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

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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 15106 times)  

Online Amanda M. Lee

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #50 on: November 13, 2015, 08:50:07 PM »
I also think because we're authors everyone is assuming Amazon is going after book reviews. A lot of people act as if that's the big goal here. Amazon never said that. I'm going to wager they're much more interested in drug and pharmaceutical reviews. Book reviews are subjective and vary wildly. If someone doesn't like something it really doesn't change anyone's lives. Drug reviews and those of other items are probably a lot more important to Amazon. They also have to force a foreign business to turn over information when most of these Fiverr reviewers are also foreign and could very well be signing up with fake names. Nothing is going to stop them from closing one account and starting another or scurrying off to do some other scam. I don't get the point of buying reviews since I'm a firm believer everything evens out over the long haul. I would guess fewer people buy reviews than exchange reviews in the grand scheme of things.

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Offline Usedtoposthere

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #51 on: November 13, 2015, 09:00:49 PM »
I also think because we're authors everyone is assuming Amazon is going after book reviews. A lot of people act as if that's the big goal here. Amazon never said that. I'm going to wager they're much more interested in drug and pharmaceutical reviews. Book reviews are subjective and vary wildly. If someone doesn't like something it really doesn't change anyone's lives. Drug reviews and those of other items are probably a lot more important to Amazon. They also have to force a foreign business to turn over information when most of these Fiverr reviewers are also foreign and could very well be signing up with fake names. Nothing is going to stop them from closing one account and starting another or scurrying off to do some other scam. I don't get the point of buying reviews since I'm a firm believer everything evens out over the long haul. I would guess fewer people buy reviews than exchange reviews in the grand scheme of things.
Yeah, it's one of those things you hear about a lot, but it'd be a pretty hard thing to game over any length of time. The only thing that REALLY sells books is word of mouth, and I don't care how many reviews you buy/exchange, you can't game that.

Offline Wayne Stinnett

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #52 on: November 14, 2015, 06:44:13 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.

With nine books and a box set, I imagine a good many of my readers have reviewed more than one. Were they paid?

You seem to put an awful lot of time and research into a $3 purchase. I'd hate to think how long it would take you to buy a car, man.
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Offline Betsy the Quilter

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #53 on: November 14, 2015, 07:08:23 AM »
With nine books and a box set, I imagine a good many of my readers have reviewed more than one. Were they paid?

You seem to put an awful lot of time and research into a $3 purchase. I'd hate to think how long it would take you to buy a car, man.

While I kind of agree with you on the one hand, Wayne.  But on the other hand, some of us make a LOT of $3 purchases.  ;D

That being said, I generally buy from authors here on KBoards.  Reading the posts here (also very time consuming) is sufficient vetting for me in most cases.

 ;)

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Offline Melody Simmons

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #54 on: November 14, 2015, 07:36:41 AM »
These comments are insulting. I generally only write a review when I really liked a book, so usually it will be a 5-star review. It is time consuming to write lengthy reviews so most of my reviews are just one or two lines. I would not bother to waste my precious time to write reviews for books I did not like. So you are saying I look like a review scammer? So perhaps I should not bother reviewing any books then...
« Last Edit: November 14, 2015, 11:41:46 AM by Melody Simmons »

Offline sela

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #55 on: November 14, 2015, 08:47:47 AM »
I have 1500 reviews on my books. Most are 4 and 5 stars - the largest share are 5 stars, actually. Some are only a couple of words. Many say the same thing -- "This book is great!" "I loved this book!" "I couldn't put this book down!". It's because this is genuinely what readers felt about my books. How do I know this? Not a single one was purchased.

Most people do not leave reviews -- ever. Those who do are motivated. They either really loved your book and will give it 5 stars or 4 if they are trying to be objective, or they hated it so much that they had to leave a 1 star. For some readers, reviewing is a thing -- it is part of who they are as readers. They enjoy reviewing books so they review every single one they read.

Yes, of course there are authors who have purchased reviews. We know this is the case and Amazon is doing something about it -- and it should. But the OP is simply wrong to suggest that lots of 4 and 5 star reviews is a dead giveway of buying reviews. Short reviews, similar review wording is not evidence of scamming the review system.

