Author Topic: Have your Amazon review numbers gone stagnant?  (Read 3239 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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Offline It's A Mystery

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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?

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?

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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Offline LilyBLily

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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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Offline LilyBLily

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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.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2018, 07:48:39 PM by Rod Little »

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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 »

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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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Offline KelliWolfe

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Re: Have your Amazon review numbers gone stagnant?
« Reply #25 on: February 11, 2018, 08:26:17 PM »
I've seen a major drop-off in reviews since the summer. Like, to nothing. Across 5 pen names in very different genres. I released 2 YA romances in the first quarter of last year. Both got 20 reviews out of the gate. The two follow ups have exactly 1 each, despite doing as well in sales. I think the annoying Amazon review popup that readers are hitting when they finish their books has is responsible. It's Yet Another Annoying popup that people click through and then close out of the book.

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Online Rosie A.

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Re: Have your Amazon review numbers gone stagnant?
« Reply #26 on: February 11, 2018, 08:27:31 PM »
I haven't had much luck getting reviews on Amazon. Most of my ratings & reviews are on Goodreads. Maybe it's where readers feel the most comfortable posting their reviews.

Offline LilyBLily

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Re: Have your Amazon review numbers gone stagnant?
« Reply #27 on: February 11, 2018, 08:39:07 PM »
The irony is that this will push us into buying more reviews.

Ah, excuse me, to using more extremely legitimate ARC review services, and to corralling more readers from our own lists and pressing them to review.

Also, friends and family who have different ISPs. Sorry, Amazon. Social proof really is a big deal.

Offline Seneca42

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Re: Have your Amazon review numbers gone stagnant?
« Reply #28 on: February 11, 2018, 08:58:18 PM »
1) yes reviews have stalled
2) I doubt this is just ebooks, it's probably store wide
3) most likely zon is trying to get it's act together as walmart and others come online and pose a greater threat. One of zon's major Achilles heels is its review system (which everyone knows, or thinks, is 80% bs reviews). So they are probably tweaking that system.
4) As zon likes to do, it tends to fix things by breaking them further. If you have a flat tire, light the car on fire, problem solved.

Although, I also think it's possible that customers are so annoyed with the in-your-face billboard experience that shopping on zon has become that they are disengaging from the platform beyond buying the item they want. You annoy people enough they'll just ignore you when you ask them to leave a review (or do anything, really, beyond simply buying the product).
 


Offline Atlantisatheart

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Re: Have your Amazon review numbers gone stagnant?
« Reply #29 on: February 11, 2018, 09:02:13 PM »
I think amazon are cutting their own nose off with this one because I've had readers tell me that they've left reviews but amazon doesn't show them, or that they were miffed because their reviews have gone. Their answer is simple; if amazon doesn't value their book reviews then they won't leave any reviews for anything because it's a waste of time. Readers are customers across the store, and miffed off customers aren't a good advertisement for the whole store in general. And yes, I get way more reviews on goodreads and other places than on amazon unless I run a freebie.

Offline LilyBLily

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Re: Have your Amazon review numbers gone stagnant?
« Reply #30 on: February 11, 2018, 09:56:46 PM »
I think amazon are cutting their own nose off with this one because I've had readers tell me that they've left reviews but amazon doesn't show them, or that they were miffed because their reviews have gone. Their answer is simple; if amazon doesn't value their book reviews then they won't leave any reviews for anything because it's a waste of time. Readers are customers across the store, and miffed off customers aren't a good advertisement for the whole store in general. And yes, I get way more reviews on goodreads and other places than on amazon unless I run a freebie.

Emphasis mine. I've had readers tell me the same thing. 

Offline PaulineMRoss

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Re: Have your Amazon review numbers gone stagnant?
« Reply #31 on: February 11, 2018, 11:37:46 PM »
Amazon has also been closing down a lot of the very prolific reviewers for some reason. So the people most likely to leave reviews now no longer can. As someone else said, that leaves authors having to turn to paid review services for the social proof needed for many promotion services.
 

