Author Topic: authors who purchase reviews  (Read 14897 times)  

Offline thevoiceofone

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authors who purchase reviews
« on: November 12, 2015, 06:30:37 PM »
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.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2015, 06:34:37 PM by kalel »

Offline TheForeverGirlSeries

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2015, 06:35:19 PM »
I have a rule that if I can't give 4-5 stars, I email the author my review instead of posting it.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2015, 01:30:04 AM by TheForeverGirlSeries »

Online katherinef

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2015, 06:47:51 PM »
I have a bunch of short 5-star reviews that people just copy paste to every single book they pick up. And yes, there are people who 5-star everything or don't want to leave any other kind of reviews. I assume paid ones would at least be a bit longer. Actually, last time I checked a book that had what looked like paid reviews, they were all very long, but they had similar phrasing and almost ridiculous compliments for the author.  ;D
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Offline T.K.

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2015, 07:04:45 PM »
I've left my share of reviews and most of them (if not all) are 4 or 5 stars simply because if I don't like a book I don't finish reading it. If I finish a book it means I actually really like it and post a review stating such. (Unlike my daughter who finishes everything she starts because she feels she must. In fact, when I see her with a book in one hand and a red pen in the other I know she's editing the book at the same time! :D)

Online Usedtoposthere

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2015, 08:16:49 PM »
I have a bunch of short 5-star reviews that people just copy paste to every single book they pick up. And yes, there are people who 5-star everything or don't want to leave any other kind of reviews. I assume paid ones would at least be a bit longer. Actually, last time I checked a book that had what looked like paid reviews, they were all very long, but they had similar phrasing and almost ridiculous compliments for the author.  ;D
I've been accused of this twice. It was very upsetting in both cases. Once for hundreds of short reviews showing up fast (I'd sold a lot of books), once for too many long, super-enthusiastic reviews showing up fast (early readers loved that book). I know Amazon has filed suit against hundreds of people on Fiverr who sold fake reviews, and I am glad of it. But meanwhile, I wouldn't go accusing authors. If you have doubts, I'd go look on Goodreads. Typically, ratings are about .5 stars lower than on Amazon. If there are a lot of ratings (enough to be significant), and the average is WAY lower than on Amazon, like over 1 star's worth, I'd guess there could be something fishy.

Or, you know, you could shrug and not bother, because it's not really your problem and there's no real way to know.


« Last Edit: November 12, 2015, 08:35:16 PM by Rosalind James »

Offline HSh

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2015, 08:21:49 PM »
Well, I've never bought a review and some of mine are (authentically) really short.  And not always positive... 

Sometimes reviews are short because the Kindles now prompt you to leave a review after finishing.  (At least mine do?)  And it's hard to type much on a Kindle, IMO.   :(

It's also really hard to get reviews lately, I think...  Or is that just me?   :'(

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2015, 08:42:36 PM »
I review books that I love. If I don't love them, I don't review them. I'm sure I'm not the only person on earth who does this.

I have some reviews from people who tend to do only five- or four-star ratings, and I sure as heck didn't pay for them (or even ask for them).

ETA: I also have a couple of reviews written by people who had never reviewed a book on Amazon before. Things are not always as they seem when viewed by cynical eyes.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2015, 09:18:40 PM by Nimrodish »

Offline suliabryon

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2015, 08:48:24 PM »
I review books that I love. If I don't love them, I don't review them. I'm sure I'm not the only person on earth who does this.

I have some reviews from people who tend to do only five- or four-star ratings, and I sure as heck didn't pay for them (or even ask for them).

This. I have never left less than a 4 star review, usually I leave 5 star reviews. If it's an item, like a kitchen pan that didn't perform well, I'll leave a low rating and let people know. But as a writer, I know how personal our words are. I'm not interested in leaving a review that will hurt someone just because a book didn't work for me. I review books when I love them enough that I want to let the author (and others) know.

Offline Silly Writer

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2015, 09:05:18 PM »
I have A LOT of reviews that I've left, as I read about 2-3 books a week, and out of lots of pages of reviews, they're all 5 star, except for maybe four or five and most of those are 4-star.