The OP and others who expend time examining other author's reviews and inspecting them, suspicious of cheating and scamming, should spend more time writing actual books and focus on their craft and business.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2015, 08:49:29 AM by Sela »

Offline robert eggleton

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #56 on: November 14, 2015, 11:01:08 AM »
And, of course, there is that other population of reviewers -- the Vine wannbes. With only one novel under my belt I'm a novice, but I'm experienced enough to spot these folks. I try to avoid them because Rarity from the Hollow is not a mainstream, formula fiction, quick read. It takes time to digest in order to properly review my novel (literary element), and that slows down, possibly annoys, a wannabe Vine. Other authors may want to submit to them if identified. I'm not sure about their motivations. Free stuff? But, it feels stronger, like a competition among them to be placed by Amazon in the top 100, 500, 1000.... They all seem to be honest, and some are very kind based on my limited experience with them. But, I recommend, for what's it's worth, to make sure that one's novel is a good fit in not only genre, but also in how much time would be required by such a reviewer to perform a review of your work. One of the best reviews that I got from a Vine reviewer was unsolicited:

"Rarity from the Hollow written by Robert Eggleton, to be fully honest, was much more than expected and a great read semi-autobiographical literary work full of beautiful and ugly things, adventure, romance, pain and humor."

As a consumer, a reader, I won't buy a book that has more than a couple of one line reviews, like "I loved it." Such reviews cause me not to trust any of the reviews of that book. I realize that this seems silly because it might be a great book that I might love too. Nevertheless, that's how I personally feel about it. I move on and pick, quickly, my next or next after that book to read.

I trust reviews by bloggers the most because I know that almost none of them are paid for reviews, but I will read a Kirkus review because I don't think anybody has enough money to pay that organization for a positive book review -- a practice that would be the demise of the company. Still, a well written review by a book blogger carries more weight with me than Kirkus.

I read all genres, including romance, even though I only write adult literary science fiction. I least read YA because I, personally, have a very difficult time respecting it as a genre despite its popularity, and the romance has to be something that resonates before I buy it -- not formula. I don't read erotic, but that's probably because I'm so old that I've lost interest in it. I buy a lot of books, a lot, and I write some reviews, only positive (5 star is very rare) ones because I don't want to waste any more time on a bad book.

I don't think most readers bother to write reviews, which makes all reader reviews feel suspicious to me. What motivates a person to type a review in that little box on Amazon? As a reader and a consumer, I want to contribute, but I'm not a pro bono gatekeeper of quality literature by any stretch. I get ripped off, everybody does, and I feel that I need to just suck it up when that happens. It's not the money, but the time that I regret losing when I buy a bad book. I keep reading a bad book, hoping that it will click, and then look back with regret about the lost time if it doesn't. The regret is never of such intensity that I feel like seeking revenge on the author by writing a negative review. "F" it. Life's too short.

Thanks for the opportunity to rant. I'm off, back to self-promotion of Rarity from the Hollow, but I'd rather be reading. I should go to the woods for fun because it's such a pretty day here, probably one of the last for the season. Take care everybody and good luck.

 


 
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Offline CoryODoole

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #57 on: November 14, 2015, 11:13:48 AM »
About reviews: I don't give them much credence. For one thing, I've never bought a book on the basis of one or more so-called "reviews." The Amazon reviews are simply opinion, so why does it matter? You might say well, collectively a writer might be influenced by reviews. I'm not. As a writer I never review another writer's book, even if I loved or hated it. I don't wish to open self up to revenge reviews that way.

Offline Melody Simmons

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #58 on: November 14, 2015, 11:46:57 AM »
About reviews: I don't give them much credence. For one thing, I've never bought a book on the basis of one or more so-called "reviews." The Amazon reviews are simply opinion, so why does it matter? You might say well, collectively a writer might be influenced by reviews. I'm not. As a writer I never review another writer's book, even if I loved or hated it. I don't wish to open self up to revenge reviews that way.

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...

Offline WasAnn

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #59 on: November 14, 2015, 11:51:27 AM »
And, of course, there is that other population of reviewers -- the Vine wannbes. With only one novel under my belt I'm a novice, but I'm experienced enough to spot these folks. I try to avoid them because Rarity from the Hollow is not a mainstream, formula fiction, quick read. It takes time to digest in order to properly review my novel (literary element), and that slows down, possibly annoys, a wannabe Vine. Other authors may want to submit to them if identified. I'm not sure about their motivations. Free stuff? But, it feels stronger, like a competition among them to be placed by Amazon in the top 100, 500, 1000.... They all seem to be honest, and some are very kind based on my limited experience with them. But, I recommend, for what's it's worth, to make sure that one's novel is a good fit in not only genre, but also in how much time would be required by such a reviewer to perform a review of your work. One of the best reviews that I got from a Vine reviewer was unsolicited:

"Rarity from the Hollow written by Robert Eggleton, to be fully honest, was much more than expected and a great read -- semi-autobiographical literary work full of beautiful and ugly things, adventure, romance, pain and humor...."

