-reads by the same person? That sort of thing, much like we get engagement metrics for video ads. It would be valuable author feedback too.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2015, 03:41:53 PM by 555aaa »

Offline Atunah

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #108 on: December 27, 2015, 04:20:04 PM »
You want me to waffle myself into insanity by having to rank the books I read and have in my account?  :o :o :o :o

It would take me week, months to do such a thing. Way way to much work. I don't compare books with each other like that. Ever. I read each book as a individual entity and rate as such. Then I move on to the next entity. Ranking and pairing and such things are not my job as a reader.

My brain is taxed enough just trying to figure out what to read next.  :-X

As to reviews. I must have them. For various reasons. Rosalind had some good ones. I go to a site where there are reader reviews. I will not consider a book by a new author or unknown to me if I don't have some way to vet. Reviews are part of that vetting process. There are themes I don't want to read, there are books that pretend to be something (romance) and then kill of the character at the end, etc. I have to know these things. Which is why I appreciate anyone putting down honest ratings or reviews. That means 1 stars, 2 stars 3 stars and 4 stars also. Not just 5 stars. A 4 star is still a fantastic rating for any book. Sad that some now consider that not a good enough rating to put down after reading a book. Baffling really.

But that is why I mostly stay with goodreads reviews and ratings from other readers. Especially readers that like and read what I read. So many times I was saved from getting and reading a book I would have not liked, based on something that was mentioned in a review.

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Offline C. Rysalis

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #109 on: December 27, 2015, 04:35:00 PM »
I'm the opposite. I like reviews and read them unless I'm buying a book in a series that I'm already invested in.

If a book only has five-star reviews, I don't automatically think they're fake, especially if the book is by a well-established author. Personally, I tend to find the three-star reviews the most helpful, as the reviewers usually describe their likes and dislikes in a balanced manner. I used to skim through books in bookstores before deciding whether to purchase them or not. Reviews have replaced skimming for me. I do still read the preview, however.

Same here. I always read the three star reviews first, sometimes they give a good enough impression that I don't look at other reviews.

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Online Usedtoposthere

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #110 on: December 27, 2015, 05:09:13 PM »
You want me to waffle myself into insanity by having to rank the books I read and have in my account?  :o :o :o :o

It would take me week, months to do such a thing. Way way to much work. I don't compare books with each other like that. Ever. I read each book as a individual entity and rate as such. Then I move on to the next entity. Ranking and pairing and such things are not my job as a reader.

My brain is taxed enough just trying to figure out what to read next.  :-X

As to reviews. I must have them. For various reasons. Rosalind had some good ones. I go to a site where there are reader reviews. I will not consider a book by a new author or unknown to me if I don't have some way to vet. Reviews are part of that vetting process. There are themes I don't want to read, there are books that pretend to be something (romance) and then kill of the character at the end, etc. I have to know these things. Which is why I appreciate anyone putting down honest ratings or reviews. That means 1 stars, 2 stars 3 stars and 4 stars also. Not just 5 stars. A 4 star is still a fantastic rating for any book. Sad that some now consider that not a good enough rating to put down after reading a book. Baffling really.

But that is why I mostly stay with goodreads reviews and ratings from other readers. Especially readers that like and read what I read. So many times I was saved from getting and reading a book I would have not liked, based on something that was mentioned in a review.
Never happen, so no worries! Amazon's all about the reader experience.

Thing about Audible (and Goodreads) is that they also allow star-only ratings. That will drop the book's average considerably, because people who felt "meh" will rate (for their own information as much as anything), when they wouldn't have bothered to write a review. The ratio of written reviews to star ratings? Very low. I just went & checked my most-reviewed book on Goodreads. 4,185 star ratings. 348 reviews. Same sort of deal on Audible.

But--the written reviews tell the reader WHY. I personally think it'd be useful on Amazon to have the same thing--star ratings & written reviews. So you could see a truer (lower) average, and then read people's reasons. But Amazon will do what they like! More accurately, what they think readers want.

That's one reason, though, that many readers trust Goodreads more. That and the "friends" thing, where, as you say, you can find out what people think who actually have the same taste as you. Not that helpful to know that somebody found this book with tons of rapey sex OMG so fantastic, if you hate books with rapey sex. As an example. :) Plus, if the review is written, you'll KNOW it has rapey sex (or sex at all, if that isn't your thing). Or whatever.

Lee Child is one of my favorite authors. But his latest was waaaaay too dark for me. Unfortunately I didn't read the reviews until afterwards. "Most helpful" one? Right there: waaaay dark, disturbing. Wish I'd have read it first! Because that matters to me.

Offline Decon

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #111 on: December 27, 2015, 05:40:10 PM »
Quote
As to reviews. I must have them. For various reasons. Rosalind had some good ones. I go to a site where there are reader reviews. I will not consider a book by a new author or unknown to me if I don't have some way to vet. Reviews are part of that vetting process. There are themes I don't want to read, there are books that pretend to be something (romance) and then kill of the character at the end, etc. I have to know these things. Which is why I appreciate anyone putting down honest ratings or reviews. That means 1 stars, 2 stars 3 stars and 4 stars also. Not just 5 stars. A 4 star is still a fantastic rating for any book. Sad that some now consider that not a good enough rating to put down after reading a book. Baffling really.

