Author Topic: Have your Amazon review numbers gone stagnant?  (Read 2951 times)  

Online 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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Offline northstar

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Re: Have your Amazon review numbers gone stagnant?
« Reply #26 on: February 11, 2018, 08:27:21 PM »
November release, 1800 downloads, 0 reviews.

The few on Goodreads have been good, so I'm confused.

Offline Rosie A.

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Re: Have your Amazon review numbers gone stagnant?
« Reply #27 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.

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Offline LilyBLily

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Re: Have your Amazon review numbers gone stagnant?
« Reply #28 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 #29 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 #30 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 #31 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. 

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Re: Have your Amazon review numbers gone stagnant?
« Reply #32 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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Offline austenlover

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Re: Have your Amazon review numbers gone stagnant?
« Reply #33 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.

Offline Lydniz

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Re: Have your Amazon review numbers gone stagnant?
« Reply #34 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 #35 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 #36 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 #37 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.


Offline Bill Hiatt

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Re: Have your Amazon review numbers gone stagnant?
« Reply #38 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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Offline Bill Hiatt

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Re: Have your Amazon review numbers gone stagnant?
« Reply #39 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 #40 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 #41 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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Offline Martitalbott

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Re: Have your Amazon review numbers gone stagnant?
« Reply #42 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 #43 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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Offline Anarchist

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Re: Have your Amazon review numbers gone stagnant?
« Reply #44 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 #45 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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Offline Rosie A.

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Re: Have your Amazon review numbers gone stagnant?
« Reply #46 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. »

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Offline evdarcy

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Re: Have your Amazon review numbers gone stagnant?
« Reply #47 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 #48 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 #49 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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