As a consumer, a reader, I won't buy a book that has more than a couple of one line reviews, like "I loved it." Such reviews cause me not to trust any of the reviews of that book. I realize that this seems silly because it might be a great book that I might love too. Nevertheless, that's how I personally feel about it. I move on and pick, quickly, my next or next after that book to read.

I trust reviews by bloggers the most because I know that almost none of them are paid for reviews, but I will read a Kirkus review because I don't think anybody has enough money to pay that organization for a positive book review -- a practice that would be the demise of the company. Still, a well written review by a book blogger carries more weight with me than Kirkus.

I read all genres, including romance, even though I only write adult literary science fiction. I least read YA because I, personally, have a very difficult time respecting it as a genre despite its popularity, and the romance has to be something that resonates before I buy it -- not formula. I don't read erotic, but that's probably because I'm so old that I've lost interest in it. I buy a lot of books, a lot, and I write some reviews, only positive (5 star is very rare) ones because I don't want to waste any more time on a bad book.

I don't think most readers bother to write reviews, which makes all reader reviews feel suspicious to me. What motivates a person to type a review in that little box on Amazon? As a reader and a consumer, I want to contribute, but I'm not a pro bono gatekeeper of quality literature by any stretch. I get ripped off, everybody does, and I feel that I need to just suck it up when that happens. It's not the money, but the time that I regret losing when I buy a bad book. I keep reading a bad book, hoping that it will click, and then look back with regret about the lost time if it doesn't. The regret is never of such intensity that I feel like seeking revenge on the author by writing a negative review. "F" it. Life's too short.

Thanks for the opportunity to rant. I'm off, back to self-promotion of Rarity from the Hollow, but I'd rather be reading. I should go to the woods for fun because it's such a pretty day here, probably one of the last for the season. Take care everybody and good luck.

Maybe I just missed my nap or something, but this is just...wow...really?

Offline geronl

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #60 on: November 14, 2015, 12:55:30 PM »
I try to post positive reviews, although I might mention some things in the story I did not like.

Floyd Looney

Offline dianapersaud

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #61 on: November 14, 2015, 06:57:19 PM »
Question: If someone borrows a book and leaves a review, does it show up as "verified purchased" or is it blank?


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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #62 on: November 14, 2015, 07:06:42 PM »
Question: If someone borrows a book and leaves a review, does it show up as "verified purchased" or is it blank?


No, borrow reviews do not show as verified, only purchased. KU, KOLL, lending library, none of those show verified.

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Offline TonyWrites

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #63 on: November 14, 2015, 07:18:55 PM »
I write book reviews on Amazon on occasion, but I mostly concentrate on Goodreads now.
I will not ever attempt to game the system by purchasing a review for a book I published.  That is just plain cheating.

"Shadow of the Indianapolis", by Tony Held". "Editor's Choice" for Issue #1 of "The Remnant Leaf":
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Offline Bards and Sages (Julie)

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #64 on: November 16, 2015, 06:20:50 AM »
Julie, I have to comment on what you said before though about a review talking more about the author than the book - this can happen when readers snap up every book you write and also often interact with you on your facebook page etc. These readers are likely to mention you by name in a review and might even centre their review around how much they like your books.

And if it is a popular author with a known fan base, you are 100% correct. But when you see those sort of reviews on a book from a brand new author with zero web presence, you should consider it a red flag.

As I always say, everything is about context. Context matters. Context always matters. If someone posts a fangirl review on a book from a well-known author, chances are it is a fangirl review. If someone posts a fangirl review on a book just published yesterday by an author who nobody has every heard of...well...

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Offline GhostGirlWriter

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #65 on: November 16, 2015, 07:03:52 AM »
IBTL!

I suspect most of the really short reviews are because of the reader being prompted to leave reviews. They probably don't really even think about it, just pop in to review with the least amount of effort.

THIS. I'm seeing a lot of short reviews now and I suspect it's because of the prompts.

I review a fair amount and my reviews are usually 4 or 5 stars and pretty short. I'm just not very creative when it comes to reviewing and I like most of the books I read.

Offline Mark E. Cooper

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #66 on: November 16, 2015, 07:15:12 AM »
How did you get your ARC team to work? I read a post from you (don't remember when you made it), where you stated you gave away 100 copies and only 5 people followed through. Very interested in this.