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Re: Have your Amazon review numbers gone stagnant?
« Reply #32 on: February 12, 2018, 12:39:23 AM »
Yes. Mine have gone stagnant. Although I don't do many promos these days as funds are very tight.
But I released a new novel, A Love That Heals, in November and did a promo which got about 1000 downloads (dismal I know but only used BKnights and a few smaller cheap/free promos), and there were no Amazon reviews. I then did an even smaller promo in January and had about 40 free downloads.
From November until now, there have been no Amazon reviews, but I do have three 5 Star ratings on Goodreads, but no reviews there either.
I do think it's odd, because even with my other books, I at least received 1-6 reviews on Amazon, even if it was just the reviewer saying they hated it. But to have none at all is strange.
There have been some pagereads, but nothing worth mentioning, and I've lowered the price to .99c and have had half a dozen sales over the last few days, so it will be interesting to see if I get any reviews from them.

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Re: Have your Amazon review numbers gone stagnant?
« Reply #33 on: February 12, 2018, 12:58:44 AM »
The irony is that this will push us into buying more reviews.

Ah, excuse me, to using more extremely legitimate ARC review services, and to corralling more readers from our own lists and pressing them to review.

Also, friends and family who have different ISPs. Sorry, Amazon. Social proof really is a big deal.

I'm afraid this is true. And so reviews will become even less believable than they are now.

Offline TwistedTales

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Re: Have your Amazon review numbers gone stagnant?
« Reply #34 on: February 12, 2018, 02:10:46 AM »
I just activated our books on nook and google (again). Within a week reviews have appeared (they happen to be nice ones). BookBub has been accruing followers and reviews as well. I never bother looking at Goodreads because I dont think much of the site. Amazon, on the other hand, removed some reviews in the past 2 - 3 months and at the same time I wasnt getting many, maybe three in total for a book with 600 sales. Since selling around 5,000 books this month on Amazon I think Ive gotten four reviews.

Maybe social media validation counts for something, but luckily Amazons review system is quite discredited. Just read some of the reviews and you can hear how cynical readers have become about the 4 & 5 star loading game that goes on. Credibility of source counts, and nobody believes a system thats turned into a pathological liar.

A lot of authors, if not most, have a lot more reviews than I do, but at least the ones I have (good or bad) are clearly credible, even if some are inaccurate or crazy. Im never going to start the review loading game because its just one more pointless wheel in a corrupt system that takes away from the real purpose, which happens to be writing a half decent book. That single objective gets lost in the endless games played out in this business. So, Ill leave the clueless game play to Amazon and anyone who chooses to dance to their music, while I get back to writing my next book.

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Re: Have your Amazon review numbers gone stagnant?
« Reply #35 on: February 12, 2018, 02:56:55 AM »
I have a suggestion for Amazon, if they're listening (which I doubt):

Why don't they just abandon all pretense that they control reviews. They should stop bugging people for them, they should stop judging them on stupid criteria, they should stop f***ing with the reviews.

They should also step back from the reviewer communities that use their website for their own reviewing pleasure. Yes, many reviewers review for fun and take pride in their review collections. Amazon should get it big finger out of these communities and stop meddling with reviews.

Amazon should do what Amazon does: sell stuff and make sure that they buyers get the stuff they've bought. End. Of.

There will be a period of review madness where bought reviews are rife and the system gets messy, but you know what?

Readers come with solid BS meters. Soon they will realise that bought reviews are worth nothing, and reviews will be a dime a dozen, no longer worth paying for, so buying reviews becomes the territory of the truly desperate. Immaterial. No one cares.

Review sellers will disappear (many of them at least)

Things will get back to normal.

Offline LilyBLily

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Re: Have your Amazon review numbers gone stagnant?
« Reply #36 on: February 12, 2018, 06:38:37 AM »
I have a suggestion for Amazon, if they're listening (which I doubt):

Why don't they just abandon all pretense that they control reviews. They should stop bugging people for them, they should stop judging them on stupid criteria, they should stop f***ing with the reviews.

They should also step back from the reviewer communities that use their website for their own reviewing pleasure. Yes, many reviewers review for fun and take pride in their review collections. Amazon should get it big finger out of these communities and stop meddling with reviews.

