Author Topic: Have your Amazon review numbers gone stagnant?  (Read 3014 times)  

Offline BVLawson

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Have your Amazon review numbers gone stagnant?
« on: February 11, 2018, 11:28:26 AM »
I have four novels in one mystery series, and despite sales, the review numbers have stayed exactly the same for the past several months - even after a Bookbub in December! Meanwhile, over on Goodreads, reviews have doubled (and have 2-5 times as many reviews there as on the 'Zon). I know Amazon is culling reviews right and left, but what could account for a zero increase in the number of reviews on the Amazon book pages? I could hit up my newsletter folks and ask those who have bought the books to add their reviews to Amazon, but I hate to do that - I prefer the reviewers to do so on their terms, not when browbeaten by the author.


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Offline Catherine Lea

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Re: Have your Amazon review numbers gone stagnant?
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2018, 11:31:29 AM »
I have four novels in one mystery series, and despite sales, the review numbers have stayed exactly the same for the past several months - even after a Bookbub in December! Meanwhile, over on Goodreads, reviews have doubled (and have 2-5 times as many reviews there as on the 'Zon). I know Amazon is culling reviews right and left, but what could account for a zero increase in the number of reviews on the Amazon book pages? I could hit up my newsletter folks and ask those who have bought the books to add their reviews to Amazon, but I hate to do that - I prefer the reviewers to do so on their terms, not when browbeaten by the author.
Same. Mine have gone backwards in the past couple of months. Books selling but no reviews.


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Re: Have your Amazon review numbers gone stagnant?
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2018, 11:36:13 AM »
I've sold 93 in the last 14 days of a new release and don't have any reviews. Which I'm a bit surprised at.

Offline lyndabelle

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Re: Have your Amazon review numbers gone stagnant?
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2018, 01:16:55 PM »
I'm having similar problems, with low Amazon reviews and higher on Goodreads. But I think I know why.

When you finish a book on Kindle, it gives you the option to rate it in a review. My Kindle is tied to my Goodreads account. So, I can rate in stars what I think of the book. That gets a review on Goodreads, and I usually add a written review sometimes. It doesn't automatically go to Amazon. Plus, with all the take downs of reviews, I haven't been as diligent reviewing on Amazon.

But that's just my theory. There could be more involved too.  ;)

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Re: Have your Amazon review numbers gone stagnant?
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2018, 01:27:33 PM »
For the discrepancy, any site that allows a starred review without writing any text is going to have a larger collection of ratings, so Amazon showing fewer than Goodreads makes sense. Likewise with audiobooks. I've sold slightly more audio editions of The Spaceship Next Door than ebooks on Amazon, but there are only 422 reviews on Amazon, and over 4200 on Audible.

As for the lack of new reviews, I think I've seen the same thing, and I don't know how to explain it either.

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Re: Have your Amazon review numbers gone stagnant?
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2018, 01:49:24 PM »
My review rates slowed down quite a long time ago. My most recent release has sold several thousand copies but has 12 reviews on Amazon US last time I looked. I always attributed it to the fact that I don't solicit reviews. Or maybe people are just sick of reviewing my books. Who knows?

Offline Cassie Leigh

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Re: Have your Amazon review numbers gone stagnant?
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2018, 01:53:20 PM »
I've never had a ton of reviews on my titles, but I've seen new reviews across four or five of my pen names in the last six weeks or so. But two of those had a Freebooksy which always seems to generate a few reviews on Amazon and more on Goodreads and I had a Bookbub on one of the others which also seems to generate a couple new reviews each time. Not talking huge numbers here. One or two per title across maybe half a dozen titles.


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Offline My Dog's Servant

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Re: Have your Amazon review numbers gone stagnant?
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2018, 02:17:09 PM »
Whew! I thought it was just me. I had a new book out in November and sales have been picking up nicely for the whole series ever since....yet reviews for the new book have been virtually nonexistent, while reviews for the other books, which had been added to steadily over the past year at mostly 5s and a few 4s, nothing lower, seem to have stopped entirely. No idea why. Actually, no idea why the steady increase in sales other than maybe the series is beginning to reach that critical mass of titles to give it that extra boost. But reviews? No idea. Nice to know I'm not the only one. Thanks, OP, for asking!

