Author Topic: How Many Reviews Tweak the Zon's Head?  (Read 2627 times)  

Online Usedtoposthere

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Re: How Many Reviews Tweak the Zon's Head?
« Reply #25 on: May 30, 2020, 04:19:37 pm »
Except that I have been explicitly told by Audible, KDP, and Createspace reps that that is not true. They had no reason to lie. They were telling me to get more early reviews, because those matter to Marketing when they make merchandising decisions. I have seen the truth of that in books that they push. They pick up my books with a large number of reviews and a 4.9-star average in particular. It is truly not sales, period.

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    Offline markpauloleksiw

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    Re: How Many Reviews Tweak the Zon's Head?
    « Reply #26 on: May 30, 2020, 06:34:34 pm »
    Reviews matter. Plain and simple.

    Put it this way...those who stacked their reviews to climb the ladder all know this to be true.

    Mark

    Offline Marti talbott

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    Re: How Many Reviews Tweak the Zon's Head?
    « Reply #27 on: May 30, 2020, 06:48:38 pm »
    Except that I have been explicitly told by Audible, KDP, and Createspace reps that that is not true. They had no reason to lie. They were telling me to get more early reviews, because those matter to Marketing when they make merchandising decisions. I have seen the truth of that in books that they push. They pick up my books with a large number of reviews and a 4.9-star average in particular. It is truly not sales, period.


    I can see how they would say that about a book they decided to publish. When you say marketing decisions, are you saying Amazon actually markets a book that has more reviews? How exactly do they market? Emails or moving them up the also bought list, etc? I haven't seen that to be true with my books although a couple have 500 or more reviews. I've certainly never seen a spike I didn't pay for myself.
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    Offline Decon

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    Re: How Many Reviews Tweak the Zon's Head?
    « Reply #28 on: May 31, 2020, 03:59:04 am »
    Amazon does not care about reviews. Anyone who spouted that fifty-review nonsense is a moron. Reviews are only good for readers and advertising. They're not important for anything else.

    Agree, apart from the moron part, maybe the misinformed is a better discription

    The only review numbers Amazon is interested in is accumulating them for their own imprints and their marketing department goes full pelt to get them, because the know the importance of their volume to the prospective reader, besides making sure our reviews are within guidelines.

    Edit: The only assistance I have seen them giving us recently is notating  AMS ads thumbnails covers usually with little or no reviews as a "New Release."

    This tells me they are aware of the disadvantage of having no or few reviews. Seeing as how most AMS ads are self-published books, I believe they only give this leg up to keep the ad income coming in as by having this notation it may overcome a buyers reluctance to click, sample and then buy.
    « Last Edit: May 31, 2020, 04:17:46 am by Decon »


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    Offline deedawning

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    Re: How Many Reviews Tweak the Zon's Head?
    « Reply #29 on: May 31, 2020, 04:47:29 am »
    Many times reviews on Amazon are a joke. I've always found it very difficult to get reviews so when I see a fairly new book say pubed two months ago with a hundred plus reviews I get suspicious. About a year ago I came across a book that was published like forty-five days previously, so looked up one of the reviewers. Well, this reviewer had written something like three to five, generic 5 star reviews a day for months, roughly 1700 total. So I picked another reviewer and same thing and another, same thing. I went through something like eight reviewers and they were all the same and I wouldn't be surprised if all were. I did mention it with Amazon in a correspondence about something else and when I checked, the original reviewer several days later and she and her 1700+ reviews were gone.

    So in my estimation there are one or more scam artists that are running for sale 5 star review businesses on ebooks. 

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    Offline Jeff Hughes

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    Re: How Many Reviews Tweak the Zon's Head?
    « Reply #30 on: May 31, 2020, 06:47:17 am »
    Correlation is not causation.

    If hitting certain review-number thresholds mattered to Amazon - if meeting such milestones actually prompted their algorithm to 'juice' a title - it would be clearly obvious.  Simple statistical analysis would reveal it happening, very clearly, over and over.  We don't have that.  What we have are vague, empirical observations of northbound trends.

    Reviews do matter, of course.  They matter because they influence sales.  But there's no reason for Amazon to pay attention to them - just like it has no reason to try and measure the "quality" of one's cover or blurb or Look Inside or any of the other factors that sway readers.  Why should they?  They have a far more definitive measure of success, one that pulls all those secondary factors into a single neat whole, all tied up with a pretty bow:  actual unit sales.