Amazon should do what Amazon does: sell stuff and make sure that they buyers get the stuff they've bought. End. Of.

There will be a period of review madness where bought reviews are rife and the system gets messy, but you know what?

Readers come with solid BS meters. Soon they will realise that bought reviews are worth nothing, and reviews will be a dime a dozen, no longer worth paying for, so buying reviews becomes the territory of the truly desperate. Immaterial. No one cares.

Review sellers will disappear (many of them at least)

Things will get back to normal.

I, too, would prefer that Amazon stopped messing with reviews and let anyone post and be done with it. Fake reviews are easy to spot.

But as long as BookBub uses numbers of reviews as a selling point--and it does--people are going to want to have 500+ reviews, whether of questionable legitimacy or not. So Amazon is not the only villain in this story.

Reviews sell books, to readers and to ad venues. Therefore, it behooves an author to get reviews. It's that simple.

By throttling legit reviews, Amazon is urging on the people who will stop at nothing to produce hundreds of bland 5-star reviews of their questionably competent books. Am I going to be one of them? Of course not. But I will fight to get some reviews up somehow.


Online Bill Hiatt

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Re: Have your Amazon review numbers gone stagnant?
« Reply #37 on: February 12, 2018, 07:12:06 AM »
3) most likely zon is trying to get it's act together as walmart and others come online and pose a greater threat. One of zon's major Achilles heels is its review system (which everyone knows, or thinks, is 80% bs reviews). So they are probably tweaking that system.
There is plenty of evidence that online reviews in general are unreliable. For example, look at what happened when Al Gore's second movie came out. Hundreds of reviews, mostly five-star and one-star, poured in to various sites when the movie was in very limited release on only a handful of screens, and even if every single viewer had reviewed it, that still couldn't account for the number reviews being posted. In other words, a whole bunch of people were posting reviews based on their political viewpoints without even seeing the film. People use product reviews for all kinds of things other than to review a product. This kind of behavior is rampant on the internet and spreads far beyond Amazon.


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Re: Have your Amazon review numbers gone stagnant?
« Reply #38 on: February 12, 2018, 07:16:03 AM »
I have a suggestion for Amazon, if they're listening (which I doubt):

Why don't they just abandon all pretense that they control reviews. They should stop bugging people for them, they should stop judging them on stupid criteria, they should stop f***ing with the reviews.

They should also step back from the reviewer communities that use their website for their own reviewing pleasure. Yes, many reviewers review for fun and take pride in their review collections. Amazon should get it big finger out of these communities and stop meddling with reviews.

Amazon should do what Amazon does: sell stuff and make sure that they buyers get the stuff they've bought. End. Of.

There will be a period of review madness where bought reviews are rife and the system gets messy, but you know what?

Readers come with solid BS meters. Soon they will realise that bought reviews are worth nothing, and reviews will be a dime a dozen, no longer worth paying for, so buying reviews becomes the territory of the truly desperate. Immaterial. No one cares.

Review sellers will disappear (many of them at least)

Things will get back to normal.
I'd actually be okay with Amazon setting reasonable standards for reviews, but you're right--Amazon's criteria often punish legitimate authors who have behaved ethically without eliminating the possibility that the system can be gamed.


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Offline evdarcy

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Re: Have your Amazon review numbers gone stagnant?
« Reply #39 on: February 12, 2018, 07:26:44 AM »
I was wondering this as well.  Except my numbers are slowly going backwards!  I had over 20 last year, this year I'm down to 19.  Strangely it only happens on zon. com and not on the others. I had thought I'd see at least a half dozen from over 800 sales after a Featured Deal with Bookbub over Christmas, but not. A. Single. One.

Outside of the zon, I'm seeing a slow uptick in ratings on Kobo (just stars, not reviews), I've had a couple on Google (mix of stars and review), but nothing more on Apple save the two that I've had since it's release.

Perhaps it's happening across all platforms?

However, I've had a couple of lovely emails, which I've appreciated even more!