Offline BVLawson

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Re: Have your Amazon review numbers gone stagnant?
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2018, 03:25:05 PM »
Thanks to you, too, "Servant" and to all the rest of you fine folks for chiming in. I was fairly certain I couldn't be alone in this problem, but I wanted to see for certain. 

It could also be due to the fact more readers are becoming fearful their reviews on Amazon are going to be removed, so why bother going to the trouble. I hate to think that's the case, but could you blame them?


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Offline Avis Black

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Re: Have your Amazon review numbers gone stagnant?
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2018, 03:33:06 PM »
I'm having similar problems, with low Amazon reviews and higher on Goodreads. But I think I know why.

When you finish a book on Kindle, it gives you the option to rate it in a review. My Kindle is tied to my Goodreads account. So, I can rate in stars what I think of the book. That gets a review on Goodreads, and I usually add a written review sometimes. It doesn't automatically go to Amazon. Plus, with all the take downs of reviews, I haven't been as diligent reviewing on Amazon.

But that's just my theory. There could be more involved too.  ;)

If Amazon intends to use Goodreads as the base for their own Bookbub-type discount sales platform, then trying to shift readers' reviews over to Goodreads makes sense from Amazon's perspective. 


Offline leahmurray

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Re: Have your Amazon review numbers gone stagnant?
« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2018, 04:17:01 PM »
I've noticed that as soon as I finish a book on the kindle they ask me to rate it and that rating goes to Goodreads not Amazon. New strategy for them to combat spammers maybe?

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Offline gilesxbecker

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Re: Have your Amazon review numbers gone stagnant?
« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2018, 04:27:43 PM »
Do you mean rate (give stars) to your own book?

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Offline Norman Steele Taylor

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Re: Have your Amazon review numbers gone stagnant?
« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2018, 04:43:17 PM »
I've noticed that as soon as I finish a book on the kindle they ask me to rate it and that rating goes to Goodreads not Amazon. New strategy for them to combat spammers maybe?

Whoa! This is a new development. Anyone else have the same experience?

If so, wouldn't this impact book sales since social proof is missing?


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Re: Have your Amazon review numbers gone stagnant?
« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2018, 04:51:58 PM »
I noticed this phenomenon on my older titles.  When I promo them, I can usually count on picking up a handful of reviews, but not for the last several months.  My latest publication (an omnibus edition), however, has been picking up reviews at a regular rate.  So... I have no idea.

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Offline leahmurray

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Re: Have your Amazon review numbers gone stagnant?
« Reply #14 on: February 11, 2018, 05:03:36 PM »
No just any book I've read! I only noticed because someone told me about it...

It does raise the question of how new books will get any social proof on Amazon, but I think it would be harder to scam that sort of process though?

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Offline gilesxbecker

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Re: Have your Amazon review numbers gone stagnant?
« Reply #15 on: February 11, 2018, 05:06:52 PM »
I've sold 93 in the last 14 days of a new release and don't have any reviews. Which I'm a bit surprised at.

Right. My situation too. Also weirdly enough I have 23 people "currently reading" it on Goodreads but it has been the same for about an entire month. How can you "currently read" something for an entire month without giving it a review or just stars or just quit? 

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Re: Have your Amazon review numbers gone stagnant?
« Reply #16 on: February 11, 2018, 05:14:01 PM »
No just any book I've read! I only noticed because someone told me about it...

It does raise the question of how new books will get any social proof on Amazon, but I think it would be harder to scam that sort of process though?

Why would it be harder to scam? We've seen photos of actual humans turning multiple pages. So they get their rows all finished and at the end they rate it 5 stars. What's to stop them? As for bots turning the pages, surely someone is clever enough to have come up with a macro for the rating page?