I remember that one. My list is 10 times bigger now, and so 5% is a bigger number. It's a bit like the way mailing list opens are 50% and 25% click. It's a numbers game. Give enough arcs away and reviews add up. Also, a new series gets almost no reviews, but say book 6 of a much loved series gets tons, and quickly too.

Offline Alastair McDermott

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #67 on: November 16, 2015, 11:01:33 AM »
I think genuine, unsolicited "average reader" reviews are far more likely to be shorter rather than longer.

Because:

a) Average readers just don't leave reviews in most circumstances. The stats here are suggesting that in a best case scenario 1 in 100 (1%) of book buyers leaves a review, going down to 1 in 10,000 or less (0.01%).

b) Reviews are crucial to sales for human and algorithmic reasons.

Three ways authors can deal with this are:

  • Unethical authors just straight up pay for guaranteed positive reviews from people on fiverr etc.
  • Other will hustle hard to find pro and semi-pro reviewers, emailing bloggers, asking on twitter, buying "book tours", desperately trying to compete with those who bought reviews, while trying not compromising their own ethics, wondering if ARC copies are bribes, and if they do cross-promotional reviews with another author, is that fair game (IMO, no, both are too likely to be positive due to human nature).
  • Many will give up on active attempts, give up, just hoping reviews will come in - not a good strategy,  see (a) above.

In order for Amazon to get more genuine, unsolicited "average reader" reviews for (b), they'll need to more aggressively push for readers to review books, particularly on the device post-reading.

It follows that these will be shorter due to the device, and less helpful as these reviewers aren't reviewing from the same point of view as the pro and semi-pro book reviewers.

Add to this that people usually prefer to review - or even finish - only those books that they like, and we should be seeing a trend toward short, positive reviews.

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #68 on: November 16, 2015, 11:44:46 AM »
You do NOT want me to write reviews from my device, trust me, you do not. My device is the Voyage. If you ever seen my futile attempts at typing anything readable from my phone, you'd never ask me to do that.  :P

Seriously, if more readers like me did that and there'd be oh shocker some spell errors in there and we happened to not give a glowing 5, we'd be accused of being: *insert any name such reviewers have been called here in the past.

Also, the more I get pushed, the less likely I am going to do something. Just look at some of the reviews from folks that get the reminder emails from amazon. Some folks do not respond well to what they perceive as some pressure.

I am one reader that actively looks for what I call regular reviews on a book. Now a known author, its not as important. But for new reads, the more blog, arc, street team, fellow authors, etc type reviews there are on a book, the less likely I am to pick it up. Its amazing how many new authors, never heard from before come out the gate with 100's of glowing reviews. And most of them are ARC's, as they are required to specify. Many don't specify anymore, but I can still spot them from a mile away. Again, new unknown author with no history.
I sometimes wonder if some of these authors confuse the term arc with paid reviews. Who knows.

I fully expect to see a lot of these arc reviews with established authors, especially in the romance genres. Many want to read everything an author they like wrote, makes sense. But even then for me as a reader, I scroll by those. They have no meaning to me. They will be biased of course to the author they love. If they start not giving higher starred reviews, they might not get any more arcs in the future.
Nothing wrong with that, just not useful to me.

At this point I don't even look much at any of those reviews anymore. I go straight to goodreads and there I can see the reviews and ratings of those people I follow/friend. I don't even have to scroll further down. If the book hasn't been at least looked at by some of the folks I follow, I tend to not bother anymore. I think I just got tired after a while trying to sift through the walls of rah rah with new reads. To many disappointments so trust is hard to come by.

I don't bother reviewing much anymore myself. I used to, but again and again I have to read some of the comments all over about reviewers and we don't do this or that, not long enough, not short enough, not technical enough, what else did we buy on amazon and we must be some lonely cat lady and how dare we not love love this book. Not target audience, not intelligent enough to grasp this book, fangirly, not "getting" it, etc.

I just lost the heart to review. I just did. I rather just read.

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Offline 555aaa

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #69 on: November 16, 2015, 12:07:24 PM »

At this point I don't even look much at any of those reviews anymore. I go straight to goodreads and there I can see the reviews and ratings of those people I follow/friend. I don't even have to scroll further down. If the book hasn't been at least looked at by some of the folks I follow, I tend to not bother anymore. I think I just got tired after a while trying to sift through the walls of rah rah with new reads. To many disappointments so trust is hard to come by.