ETA:  I just checked my second book which had only 2 little reviews on there, a 3* and a 5*.  The 3* has disappeared - which was a critical review which rightly complained of formatting errors.  These were resolved.  Who knows if Amazon or the original reviewer removed it - can reviewers do that actually?
« Last Edit: February 12, 2018, 07:31:24 AM by evdarcy »

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Offline Ted Cross

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Re: Have your Amazon review numbers gone stagnant?
« Reply #40 on: February 12, 2018, 08:07:45 AM »
I don't sell in huge numbers, but my books do sell...yet I haven't had an Amazon review in over a year.

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Re: Have your Amazon review numbers gone stagnant?
« Reply #41 on: February 12, 2018, 08:40:27 AM »
My guess is they made the $50 minimum rule more for the sake of their big ticket items. They were probably getting lots of unverified bad reviews, angry suppliers, and thought the minimum would solve the problem. They should, and could change that policy for books.
       
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Re: Have your Amazon review numbers gone stagnant?
« Reply #42 on: February 12, 2018, 10:30:44 AM »

But as long as BookBub uses numbers of reviews as a selling point--and it does--people are going to want to have 500+ reviews, whether of questionable legitimacy or not. So Amazon is not the only villain in this story.



Not true  ;). https://insights.bookbub.com/bookbub-myths-busted/

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Re: Have your Amazon review numbers gone stagnant?
« Reply #43 on: February 12, 2018, 12:27:25 PM »
I have systems in place to ensure a steady inflow of reviews.


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Offline Lee Sutherland

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Re: Have your Amazon review numbers gone stagnant?
« Reply #44 on: February 12, 2018, 01:18:19 PM »
From what I've noticed, they are being heavily monitored.  Every few weeks, I'll get an influx of 2-3 reviews.  They always show up at the same time and often one or two will be from days previous.  And then every now and then, a 5-star review will mysteriously go missing.   :o

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Re: Have your Amazon review numbers gone stagnant?
« Reply #45 on: February 12, 2018, 01:50:36 PM »
I was wondering this as well.  Except my numbers are slowly going backwards!  I had over 20 last year, this year I'm down to 19.  Strangely it only happens on zon. com and not on the others. I had thought I'd see at least a half dozen from over 800 sales after a Featured Deal with Bookbub over Christmas, but not. A. Single. One.

Outside of the zon, I'm seeing a slow uptick in ratings on Kobo (just stars, not reviews), I've had a couple on Google (mix of stars and review), but nothing more on Apple save the two that I've had since it's release.

Perhaps it's happening across all platforms?

However, I've had a couple of lovely emails, which I've appreciated even more!

ETA:  I just checked my second book which had only 2 little reviews on there, a 3* and a 5*.  The 3* has disappeared - which was a critical review which rightly complained of formatting errors.  These were resolved.  Who knows if Amazon or the original reviewer removed it - can reviewers do that actually?
Only star ratings on Kobo for me as well. It's...strange.

Also, I can't believe you didn't get reviews from your Bookbub! I have given away a LOT of books. A boatload. And the only review I received on Amazon is from a paid purchase. The other platforms are slowly trickling them in but yikes! You'd think at least the Bookbub!

I don't sell in huge numbers, but my books do sell...yet I haven't had an Amazon review in over a year.
^^THIS. Like, seriously, I look at other books on there with plenty of reviews and scratch my head. Are my books that terrible? Am I not engaging? It's hard to say. Sometimes, I'll look up the author's Amazon page and see that they've been publishing for a while and assume it's just they have an audience. But then there are the authors with less than a handful of books on their page and have hundreds of reviews. Unless it's an Amazon imprint (or big publisher), then I'm guessing these are hustled for or the author used a service. Honestly, I've considered using a service for quite some time but I'm not sure if it would help me sell more books to have more Amazon reviews. Then there's also contacting bloggers and reviewers but...I'd rather write. :)
« Last Edit: February 12, 2018, 01:54:49 PM by Rosie A. »

Offline evdarcy

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Re: Have your Amazon review numbers gone stagnant?
« Reply #46 on: February 12, 2018, 03:19:00 PM »
Also, I can't believe you didn't get reviews from your Bookbub! I have given away a LOT of books. A boatload. And the only review I received on Amazon is from a paid purchase. The other platforms are slowly trickling them in but yikes! You'd think at least the Bookbub!