    Occam's razor.

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    Online Usedtoposthere

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    Re: How Many Reviews Tweak the Zon's Head?
    « Reply #31 on: May 31, 2020, 09:00:15 am »
    I can see how they would say that about a book they decided to publish. When you say marketing decisions, are you saying Amazon actually markets a book that has more reviews? How exactly do they market? Emails or moving them up the also bought list, etc? I haven't seen that to be true with my books although a couple have 500 or more reviews. I've certainly never seen a spike I didn't pay for myself.
    No, this is specifically about indie books. You see, decisions on which books to include in merchandising are not all made by algorithms. They are made by humans. Books are recommended to Marketing by humans, and humans make the determination. I am not saying that reviews are the most important part of that decision. Sales are the most important part. But the number of reviews, the review average, and the credibility of the reviews all matter as well. What do the reviews actually say?

    And yes, when you publish with an Amazon Publishing imprint, they also do everything they can to get early reviews, for the same reason, and also for customer credibility, because Amazon firmly believes that reviews are important to customers. (Which is the reason they matter to Marketing.)

    As to what that means: including books in new release emails or preorder emails. You can move thousands of books just from one preorder email. (That will not be from reviews of course). Including them in Prime Reading. Including them in daily and monthly deals.
    « Last Edit: May 31, 2020, 09:02:58 am by Usedtoposthere »

    Offline Amanda M. Lee

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    Re: How Many Reviews Tweak the Zon's Head?
    « Reply #32 on: May 31, 2020, 10:43:55 am »
    Except that I have been explicitly told by Audible, KDP, and Createspace reps that that is not true. They had no reason to lie. They were telling me to get more early reviews, because those matter to Marketing when they make merchandising decisions. I have seen the truth of that in books that they push. They pick up my books with a large number of reviews and a 4.9-star average in particular. It is truly not sales, period.
    That's weird because I've met with multiple reps in person from all those departments three years in a row and they told me the exact opposite.

    Amanda M. Lee

    Offline markpauloleksiw

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    Re: How Many Reviews Tweak the Zon's Head?
    « Reply #33 on: May 31, 2020, 04:49:33 pm »
    There are totally big time scam artists who have a ridiculously high % 5 star ratings. All you have to do is the read the reviews to see who they are.

    This does not only apply to self-publishers. The big publishing houses have the means to crank out 5-star ratings...

    I also would not trust what anyone from Amazon may tell you...I suspect there are very few people in Amazon who know exactly what the programming metrics are.

    Mark

    Offline deedawning

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    Re: How Many Reviews Tweak the Zon's Head?
    « Reply #34 on: May 31, 2020, 05:12:56 pm »
    There are totally big time scam artists who have a ridiculously high % 5 star ratings. All you have to do is the read the reviews to see who they are.

    This does not only apply to self-publishers. The big publishing houses have the means to crank out 5-star ratings...

    I also would not trust what anyone from Amazon may tell you...I suspect there are very few people in Amazon who know exactly what the programming metrics are.

    Mark

    Agreed. They are so easy to spot I'm surprised Amazon doesn't have full time people ferreting out the thousands of fake reviews.

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    Offline spacedin

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    Re: How Many Reviews Tweak the Zon's Head?
    « Reply #35 on: June 01, 2020, 07:34:32 am »
    In my experience, number of reviews may have nothing to do with what Amazon does with your book, but it has a lot to do with getting promos. Particularly BookBub.

    Online Usedtoposthere

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    Re: How Many Reviews Tweak the Zon's Head?
    « Reply #36 on: June 01, 2020, 10:52:40 am »
    Many times reviews on Amazon are a joke. I've always found it very difficult to get reviews so when I see a fairly new book say pubed two months ago with a hundred plus reviews I get suspicious. About a year ago I came across a book that was published like forty-five days previously, so looked up one of the reviewers. Well, this reviewer had written something like three to five, generic 5 star reviews a day for months, roughly 1700 total. So I picked another reviewer and same thing and another, same thing. I went through something like eight reviewers and they were all the same and I wouldn't be surprised if all were. I did mention it with Amazon in a correspondence about something else and when I checked, the original reviewer several days later and she and her 1700+ reviews were gone.