But that is why I mostly stay with goodreads reviews and ratings from other readers. Especially readers that like and read what I read. So many times I was saved from getting and reading a book I would have not liked, based on something that was mentioned in a review.

I put a thread on here recently to say I was baffled that my latest release which is 3 months old was still being bought now and again and so far this last month has had over 4,000 page reads in the US, so it's being read in full. The readers have no reviews to go by apart from in the UK which just picked up one 5 star review, but I doubt it would help a reader make a decision as it doesn't say much. I've just sold a copy of Medium's Apprentice, which has no reviews after 9 months and has a rank of 2 million. I'm still baffled, because like you say, and as I thought, readers need them to make decision. Seems they all don't?

I think there is a trend away from readers giving reviews.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2015, 05:52:05 PM by Decon »


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Offline ccruz

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #112 on: December 27, 2015, 05:54:46 PM »
No, I don't think all readers will buy based on reviews. I have never bothered reading the reviews until I'm done with the book and loved it. Then I will go through the reviews and mark the good ones as helpful to help the author out, as well as leave my own five-star review. I guess I got used to purchasing paperbacks from books stores, where there were no reviews to be had.
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Offline Thallewell

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #113 on: August 10, 2016, 09:35:38 AM »
I have a rule that if I can't give 4-5 stars, I email the author my review instead of posting it.

I love this. I have a similar policy. I don't want to be the sort of person that tears down anyone's art (unless it's abundantly clear that the author is simply trying to scam people).

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Offline BlouBryant

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #114 on: August 10, 2016, 09:58:18 AM »
I've stopped reading indie reviews, at least ones that are not 'verified purchase' or whatever the Amazon term is.  There are way too many people buying reviews or getting people to post good reviews for them.  Every couple days on here there's a posting from one company or other.. "give us X dollars and we'll get you Y reviews'. If the book is only on Amazon, and the person didn't buy it, that's a big flag for me that it's another indie trying to game the system. I checked a couple authors the other day because I was considering buying their book... 50+ reviews at 5 stars, 40+ didn't buy the book. Neither did I. 

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Online Usedtoposthere

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #115 on: August 10, 2016, 10:07:37 AM »
I've stopped reading indie reviews, at least ones that are not 'verified purchase' or whatever the Amazon term is.  There are way too many people buying reviews or getting people to post good reviews for them.  Every couple days on here there's a posting from one company or other.. "give us X dollars and we'll get you Y reviews'. If the book is only on Amazon, and the person didn't buy it, that's a big flag for me that it's another indie trying to game the system. I checked a couple authors the other day because I was considering buying their book... 50+ reviews at 5 stars, 40+ didn't buy the book. Neither did I. 

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Borrows under KU aren't verified purchases. Neither are free copies given away during a promo or on a permafree.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2016, 10:09:42 AM by Rosalind J »

Offline SallyRose

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #116 on: August 10, 2016, 10:30:38 AM »
Reviews are kind of a conundrum to me...

I anxiously wait for their arrival (mostly to rack up the social proof I hope will carry weight with the big promo sites) and then yesterday, realized I was feeling a little deflated because I got four new Amazon reviews (I think they must have sent out one of those "How would you rate this" emails since the reviews came in a flurry, probably people that downloaded it on the same day of a promo).

Why deflated? Were they bad reviews? Nope, as a matter of fact, they were all 5 stars - but I've read so many posts about reviews being "obviously fake" if they are short 1-2 sentence, "5 stars, loved this book, looking forward to reading the rest of the series," -- and that's mostly the kind of thing I got. Then I thought, how messed up is that! To feel bad about having too many good reviews!

So, I've decided, let people think what they will. I have no control over it, I've never bought a review, never will. If a reader takes the time to stop what they're doing and write a sentence or two, I'm grateful for the support. And, I think that Amazon's review request might encourage shorter reviews. After all, readers are responding to an email request and jotting something down - not necessarily pulling up a chair to write a lengthy review.

Whatever the case - and whatever anyone's interpretation of them - I'm done driving myself crazy on the issue.

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #117 on: August 10, 2016, 10:41:32 AM »
Borrows under KU aren't verified purchases. Neither are free copies given away during a promo or on a permafree.

Free copies "bought" on Amazon count as verified purchase.

I have a number of reviewers leave the same review on all the books in my series. It will be something short like "I love this series" or "I love my bad boy books."

Offline CarlaBaku

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #118 on: August 10, 2016, 11:14:46 AM »
Borrows under KU aren't verified purchases. Neither are free copies given away during a promo or on a permafree.