I know - that was my thought too! I was very surprised.  There are reviews from them on Goodreads - but not on the retailers. Now I know when I'm buying books I don't wander over to Goodreads, I use the retailer's reviews to decide if I want it or not if the blurb is intriguing me, but not quite enough to tip me over the edge. So from a reader POV it's even more worrying that I don't see reviews coming in on books because I use them to help me spend my reading budget!

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Offline Bookread

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Re: Have your Amazon review numbers gone stagnant?
« Reply #47 on: February 12, 2018, 03:22:27 PM »
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.

Like many others in this thread, I've noticed it too. I hope they're not being suppressed.
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Offline baldricko

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Re: Have your Amazon review numbers gone stagnant?
« Reply #48 on: February 12, 2018, 03:32:21 PM »
Very few reviews lately. But then, I only have the three books out.

For those who have books selling on Nook, Kobo, Google, etc have you noticed the same fall off in reviews? (I see a couple of posts mentioning a lack of content in their reviews on those sites).

An interesting and perhaps relevant recent interview if you have not seen it yet. Search on YT for this title: 'Ex CIA, Robert David Steele, "I Will Bury Amazon, Google, Facebook & Twitter"'

Like many others in this thread, I've noticed it too. I hope they're not being suppressed.
Test this by putting a short review up on Amazon.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2018, 03:33:56 PM by baldricko »

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Offline MaryMcDonald

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Re: Have your Amazon review numbers gone stagnant?
« Reply #49 on: February 12, 2018, 04:05:26 PM »
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.

That is odd. After a Bookbub you should have had at least a few reviews. I had one for a free book at the end of Nov and I'm still getting new reviews every few days. (It's also permafree, so that could also be a big factor) but I had a free run on a KU book at the end of January, and I think I've had about 40 new reviews--and it wasn't even a Bookbub. So, I don't think the overall system is down, but it does sound like something weird is going on with your books.

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Offline MaryMcDonald

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Re: Have your Amazon review numbers gone stagnant?
« Reply #50 on: February 12, 2018, 04:17:40 PM »
From what I've noticed, they are being heavily monitored.  Every few weeks, I'll get an influx of 2-3 reviews.  They always show up at the same time and often one or two will be from days previous.  And then every now and then, a 5-star review will mysteriously go missing.   :o

Yep, that's my experience as well. I have no idea why a review even goes missing. The book I have the most reviews on is almost 8 years old! It's been permafree several times (then I'd put it back in KU, then try permafree again. The grass is always greener. lol) Anyway, with the thousands of freebies, and a good number of sales in that time, it gained reviews organically. I never asked for reviews because way back in 2010, it seemed readers were more likely to review.

When I published the first book in a new genre/series for me, I made it free a few weeks after I published in hopes of garnering reviews that way. I've never done ARCs until my last book. I did 12 that time. I think 8 actually left reviews and not in the timeframe I'd hoped, so I probably won't be doing it again. Too much hassle for a handful of reviews that may or may not have had a bearing on sales.

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Offline Sati_LRR

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Re: Have your Amazon review numbers gone stagnant?
« Reply #51 on: February 12, 2018, 04:49:13 PM »
Yup, and the same goes for the demise of organic newsletter sign-ups via backmatter. All because of Amazon are inserting their own pop-ups into our books and disrupting the intended reading experience we're providing.

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Re: Have your Amazon review numbers gone stagnant?
« Reply #52 on: February 12, 2018, 05:00:09 PM »
Yup, and the same goes for the demise of organic newsletter sign-ups via backmatter. All because of Amazon are inserting their own pop-ups into our books and disrupting the intended reading experience we're providing.

Wow, I didn't know that. How rude.
       
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Offline LilyBLily

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Re: Have your Amazon review numbers gone stagnant?
« Reply #53 on: February 12, 2018, 05:06:51 PM »
Not true  ;). https://insights.bookbub.com/bookbub-myths-busted/

I wasn't referring to BB's rules of entry, which are not specific regarding having a certain number of reviews, but to the fact that BB will feature a book and the accompanying copy--written by BB--will say, "[This book] has over 500 five-star reviews on Amazon" or the like. It's very daunting. I am willing to bet it incites some authors to make sure they have over 500 five-star reviews. Obtained however.

