Author Topic: 'I haven't read it yet... 3 Stars'  (Read 1376 times)  

Offline LeeMountford

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'I haven't read it yet... 3 Stars'
« on: September 12, 2017, 10:02:25 PM »
Apologies in advance but this is just a little rant to help me vent. Does anyone else feel like some people out there are just so stupid that they shouldn't be allowed to leave reviews?

I've recently received a 3 star review for my book Horror in the Woods. No big deal, right? I've gotten 3 stars and lower before, and will do again. But the content of his review is simply this: 'Sorry-I have not read it yet.'

WTF?!

Then why leave a review? It's a verified purchase so I know he bought it, just can't figure out the logic here. Stupidity? Trolling? I checked the reviewer out and he has done this with quite a few other books too (sometimes with 1 Star reviews).

I just can't get my head round it. Anyone had this before?

Not a big issue, granted, but when I saw it the idiocy of it it made me want to headbutt a wall!

Rant over... feel better now.  :)

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Offline Tilly

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Re: 'I haven't read it yet... 3 Stars'
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2017, 10:07:12 PM »
Some people do it because Amazon sends you annoying & nagging emails asking you to rate your purchases. I just deleted 2 today. Let it go. Readers can rate/review however they want and it's bad form to call out reviewers in public forums.

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Re: 'I haven't read it yet... 3 Stars'
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2017, 10:33:46 PM »
3 stars is a positive review and it makes writers look bad to attack the reviews.

I bet if it was 5 stars "I didn't read it" you wouldn't be complaining.
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Online Konolly

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Re: 'I haven't read it yet... 3 Stars'
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2017, 11:19:24 PM »
Yeah, it's because Amazon sends emails asking buyers to review whatever they've just bought - on some items they've sent me daily emails. It's also why you see people answering customer questions with 'I don't know, sorry' - people either review/answer to stop the emails or they take a request as an instruction.

Offline LeeMountford

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Re: 'I haven't read it yet... 3 Stars'
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2017, 11:33:18 PM »
Yeah, it's because Amazon sends emails asking buyers to review whatever they've just bought - on some items they've sent me daily emails. It's also why you see people answering customer questions with 'I don't know, sorry' - people either review/answer to stop the emails or they take a request as an instruction.

Thanks Konolly, I guess that makes sense. I just couldn't get my head round it lol.

Also, genuine apologies to all if the original post came off as mean, it was meant to be a bit of a tongue-in-cheek rant (hence he head-butting a wall thing). Clearly it didn't come off that way.

Herefortheride - I would have made the same thread even if it had been 5 Stars, honest. As I said, I'll get lots and lots of 3 Star reviews and below in the future. Many of them are a great way to learn. This just confused the hell out of me, and more so as other authors had been given 1 Star with the same feedback so it would actually hurt their average quite a bit.

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Offline C. Gold

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Re: 'I haven't read it yet... 3 Stars'
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2017, 11:34:16 PM »
Yeah, it's because Amazon sends emails asking buyers to review whatever they've just bought - on some items they've sent me daily emails. It's also why you see people answering customer questions with 'I don't know, sorry' - people either review/answer to stop the emails or they take a request as an instruction.
Boy is that true. Right now I have 890 unread emails from Amazon that got filtered into the Review folder, 1526 unread in Ads (basically authors I've followed), and only 69 in orders shipped. They love to send loads of mail. I love my filters so I don't see their loads of mail until I want to think about it.

Offline Doglover

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Re: 'I haven't read it yet... 3 Stars'
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2017, 11:49:05 PM »
I have seen it on other books, not mine, but they are usually accompanied by 1 stars, not 3, so you should be proud. Whenever anyone downloads a book, amazon sends out an email asking how you liked it. These usually go out before any normal person has had a chance to read the book, but there is a large percentage of the population which think there is someone, some actual living being, working at Amazon and just waiting for their reply. The unfortunate thing is that they never seem to change their idiotic reviews when they have read it.

It is high time Amazon stopped allowing these types of reviews. I mean, they never post a review straight away; they always say they are reviewing it, so how come they let these through. Their terms say the review is supposed to be about the book, yet we see loads that say they couldn't download it or they never received it; I even saw one which said the packaging was bad (about an e-book?)

I'm afraid if you are going to publish, you have learn to ignore the great unwashed.


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Offline Ann in Arlington

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Re: 'I haven't read it yet... 3 Stars'
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2017, 04:29:04 AM »
Wish I could say I was surprised by some of the language used toward readers/customers here: "just so stupid", "idiocy", "great unwashed"  :( :(

I get that it's annoying when some one leaves a review that is not really a review of the book. :( I don't get calling the person who left the review names, or generalizing negatively about reviewers as a group. Doesn't seem to me that's a good way to win friends and influence people. ;)

There's a thread elsewhere in the Cafe about how counter productive it is for people who want editing work to write to you about how badly your book needs editing. Also: not going to inspire people to leave reviews by talking about how stupid reviewers are.