So the reviews I leave are 99% 5 stars. Why? Well, I'm an author. I know how bad it hurts us to get a bad review. I refuse to do that to my tribe. If I don't like the book, I keep it to myself. Just like in real life if I have nothing nice to say, I try to say nothing at all.  That's just my personal feelings on it, and I completely understand readers need those low reviews (if they're warranted) so they can make a choice to buy or not. But as an author, I just can't leave them.

Regarding reviews on my own work. I have a crapload of REALLY long reviews. Usually from bloggers who received ARC's, and a crapload of short reviews. I assume those are the ones that Amazon prompts cuz some will say something like, "It was good." Or "Didn't like it." If I look at the other reviews that person left, they are much the same, because that is how that person reviews.

Nothing nefarious about that, however, if I can see how someone might think they're not real. But...they are  ;D 
« Last Edit: November 12, 2015, 09:13:46 PM by Smokie »

Offline DarkarNights

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2015, 09:11:20 PM »
Amazon already brought the hammer down, which was discussed heavily here. Is the OP even an author? What is even the purpose of this post that doesn't even consider the variables of reality in that most normal people only review what they truly enjoy or truly hate. That's human nature. And begin the countdown till thread locked. Lol
 

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Offline she-la-ti-da

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2015, 11:51:33 PM »
Amazon already brought the hammer down, which was discussed heavily here. Is the OP even an author? What is even the purpose of this post that doesn't even consider the variables of reality in that most normal people only review what they truly enjoy or truly hate. That's human nature. And begin the countdown till thread locked. Lol

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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.
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Offline TheForeverGirlSeries

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2015, 01:36:08 AM »
But as an author, I just can't leave them.

This is how I feel, too. And I'm an amazon top 500 reviewer, so I've posted a LOT of reviews. For me, I just don't think it's MY place to post to negative reviews. Yes, customers deserve to read them, but as a writer, I'm going to be more biased. I'm going to have thoughts on how I would have written it differently--which is not helpful to a reader. I'm going to notice more small mistakes that don't actually detract from the story--which is not helpful to a reader. Etc. And even if I could post a negative review that might be helpful to a reader, I risk people thinking I'm trying to "sabotage the competition" or whatever else. It's not worth it. On the other hand, posting 4 and 5 star reviews IS worth it, because there's nothing wrong with giving praise where it's due. I'll let other reviewers handle the negative reviews. For me, it's just on what I like :)

Offline Betsy the Quilter

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #12 on: November 13, 2015, 04:42:11 AM »
Amazon already brought the hammer down, which was discussed heavily here. Is the OP even an author? What is even the purpose of this post that doesn't even consider the variables of reality in that most normal people only review what they truly enjoy or truly hate. That's human nature. And begin the countdown till thread locked. Lol

Kalel has been a member here for quite a while and is, as far as I know, an author.  That being said, I'm not sure what it has to do with the OP or Kalel's right to post in the Writers' Cafe.  ANY KBoards member may post in the Writers' Cafe.

Let's continue to keep it civil so that the thread doesn't have to be locked.  And let's not predict threadlock; those kinds of comments tend to encourage bad behavior. 

For everyone,

If the topic interests you (generic you), and you can respond civilly (as has been the case so far), take part.  If not, move on.  Lots of other threads here.  Not every thread or post needs to be responded to (unless it's a request for help!)

ETA:  The above being said, let's also be careful about accusations of buying reviews.  A general discussion is OK--it's a known thing that Amazon is cracking down on.  But let's not get into specifics.

Thanks,

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« Last Edit: November 13, 2015, 05:03:33 AM by Betsy the Quilter »
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Offline Betsy the Quilter

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #13 on: November 13, 2015, 05:00:10 AM »
To comment on the OP, my reviews are typically short, I do a bunch on one day, and they're rarely five stars. (I reserve five stars for the best books I've ever read.)  I suppose someone could think I'm trying to hurt authors.