I've pretty much given up on getting organic newsletter signups. Most people never even see that page--and they may not see my pages of excerpts, either. Lovely.

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Re: Have your Amazon review numbers gone stagnant?
« Reply #54 on: February 12, 2018, 05:21:49 PM »

I've pretty much given up on getting organic newsletter signups. Most people never even see that page--and they may not see my pages of excerpts, either. Lovely.


Organic signups: put the link in the back *as well as the front* of the book. Make the link live. Voila! You now have a live signup link on your Amazon page. See this in action in the Look Inside of any of my books.

Offline cadle-sparks

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Re: Have your Amazon review numbers gone stagnant?
« Reply #55 on: February 12, 2018, 05:46:35 PM »

The Olympics provides an alternate form of entertainment.  It surely cuts into book sales (as do big news events). At least it's only once every four years.

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Re: Have your Amazon review numbers gone stagnant?
« Reply #56 on: February 12, 2018, 05:47:56 PM »
The Olympics provides an alternate form of entertainment.  It surely cuts into book sales (as do big news events). At least it's only once every four years.

Like the US elections?

*ducks*

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Re: Have your Amazon review numbers gone stagnant?
« Reply #57 on: February 12, 2018, 05:49:30 PM »
Like the US elections?

*ducks*

man, that KILLED my sales! I think romance people fared a bit better from it.

Offline kw3000

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Re: Have your Amazon review numbers gone stagnant?
« Reply #58 on: February 12, 2018, 08:16:07 PM »
Floating a theory out there...I could be way off with this, but: maybe the reason there were more reviews in years past as opposed to now is the maturing of the platform? The novelty of the thing is long gone? Maybe people have written so many reviews over the years that they're kind of over writing reviews for the most part and just move on to the next book regardless of how they felt about the book they'd just read? Again, that might be way wrong, just throwing an idea out there.

Maybe the only reviews to be had now are from services, ARCs or - organically speaking - when someone feels so strongly about a work they just HAVE to say something about it? Or maybe not...maybe there's another explanation.

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Re: Have your Amazon review numbers gone stagnant?
« Reply #59 on: February 12, 2018, 08:24:22 PM »
Like the US elections?

*ducks*

More fun than a soap opera. ;o)
       
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Offline KelliWolfe

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Re: Have your Amazon review numbers gone stagnant?
« Reply #60 on: February 12, 2018, 09:05:29 PM »
Organic signups: put the link in the back *as well as the front* of the book. Make the link live. Voila! You now have a live signup link on your Amazon page. See this in action in the Look Inside of any of my books.
I have mine in the front of the book and immediately after "The End," along with my request to leave a review. It doesn't make any difference. My organic signups have dropped off from at least 10 a week to a couple a month since Amazon put that freakin' new popup in. And this is for books that are in the top 100 lists for all their assigned categories and have hundreds of good ratings and reviews each on Goodreads.

This wasn't something that slowly tapered off. Reviews and organic newsletter signups both went off a cliff after that popup started to appear in the Kindle apps. People *hate* nag popups. Anyone who has ever done software development should know that the majority of time users are going to click whatever they have to in order to make it go away without bothering to read it, and then navigate away to keep it from showing up again.

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Offline loraininflorida

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Re: Have your Amazon review numbers gone stagnant?
« Reply #61 on: February 12, 2018, 11:06:50 PM »
I'm not sure I've seen it. Where does it pop up in the book? What does it say? --Thanks for any info.

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Re: Have your Amazon review numbers gone stagnant?
« Reply #62 on: February 13, 2018, 05:49:15 AM »
I've lost several good, four and five star, verified-purchased reviews on all of my books over the last several months, and since I have rarely used review sites and the like I didn't have many to begin with. It's unsettling to watch as they have slowly disappeared with the passing of time. Also, I have launched book two and three in a series over the last few months and have yet to get even one review on any of the books despite sales. But I am getting reviews on GoodReads now that I have checked and I do nothing at all there in the way of promotions, ever.