Bottom line: on a public forum on the internet, you never know who's reading, so don't say something you wouldn't like published in 7 foot high letters on a highway billboard. :)

Trust your readers/prospective customers who see that review to accord it exactly the weight it deserves.


Separate issue: Note, this doesn't fix the problem of your reviewers responding to requests, but if you, as an Amazon customer, don't want to get all the emails you get, here's how you may be able to shut most of them off: Go to Your Account, specifically the section called 'email alerts, messages, ads'. You can turn all sorts of things on or off via the links there. :) I don't get requests from amazon to review stuff, and I finish at least a book a week, not to mention the other stuff I buy from the Zon.


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Offline Colin

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Re: 'I haven't read it yet... 3 Stars'
« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2017, 04:57:42 AM »

I get that it's annoying when some one leaves a review that is not really a review of the book. :( I don't get calling the person who left the review names, or generalizing negatively about reviewers as a group. Doesn't seem to me that's a good way to win friends and influence people. ;)


You nailed it.


Offline BigBadBug

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Re: 'I haven't read it yet... 3 Stars'
« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2017, 05:20:02 AM »
The most annoying ones I've had recently were by the same bozo who gave me 1-star reviews on two of my non-fiction automotive books. The reviews had absolutely nothing to do with my books or me; i.e., they were directed against Jeff Bezos and Amazon. They both read, "Jeff Bezos get your butt out of politics." Argh. I've appealed to Amazon to remove these two reviews, but no dice. Argh argh.

Offline David Brian

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Re: 'I haven't read it yet... 3 Stars'
« Reply #10 on: September 13, 2017, 05:29:41 AM »


I get that it's annoying when some one leaves a review that is not really a review of the book. :( I don't get calling the person who left the review names, or generalizing negatively about reviewers as a group. Doesn't seem to me that's a good way to win friends and influence people. ;)



I agree with Ann. I got a one star for Carmilla: A Dark Fugue on Amazon UK, because, 'It's a vampire book.' Not exactly constructive, but not worth getting upset about either. Just let it go.


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Offline Doglover

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Re: 'I haven't read it yet... 3 Stars'
« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2017, 06:02:28 AM »
All I can say is that if whoever left the 'review' is reading this thread, they might actually realise that there isn't a little man who won't go to bed until he's had their reply and that they should leave reviewing a book until they have read it.


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Offline LilyBLily

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Re: 'I haven't read it yet... 3 Stars'
« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2017, 06:26:27 AM »
I don't care how many stars my books receive and I am thrilled if anyone buys, reads, or reviews my books. Full stop.

Remember, all this review stars angst is based on just one thing: if you want to advertise your books at a fire sale discount or free on newsletters. Those companies demand a certain rating. If you bypass that system and use other sorts of advertising, you do not have to care about the star-level of your reviews.

And it has been said here many times: Don't rant about readers in a public forum.

I'd also like to add, as a thread hijack, be careful about how snippy you are with your fellow authors. That can come back to bite you, too, if anyone reading thinks "what a jerk."

Offline archaeoroutes

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Re: 'I haven't read it yet... 3 Stars'
« Reply #13 on: September 13, 2017, 06:27:05 AM »
The most annoying ones I've had recently were by the same bozo who gave me 1-star reviews on two of my non-fiction automotive books. The reviews had absolutely nothing to do with my books or me; i.e., they were directed against Jeff Bezos and Amazon. They both read, "Jeff Bezos get your butt out of politics." Argh. I've appealed to Amazon to remove these two reviews, but no dice. Argh argh.
Surprised they haven't removed these ones. They jumped on Clinton/Trump ones pretty quickly.

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Offline LilyBLily

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Re: 'I haven't read it yet... 3 Stars'
« Reply #14 on: September 13, 2017, 06:43:47 AM »
Surprised they haven't removed these ones. They jumped on Clinton/Trump ones pretty quickly.

Maybe it's Amazon employees having their say...

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Re: 'I haven't read it yet... 3 Stars'
« Reply #15 on: September 13, 2017, 06:46:06 AM »
I've seen reviews of books that say things along the lines of "this product arrived on time," or "I never got the item I ordered... one star."  In other words, they're reviewing the SERVICE of Amazon, and not the book.  This is fine if they get great, fast service, but if for some reason something is screwed up, your book will get a terrible rating for something that's NOT related to the book at all.
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Offline Doglover

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Re: 'I haven't read it yet... 3 Stars'
« Reply #16 on: September 13, 2017, 06:55:01 AM »
The ones I like best are the one stars that say something along the lines of 'best book I've ever read'. I think they have the star rating the wrong way round.


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Offline LeeMountford

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Re: 'I haven't read it yet... 3 Stars'
« Reply #17 on: September 13, 2017, 06:55:41 AM »


But, again, apologies to everyone who took issue with the tone of the original post. This being a board used by authors where, lets face it, venting is quite common, I thought it was a little bit of tongue in cheek fun that was well within the wheelhouse of what goes on here. If the tone was off on what was intended, then I am genuinely sorry.