But I also know that Amazon sends out reminder emails to people to review things--and once you've reviewed one item, you typically get a list of a whole bunch of other things to review.  And some people may be using the Amazon reviews the same way some people use Goodreads--indicating their interest in reading the book or putting a placeholder rating in it.  And Amazon apparently is still requiring the 20 word minimum on reviews--at least a review I left recently had to be 20 words.  So people will leave just enough.

I look at the aggregate of reviews as one thing to consider when making purchases....

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Offline usedtocare

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #14 on: November 13, 2015, 05:27:22 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  Wrong. Plenty of people will only leave a review if they can give it five stars, for a MULTITUDE of reasons. I was one of those type of reviewers for a long time, simply because I would rather stay silent than say something negative. However, I have stopped writing reviews entirely, for a TON of reasons, all of which could be another discussion for another thread.

Then you have the reviewer who has 5 starred every book the writer has done LOL clear giveaway ( It screams fiverr)
No, you are making a sweeping assumption, and you can't possibly know that for sure. I can tell you I have many loyal readers who review every book I publish, and I consistently see the same reviewers leave positive reviews. They are my loyal readers, and I certainly did not find them on fiverr. So, no, that situation doesn't "scream" fiverr, especially to any author who had an established fan base. They are our super fans for a reason --  because they love our books and love to review.

I'm sure Amazon will bring the hammer down soon and I imagine number of accounts will be nuked badly.
Amazon does. Amazon has. Amazon is constantly on top of monitoring and removing reviews. That's nothing new.

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.
Wow. I wish I was that insightful. I don't have that sort of innate ability to know if a review is paid for by simply viewing a profile or reading a few words on a screen.

If reviews on books that are not yours bother you so much, simply report them to Amazon. Making sweeping generalizations and accusations, however, is likely to bring plenty of negative responses to your question. (If the OP was even a question, because it sounded more like a rant.)


Offline usedtocare

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #15 on: November 13, 2015, 05:29:15 AM »
And Amazon apparently is still requiring the 20 word minimum on reviews--at least a review I left recently had to be 20 words.  So people will leave just enough.

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?>

Offline Ann in Arlington

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #16 on: November 13, 2015, 05:37:43 AM »
I'll sometimes get a reminder about reviewing things . . . but I don't have to actually write anything . . . just click a star rating. For books, I can also note whether the writing is poor, fair, good, great, the level of sexual content and violence, and whether what the POV is -- which last is usually a problem because it's not something I notice unless it's so badly done that it distracts me.  There's a field for a comment, but I don't usually make one . . . . or if I do it's very short.

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Offline Betsy the Quilter

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #17 on: November 13, 2015, 05:42:47 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?>


Yeah, I thought they had changed it...but I definitely was prompted on a recent review that I had to write more words.  I'm pretty sure it was a book...now I'll have to check to see if it was a non-book product.

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Offline Betsy the Quilter

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #18 on: November 13, 2015, 05:44:22 AM »
I'll sometimes get a reminder about reviewing things . . . but I don't have to actually write anything . . . just click a star rating. For books, I can also note whether the writing is poor, fair, good, great, the level of sexual content and violence, and whether what the POV is -- which last is usually a problem because it's not something I notice unless it's so badly done that it distracts me.  There's a field for a comment, but I don't usually make one . . . . or if I do it's very short.

No, you don't have to write a review.  I generally do.

I haven't gotten one of those rating thingies lately...
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Offline countwordsmith

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #19 on: November 13, 2015, 05:52:39 AM »
Under one of my pen names, a reader copies and pastes a one sentence review for each of my books she reads. It looks so fake, but I've never paid for it. I don't know why she bothers, but she's faithful to do it. To me, saying the exact same thing every time wouldn't have any weight at all.

Offline ShaneJeffery

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #20 on: November 13, 2015, 05:52:58 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.

Kalel, your criteria for identifying authors who buy reviews is nothing short of terrible.

I know, because I haven't bought any reviews, but frequently I have reviewers who post very short reviews such as 'Loved it' or a couple sentences to that effect. I even have reviewers who write three or four lines rate the book five stars, and then post the same exact review on 30 other books. Yes it is disappointing to see that they didn't take the time to properly review the book, but it's even worse when you have people starting to accuse you of buying reviews over something someone else has done which you have no control over.