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Re: Have your Amazon review numbers gone stagnant?
« Reply #63 on: February 13, 2018, 07:40:23 AM »
Only star ratings on Kobo for me as well. It's...strange.


On Kobo, when you finish a book the end screen has a star rating thing. It's really easy to fill it in before swiping the book to mark it finished, and as far as I know the rating is anonymous. However, actually leaving a review means going to another screen. In the current software it's Books > View Details > Review Tab > Write a Review, and from then you have to put a minimum of 50 characters in the review. It's not hard, but you have to want to do it.

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Offline CloudStrife

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Re: Have your Amazon review numbers gone stagnant?
« Reply #64 on: February 13, 2018, 11:54:59 PM »
Forgive me I have not read the whole thread, but I'll play Sherlock Holmes on why:

1) Amazon takes down reviews that look suspicious (mostly 5 stars) - many of which were probably legit
2) Amazon takes down reviews written by authors, assuming they are suspicious - many of which were probably legit
3) Amazon takes down reviewers of people that know the author (family, friends, FB friends?, etc.) - many of which were probably legit

In the end, Amazon takes down reviews of ****loads of books by the most voracious readers on their site.

This means the most voracious readers feel ****blocked and no longer write reviews for Amazon.

How do I know? I am one of those reviewers who was warned for no real reason - and decided that I no longer review - despite being a fairly active reviewer in the past. Reviewers are sensible people who value their time, and do not like being pushed around for no real reason.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2018, 11:56:55 PM by CloudStrife »

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Re: Have your Amazon review numbers gone stagnant?
« Reply #65 on: February 14, 2018, 12:27:58 AM »
Forgive me I have not read the whole thread, but I'll play Sherlock Holmes on why:

1) Amazon takes down reviews that look suspicious (mostly 5 stars) - many of which were probably legit
2) Amazon takes down reviews written by authors, assuming they are suspicious - many of which were probably legit
3) Amazon takes down reviewers of people that know the author (family, friends, FB friends?, etc.) - many of which were probably legit

In the end, Amazon takes down reviews of ****loads of books by the most voracious readers on their site.

This means the most voracious readers feel ****blocked and no longer write reviews for Amazon.

How do I know? I am one of those reviewers who was warned for no real reason - and decided that I no longer review - despite being a fairly active reviewer in the past. Reviewers are sensible people who value their time, and do not like being pushed around for no real reason.

Thanks for this useful insight. I quite agree with your reasoning. It's a pity there is no easy way for readers to express their frustration to Amazon without it having an impact on authors. It's just easier for readers to stop writing reviews than to go through some lengthy complaints procedure.

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Offline MaryMcDonald

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Re: Have your Amazon review numbers gone stagnant?
« Reply #66 on: February 14, 2018, 05:57:01 AM »
I've lost several good, four and five star, verified-purchased reviews on all of my books over the last several months, and since I have rarely used review sites and the like I didn't have many to begin with. It's unsettling to watch as they have slowly disappeared with the passing of time. Also, I have launched book two and three in a series over the last few months and have yet to get even one review on any of the books despite sales. But I am getting reviews on GoodReads now that I have checked and I do nothing at all there in the way of promotions, ever.

I've also had about a dozen reviews disappear over the last 6 months. Most were on my most often reviewed book so it wasn't a big deal, but I'm mystified why they were removed at all. I have never used any review service or anything--I've just given away a boatload of books over the years, so naturally, a small percent of those who downloaded the free book went on to review. How those could be considered a violation of the review policy is a mystery to me. I've even had 3-4 disappear in the UK on that book. I'm in the US and can't think of anyone who is friends with me on FB or anywhere, who also left a review on Amazon. I'm not sure anyone I know through social media who lives in the UK ever even read my books, let alone review them. Most of the people I know are other authors and I never ask other authors to review my books. (I have asked two best-selling authors to give me blurbs. One I knew had read it already because he posted on his FB about it, but he was never asked to read or review. He did give me a nice blurb. The other has not responded to my request. I would have provided him a book, of course, if he had been agreeable. I feel bad even asking for the blurb and feel like I shouldn't have. *sigh* I suck at this kind of thing.)

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