I just lost the heart to review. I just did. I rather just read.

I agree completely. The Amazon ones are worthless for books.  They're trying to shoehorn something that works well for toasters into something that works for art. I think most people can agree on what they want in a toaster, and no one's going to distribute 10,000 free toasters looking for Amazon reviews. I can hire a sweatshop to write fake toaster reviews (which is probably where most of the reviewer crackdown is happening) but at least there's some objective standard that we can all agree that we want our toasters to do. 

So now I have to go off and find out what is the average star rating for toasters. Dang! I'll report back if I can figure it out.



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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #70 on: November 16, 2015, 12:14:26 PM »
My longer reviews tend to come from people who have received a free review copy. I get a few shorter ones from readers who have purchased copies and, probably, read the plea at the back. Hopefully I don't have enough reviews as yet to be accused of "buying" them. Like others, I think short reviews are fairly common due to the awkwardness of typing on a Kindle. My latest just said "An OK book" and gave it four stars. I was happy with that.
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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #71 on: November 16, 2015, 12:34:15 PM »
My longer reviews tend to come from people who have received a free review copy. I get a few shorter ones from readers who have purchased copies and, probably, read the plea at the back. Hopefully I don't have enough reviews as yet to be accused of "buying" them. Like others, I think short reviews are fairly common due to the awkwardness of typing on a Kindle. My latest just said "An OK book" and gave it four stars. I was happy with that.
I guess my question here would be, if the review had said, "I didn't like it much" and it was a 2 star, would you have been happy with it then either. I mean happy in the sense to just get a review. I just often get the sense that higher rated reviews do not get the scrutiny by authors as the lower starred ones do. If you know what I mean.

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #72 on: November 16, 2015, 01:06:45 PM »
OK so here is the deal on toasters.

I pulled the top 70 selling toasters on the US site.

The average review is 4.01, the max is 5 stars, min is 2.5, std deviation is 0.21. Then I plotted avg star ranking vs number of reviews and lo and behold there's also a small negative correlation. So in toasters, you're average review is better when there are fewer reviewers. There doesn't seem to be a relationship between average star rating and sales rank in toasters or in the search relevancy score (which is not in order of sales rank).

But I did find this...

http://www.amazon.com/Pangea-Brands-TSTE-SRW-VAD-Darth-Toaster/dp/B00JFFH1NA
and this
http://www.amazon.com/Vandor-54017-Stormtrooper-Pepper-Shakers/dp/B00I87161E
and this
http://www.amazon.com/R2-D2-Measuring-Exclusive-Officially-Licensed/dp/B00JS3GG6M
and ... this
http://www.amazon.com/Exclusive-Star-Death-Waffle-Maker/dp/B017DQCHRM

Guess who has his xmas list filled out.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2015, 01:08:17 PM by 555aaa »

Offline ADDavies

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #73 on: November 16, 2015, 03:10:48 PM »
I guess my question here would be, if the review had said, "I didn't like it much" and it was a 2 star, would you have been happy with it then either. I mean happy in the sense to just get a review. I just often get the sense that higher rated reviews do not get the scrutiny by authors as the lower starred ones do. If you know what I mean.

Ha ha, yes, I know what you mean. If it was two stars and the comment was "not very good" i'd have been annoyed at the lack of specifics. Contrary, right?
Adam Park #5 : 100%

Offline Sam Kates

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #74 on: November 16, 2015, 03:18:03 PM »
OK so here is the deal on toasters.

I pulled the top 70 selling toasters on the US site.

The average review is 4.01, the max is 5 stars, min is 2.5, std deviation is 0.21. Then I plotted avg star ranking vs number of reviews and lo and behold there's also a small negative correlation. So in toasters, you're average review is better when there are fewer reviewers. There doesn't seem to be a relationship between average star rating and sales rank in toasters or in the search relevancy score (which is not in order of sales rank).

But I did find this...

http://www.amazon.com/Pangea-Brands-TSTE-SRW-VAD-Darth-Toaster/dp/B00JFFH1NA
and this
http://www.amazon.com/Vandor-54017-Stormtrooper-Pepper-Shakers/dp/B00I87161E
and this
http://www.amazon.com/R2-D2-Measuring-Exclusive-Officially-Licensed/dp/B00JS3GG6M
and ... this
http://www.amazon.com/Exclusive-Star-Death-Waffle-Maker/dp/B017DQCHRM

Guess who has his xmas list filled out.

I so want the Darth toaster.
    
sam kates