    So in my estimation there are one or more scam artists that are running for sale 5 star review businesses on ebooks.
    A book published two months ago or two days ago with a hundred plus reviews is probably a book that sold a lot of copies to an eager audience. Ive had 100 plus reviews within the first  24 hours numerous times. My best reviewed book in terms of review average has 94 percent 5 stars with 230 reviews. The other 6 percent were 4 stars. People really liked it and it was in my most popular series. They waited for the book and it met their expectations, and they wanted to say so.

    If you write a very popular book that takes off (my first book got many hundreds of reviews in two weeks), a lot of the reviews will say things like, Great book, or I loved it. Real people do not necessarily write book reports. They may not write many reviews. They just want to say that they really liked this book.

    ETA; That 4.9-star book is the book of mine that Amazon picks up for promos the most. It is a Kindle Monthly Deal again right now. Even though it is No. 12 in a series, and not the latest one in that series nor the best selling one. (It is a stand-alone.)

    « Last Edit: June 01, 2020, 11:15:35 am by Usedtoposthere »

    Offline deedawning

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    Re: How Many Reviews Tweak the Zon's Head?
    « Reply #37 on: June 02, 2020, 04:10:38 am »

    A book published two months ago or two days ago with a hundred plus reviews is probably a book that sold a lot of copies to an eager audience. Ive had 100 plus reviews within the first  24 hours numerous times. My best reviewed book in terms of review average has 94 percent 5 stars with 230 reviews. The other 6 percent were 4 stars. People really liked it and it was in my most popular series. They waited for the book and it met their expectations, and they wanted to say so.

    [/quote]

    Good for you. I get that there are many more real reviews than fake ones, but did you read what I said? This reviewer wrote three to five reviews a day, which means she read three to five books a day. I don't know about you, but I can't read three to five books a day or 1700 in a few months. I'm lucky to read one in a day or two and that's if I'm totally engrossed. And she, had lots of company too doing the same thing. No, this was a fake review set-up and I wouldn't be surprised if there's dozens operating on Amazon.

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    Offline markpauloleksiw

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    Re: How Many Reviews Tweak the Zon's Head?
    « Reply #38 on: June 02, 2020, 08:34:49 am »
    Unfortunately fake review set ups still exist despite Amazon's efforts to rid them.

    I am extremely skeptical of books with review averages close to 5 whether on Goodreads or Amazon. You only need to read a handful or reviews to realize they are the product of some basement operation pumping out hundreds of reviews.

    Low reviews do add credibility to a degree.
     
    Mark

    Offline deedawning

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    Re: How Many Reviews Tweak the Zon's Head?
    « Reply #39 on: June 02, 2020, 09:13:10 am »
    Unfortunately fake review set ups still exist despite Amazon's efforts to rid them.

    I am extremely skeptical of books with review averages close to 5 whether on Goodreads or Amazon. You only need to read a handful or reviews to realize they are the product of some basement operation pumping out hundreds of reviews.

    Low reviews do add credibility to a degree.
     
    Mark

    Yes which means some authors are paying somebody for reviews.

    As for low reviews the First book I ever uploaded into Amazon eleven years ago named April Showers has yet to reach ten reviews.

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    Online Usedtoposthere

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    Re: How Many Reviews Tweak the Zon's Head?
    « Reply #40 on: June 02, 2020, 09:38:30 am »
    I am sure there are fake reviews still. And some people write really good books and sell a lot of them. I have a book featured in Womans World this month as part of their Book Club of feel-good reads that has a 4.9-star average. I have never advertised it and do not have a publicist. Presumably some editor picked it up and read it. It is a happy, funny book that mothers really relate to, in a setting where many people long to be right now. Although I did not plan it this way and in fact started writing it last summer, it was the right book at the right time. Write the right book at the right time, satisfy your audience, and it can get all positive reviews. It happens. It will certainly happen to any good-selling author who produces consistent books in a popular series or world.

    Not all my books do as well. My lowest is 4.2 stars. (My second book.) I am a better writer now, after 31 books. Oddly, though, the first three books are reader favorites and have sold among the best, so reviews are certainly not everything. (Neither is literary skill, possibly, which is a bit depressing!)
    « Last Edit: June 02, 2020, 09:41:44 am by Usedtoposthere »

    Offline deedawning

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    Re: How Many Reviews Tweak the Zon's Head?
    « Reply #41 on: June 02, 2020, 10:20:19 am »
    I'm happy for you. You don't promote your books and they just sell? It used to be like that for me too, I the good old days (pre-free books). Lucky you. Best, Dee

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