Offline leahmurray

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Re: Have your Amazon review numbers gone stagnant?
« Reply #17 on: February 11, 2018, 05:51:30 PM »
Sorry I can't work out how to reply to individual posts? Newbie here ...

As to why it would be harder to scam well if you link an individual book to an individual kindle then from Amazon's viewpoint you could at least have them buy more kindles so it makes it more expensive for them!?! A bot could only scam one book on one kindle? Does that make sense? Honestly though, I'm not sure how it works or what the purpose of the Goodreads thing is.

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Re: Have your Amazon review numbers gone stagnant?
« Reply #18 on: February 11, 2018, 05:54:08 PM »
Sorry I can't work out how to reply to individual posts? Newbie here ...

As to why it would be harder to scam well if you link an individual book to an individual kindle then from Amazon's viewpoint you could at least have them buy more kindles so it makes it more expensive for them!?! A bot could only scam one book on one kindle? Does that make sense? Honestly though, I'm not sure how it works or what the purpose of the Goodreads thing is.

To reply to an individual poster, click on the "Quote" button at the top right of the post in question.  It'll open up the message box and put the original post at the top.
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Re: Have your Amazon review numbers gone stagnant?
« Reply #19 on: February 11, 2018, 07:31:20 PM »
Bots aren't the only scamming method for KU. Aw, who cares, anyway?

I went and checked my Goodreads ratings. Never really looked before. I can't make much sense of the ratings since it's well known some people use 1-stars on Goodreads to remind themselves they plan to read a book, and for all I know, individuals may rank books they want to read by stars to indicate their intentions to read certain ones first.

I do agree that I'm not seeing much growth in organic reviews, but that holds for both Goodreads and Amazon. So, no answers here.

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Re: Have your Amazon review numbers gone stagnant?
« Reply #20 on: February 11, 2018, 07:40:55 PM »
Same here. I lost three reviews a couple of weeks ago on The Viking, which left the number at 666. It's funny...I guess. Other than that I haven't gotten but maybe one or two new reviews in weeks. I haven't checked on Goodreads.
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Offline Rod Little

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Re: Have your Amazon review numbers gone stagnant?
« Reply #21 on: February 11, 2018, 07:46:28 PM »
Many people are intimidated by the long reviews already left, and they don't want to write a big thesis. Amazon does not allow you to leave "only stars" and requires you to write something. Many people don't realize they could just write 3 words: I liked it (or I didn't like it), and the stars. Many people assume they need to write an in-depth critique (so they simply skip it and don't leave a review).

Add to that the fact that you must spend $50 on Amazon ... and you've killed off the Amazon reviews vs. Goodreads and other platforms. I got a nice email from a kid who said he loved my books, but can't leave a review because he's only spent $38 on Amazon books. Nothing anyone can do about that. (Meanwhile some person who spends $50 can leave reviews for books he/she never read!)  I think if you BUY a book on Amazon, you should be able to leave a review for THAT book that you PURCHASED, bar none. Period.

Anyway, this explains why most of us have triple the reviews on Goodreads as Amazon.
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Re: Have your Amazon review numbers gone stagnant?
« Reply #22 on: February 11, 2018, 07:49:13 PM »
Maybe the $50 minimum explains why I lost reviews too. That's a terrible policy. What are they thinking?
   
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Offline solo

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Re: Have your Amazon review numbers gone stagnant?
« Reply #23 on: February 11, 2018, 07:52:52 PM »
My Amazon reviews have not moved. Though I have not checked the international marketplaces. I've got only two books live. However, Goodreads ratings (not reviews) have been moving (452 ratings since the time I joined the Goodreads author list - October 2017 I think). I do keep track of how many are reading, it shows whether a book still has traction (Book One released end of September 2017 - 304 reading; 274 ratings/Book Two released end of November - 105 reading; 177 ratings). If the figures start going down, then it means I have to consider more marketing options.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2018, 07:54:34 PM by solo »

Offline Greg Dragon

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Re: Have your Amazon review numbers gone stagnant?
« Reply #24 on: February 11, 2018, 08:12:00 PM »
Something's definitely up. Good to know that I'm not alone.

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