^^^ This, this, this, freaking THIS. My first book has racked up page reads to equal ~500 full novel reads. That means 500 readers could post a perfectly legitimate review (along with scores of readers who've purchased the paperback via my two local bookstores), yet their reviews are summarily brushed off as suspect because Amazon hasn't given them the Golden Seal of Review Approval. Newsflash, y'all: the scammers have figured out how to scam the review system WITH a 'verified purchase' label attached. Because the system is vulnerable to cheaters, the whole suspect review thing gets a bit witch-hunty sometimes.
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Offline blubarry

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #119 on: August 10, 2016, 11:25:13 AM »
Reviews for established authors with huge lists are often hard to decipher anyway. So many have ARC teams of dedicated fans who will always leave 4-5 star reviews. It's playing the game, but it's not always the same as organic reviews, especially those with 50+ 5 star reviews on launch day.

Offline P.A. Woodburn

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #120 on: August 10, 2016, 11:30:41 AM »
I'm an avid review reader. I know some are faked. I know some may be paid for but I still read them. I read them more carefully if I'm purchasing an expensive item such as a large piece of kitchenware with attached machine. I think this does help me to avoid some faux pas. Some review writers give very useful information.
If its a book I may disregard after reading reviews because maybe I know too much already.

Offline lyndabelle

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #121 on: August 10, 2016, 11:30:51 AM »
This is such a hot button on writing boards since reviews are still needed to qualify for sites like BookBub and ENT. I've had the ups and downs of reviews over the last couple of weeks. I got a scathing 1 star on my recent Omnibus edition with my vampire series. But then have been getting awesome reviews with the same story #1 in the series since it's in a Vampire bundle that just released last week. Most all of the reviews are through ARC copies. It's like a roulette wheel. Especially if you do a listing on Net Galley. All of the reviews are not purchase verified. But the fact they are there at least shows that other people have read it. Any reviews can be construed as helpful since they show that people are reading the book.

I think on another thread the only time it might not be helpful is when all there are for reviews are 1 or 2 stars. It puts a negative image in the mind of future reviewers. I have one of my stories with no 5 stars on Goodreads and Amazon due to the huge amount of one stars to start out. I think it was because it was listed in Romance and Erotica categories on Net Galley, and the romance folks kept saying it was porn. Erotica folks were saying it was fine. So, I switched it out into Erotica only, and it did better. But the low stars had done their damage. I mean, it is possible it is only a 4 star story, but after 25 reviews( some in other countries like Germany), it still has no 5 stars. Which is weird. A lot of my other stories have the range of 1-5 stars.

So, yeah, I would not read my reviews and let it go, but the fact they offer a huge area of the marketing for your book, they are hard to ignore. They are a large part of being a writer these days. I can see why people would get sucked into buying them, but it's good to get the word out how to get legitimate reviews so newbie authors don't fall into the trap. After the Zon review witch hunt this summer, it's a good message to spread around so people don't loose their living and get their account shut down.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2016, 11:37:56 AM by lyndabelle »

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Offline BlouBryant

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #122 on: August 10, 2016, 11:37:30 AM »
^^^ ..... a bit witch-hunty sometimes.

It's a witch hunt if I'm saying Bob or John or You are doing it. I'm not. My comment was about how I buy books now and the fact that after lurking on these boards for the last 6 months, I approach reviews of indie  books with a fair bit of caution. I do what one of the earlier posters suggested, I take a look at the 1-3 star reviews. They're usually honest, and I've bought books based on bad or middling reviews.

To Sally... I doubt the average reader looks at your mass of five star reviews and doesn't trust them, I suspect most readers have no clue this is even an issue.... oh, and goodness, if you have too many five star reviewers, can you toss me one?   :D   


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Offline SerenityEditing

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #123 on: August 10, 2016, 12:40:07 PM »
I do what one of the earlier posters suggested, I take a look at the 1-3 star reviews. They're usually honest, and I've bought books based on bad or middling reviews.

This. I've bought more books based on 1-star reviews than I have based on 4- or 5-star reviews combined. The negative reviews are much more likely to be specific and very detailed about their complaints, giving examples to support their position. I do look at the overall star rating, and look favorably on a higher rating, but I almost never bother looking at the individual positive reviews. After a while they all start to blend together anyway - perhaps some mutation of "All happy families are alike."

I avoid giving 5-star reviews unless the book was really life-changing for me or is one that I keep coming back to re-read. If everything is always "amazing! fabulous! the best!" then, after a while, that's just average. You know?
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Offline SallyRose

  • Status: Jane Austen
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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #124 on: August 10, 2016, 01:22:29 PM »
To Sally... ... oh, and goodness, if you have too many five star reviewers, can you toss me one?   :D   

Haha! Believe me, my post was not meant to imply that I am swimming in 5 star reviews - there is no "mass"  :( - I'm very thin on reviews of all varieties. It was just that having the little batch come in together made me realize the depth of my insanity when I read them and found myself thinking that fewer stars might have been better because of everything I've read on this topic.  :-\


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