So, with respect, 'hilarious' it is NOT

Offline Bards and Sages (Julie)

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #21 on: November 13, 2015, 05:54:15 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

Actually, on Amazon a lot of people do. A great many people act as if everything between 1 star and 5 star doesn't even exist. Short reviews are not a sign of "paid" reviews per se, and neither are all 5 stars. Because Amazon hounds you about leaving reviews, so a lot of people will post a one sentence review simply to get Amazon off their back. Heck, I'VE done it after Amazon sending me multiple "reminders" to review a product.

I swear they stalk me.  :o

That said, you CAN often spot paid reviews, but it isn't the length or even the review rating that gives them away. Paid reviews tend to talk more about how great the AUTHOR is instead of how great the BOOK is. Lots of them will read like ad copy (because they are...often the author's write the review and the reviewer just posts them). Look for patterns in reviews that are all posted around the same time. People who buy reviews don't buy one or two. They tend to buy in bulk. All the reviews will tend to use the same "buzz words" and phrases. So look for patterns in the reviews themselves.


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Offline countwordsmith

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #22 on: November 13, 2015, 05:54:36 AM »

Yeah, I thought they had changed it...but I definitely was prompted on a recent review that I had to write more words.  I'm pretty sure it was a book...now I'll have to check to see if it was a non-book product.

Betsy

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Offline scott.marmorstein

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #23 on: November 13, 2015, 05:55:44 AM »
My first novel garnered a lot of reviews, and these were all people who knew me from my community that were just impressed I wrote a book. The second novel in the series didn't garner any reviews yet. As for Fivver I can see the appeal, I've looked at people saying they'll leave a review for $5, plus the cost or gift/credit amount towards your book. I wouldn't do it for a few reasons: 1, I think it's unethical--who knows if the person in question will *actually* read the book. 2. I'm essentially telling myself that I write just to get reviews, or that I can't handle bad ones. Pursuit has two 1 star reviews, one of those reviews is from someone I know personally. Never spoke to her about it and wouldn't bother--and I only ever commented on 1 review to let the reader know that the follow-up book *in an unrelated series* was available for pre-order, but that's a different story. 3. I feel sorry for the people who are scrounging around for loose change like $5 to write a review. I think there are more inventive and creative ways to make extra money--although it's got it's own charming imagination to it. Problem is I don't think it would ever pan out for anyone, least of all the reviewer who probably doesn't a.) care about you or your book, and b.) is only motivated by the prospect of your paying them for a review they'd probably never give you because they never would have heard of your book or you.

Trying to think if I have a last sentiment here. OH, yeah, THIS I agree with:

 
No, you are making a sweeping assumption, and you can't possibly know that for sure. I can tell you I have many loyal readers who review every book I publish, and I consistently see the same reviewers leave positive reviews. They are my loyal readers, and I certainly did not find them on fiverr. So, no, that situation doesn't "scream" fiverr, especially to any author who had an established fan base. They are our super fans for a reason --  because they love our books and love to review.
 Amazon does. Amazon has. Amazon is constantly on top of monitoring and removing reviews. That's nothing new.
 Wow. I wish I was that insightful. I don't have that sort of innate ability to know if a review is paid for by simply viewing a profile or reading a few words on a screen.

If reviews on books that are not yours bother you so much, simply report them to Amazon. Making sweeping generalizations and accusations, however, is likely to bring plenty of negative responses to your question. (If the OP was even a question, because it sounded more like a rant.)


« Last Edit: November 13, 2015, 06:00:16 AM by scott.marmorstein »
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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #24 on: November 13, 2015, 06:04:31 AM »
I've never bought a review  in my life and never will. I think the John Locke debacle a few years back is a great reason not to, and it's just feels all kinds of wrong besides. I don't even like the trad pubs doing it with "reputable" paid reviews such as Kirkus.

Having said all this, I see tons of authors, me included, with short 4 and 5 star reviews, and I know where they come from. Mailing list launches. When I launch a new title via mailing list, the beta readers, the arc list, and my mailing list tend to review very quickly after launch because they have already read the book days/weeks before.

Anyway, that's what I think.