I am of course grateful for everyone who takes a chance on a book of mine. Hell, I appreciate all reviews, and the negative ones have been the most helpful to me. It just makes more sense to me to have read the book you are reviewing  :)
« Last Edit: September 13, 2017, 08:08:50 AM by Ann in Arlington »

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Online Bill Hiatt

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Re: 'I haven't read it yet... 3 Stars'
« Reply #18 on: September 13, 2017, 07:33:54 AM »
Yes, it is bad form to call out a specific reviewer. I don't think there's anything wrong with general observations about reviews.

In that spirit, ideally a review should be something of value to potential customers deciding whether or not to buy the book. That is what reviews are for, after all. Reviews in which the reviewer admits to not having read the book or makes comments completely irrelevant to the book (the latter being a violation of the review guidelines) shouldn't be allowed. They are just extra clutter on the product page.

Discerning customers will naturally recognize such reviews for what they are and weigh them accordingly. However, not everyone reads the reviews; some people just look at the star count. Even customers who do read reviews don't necessarily read all of them.

When I'm writing a review, I always think about how helpful it will be to someone weighing whether or not to buy an item.



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Re: 'I haven't read it yet... 3 Stars'
« Reply #19 on: September 13, 2017, 07:45:53 AM »
If the question is about human intelligence, the answer is half the population has an IQ of less than 100, and that probably applies to the sub population of Amazon readers.


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Re: 'I haven't read it yet... 3 Stars'
« Reply #20 on: September 13, 2017, 07:56:40 AM »
I have grown to conclude that reviews mean nothing. However, I do beg for them at the end of my books - even 1-stars.

A good, critical 1-star can be a learning experience.

Reviews? Blah. Returns? There's where I have to wonder and I wish the return system was more specific feedback to the author.

Offline xprettyguardianx

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Re: 'I haven't read it yet... 3 Stars'
« Reply #21 on: September 13, 2017, 08:40:15 AM »
I've seen reviews of books that say things along the lines of "this product arrived on time," or "I never got the item I ordered... one star."  In other words, they're reviewing the SERVICE of Amazon, and not the book.  This is fine if they get great, fast service, but if for some reason something is screwed up, your book will get a terrible rating for something that's NOT related to the book at all.

This is one that always surprises me. Not just with books but with many products. I usually enjoy reading the negative reviews too because they'll often tell me things like "Color was brighter than I expected" on a dress and I'll be like "Cool, I want a bright color" and that actually translates to a positive for me. What I hate when I look at a review is when it's stuff like "Product arrived broken" or "Product did not arrive on time" or in other words they are not actually reviewing the product, they are commenting on the service of Amazon or something else. As a frequent Amazon user (I'm on their site daily for SOMETHING) I would sincerely appreciate if they did a better job of filtering those types of reviews because they aren't beneficial to buyers or sellers.

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Re: 'I haven't read it yet... 3 Stars'
« Reply #22 on: September 13, 2017, 08:52:02 AM »
What I hate when I look at a review is when it's stuff like "Product arrived broken" or "Product did not arrive on time" or in other words they are not actually reviewing the product, they are commenting on the service of Amazon or something else. As a frequent Amazon user (I'm on their site daily for SOMETHING) I would sincerely appreciate if they did a better job of filtering those types of reviews because they aren't beneficial to buyers or sellers.

Ratings for movies on Amazon are almost worthless because of this. Almost every other one is something like, "Wouldn't play", "video choppy", "Lost connection", etc. Reviews that comment on the actual film are a rarity.

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Offline Becca Mills

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Re: 'I haven't read it yet... 3 Stars'
« Reply #23 on: September 13, 2017, 09:05:58 AM »
It sure would be an easy fix for Amazon to add the introductory clause "If you have read it, ..." to their review-request emails. Even something more vague could help, if they don't want to have to distinguish books from other products in those automated emails. How about, "If you've had a chance to use this product, ... ." That alone would help give people the sense that it's okay not to review that instant, even though they've gotten an email inviting them to review. I'm surprised Amazon hasn't made a quick and easy improvement like that. I know they want their product reviews to be of high value to shoppers.




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Re: 'I haven't read it yet... 3 Stars'
« Reply #24 on: September 13, 2017, 09:20:45 AM »
It sure would be an easy fix for Amazon to add the introductory clause "If you have read it, ..." to their review-request emails. Even something more vague could help, if they don't want to have to distinguish books from other products in those automated emails. How about, "If you've had a chance to use this product, ... ." That alone would help give people the sense that it's okay not to review that instant, even though they've gotten an email inviting them to review. I'm surprised Amazon hasn't made a quick and easy improvement like that. I know they want their product reviews to be of high value to shoppers.

I think that would be really helpful, as well as clause asking you to answer a customer question only if you know the answer. I recently asked about the suitability of a particular meditation cushion for a 5'3 person and someone replied to say they didn't know because they are 6'3 - it's nice of them to answer but it really was a total waste of their time!