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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My third book just got a 1-star review. No big deal, usually. I've had it happen on another book. However this person:

1. Has reviewed no other books
2. Has not bought the book (It's not a verified purchase, and I've only sent out ONE review copy, to a trusted reviewer)
3. Clearly did not read the book, based on what was said in the review

It wouldn't be a big deal, except the book is very new, and it's only had one other review (for 4 stars). This one review has drug the star rating down to 2.5 stars.

As rarely as I get reviews, this could sting for quite a while. Amazon isn't going to do anything about this, are they? I can't prove she hasn't bought it elsewhere. I can't prove she hasn't read it. But with only one other review, this drags my rating down so much.

I can understand leaving a 1-star review on a book that is truly horrible. (I read one a sample of one the other day that literally sounded like it was written by an untalented fifth grader.)

This one, I just don't get. Oh well. I'll say one thing. The reader was clearly passionate about something. I guess that's a good thing, right?

Like I said, my other occasional negative reviews haven't been a big deal. This one just drug me down so far it's killing my overall rating on a new book. :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Oh. It gets worse. They posted the review on Barnes & Noble, too. I don't have ANY reviews there, so I now have a solid 1-star review for the book.

This day could not get ANY worse.

I owe my storage unit $254.10 by the 30th, or I'm going to lose everything I own, including my baby pictures and my kids' baby pictures.

I have a heart arrhythmia I can't afford treatment for, that makes me weak and tired constantly.

And now, a 1-star review that just obliterates my ratings everywhere.

Not happy. :(
 

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This happens to all of us. I have several of these type of reviews: bad review from a unverified buyer who has no reviewing history and says nothing about the book, just slams it in a way that makes you wonder if they actually read more than the sample--if that. Amazon does nothing. The review is within their guidelines. I have a review where someone said they read 2-3% of the sample and left a scathing review on that book and another in my series just to "restore balance" to the reviews (she did stomach 16% of that particular book, though). The point is, Amazon does not remove reviews unless they have filthy language, advertise another book, or I've once seen them remove a review because the reviewer claimed she was in the early chapters of the book and it was dreadfully boring so far, but she'd come back later and clue everyone in if it picked up steam.

EDITED TO ADD AFTER READING YOUR UPDATE:

Why don't you offer free copies for a review at places like here in the Book Bazaar, at Goodreads, from your blog/website, and/or at Amazon in the discussions.
 

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Tara,

Sorry to hear about that.  Most of us are plagued by this sort of thing at some point.  I call 'em "drive by" reviews.  They're designed, IMHO, to slow or sandbag a book's sales, and I'm very suspicious of their origens.  99% of the folks who weigh in on this will say it doesn't matter, and we should just get over it.  I don't completely agree with that but sadly, that does seem to be the case.  To ease the pain, visit the page of a best selling author and see how some of their best, and best-selling work is disparaged and ripped to pieces by 'reviewers.'  

Just saw your latest and I don't want to make light of this.  Have faith in your self and your work and go on.  Best in overcoming your current stressful situation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Rose Gordon said:
This happens to all of us. I have several of these type of reviews: bad review from a unverified buyer who has no reviewing history and says nothing about the book, just slams it in a way that makes you wonder if they actually read more than the sample--if that. Amazon does nothing. The review is within their guidelines. I have a review where someone said they read 2-3% of the sample and left a scathing review on that book and another in my series just to "restore balance" to the reviews (she did stomach 16% of that particular book, though). The point is, Amazon does not remove reviews unless they have filthy language, advertise another book, or I've once seen them remove a review because the reviewer claimed she was in the early chapters of the book and it was dreadfully boring so far, but she'd come back later and clue everyone in if it picked up steam.

EDITED TO ADD AFTER READING YOUR UPDATE:

Why don't you offer free copies for a review at places like here in the Book Bazaar, at Goodreads, from your blog/website, and/or at Amazon in the discussions.
That's a good idea. I guess I'll have to offer some review copies.

It's the third book in a series, so I'll have to offer copies of all three. Most people won't have read the first two.

I hate that a review like this can bring down my average so badly. If it had happened when I had more, it wouldn't be a big deal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Paul Clayton said:
Tara,

Sorry to hear about that. Most of us are plagued by this sort of thing at some point. I call 'em "drive by" reviews. They're designed, IMHO, to slow or sandbag a book's sales, and I'm very suspicious of their origens. 99% of the folks who weigh in on this will say it doesn't matter, and we should just get over it. I don't completely agree with that but sadly, that does seem to be the case. To ease the pain, visit the page of a best selling author and see how some of their best, and best-selling work is disparaged and ripped to pieces by 'reviewers.'

Just saw your latest and I don't want to make light of this. Have faith in your self and your work and go on. Best in overcoming your current stressful situation.
I don't know whether to be suspicious of the origins, or not.

Either:

(a) The reviewer hasn't read my books and is trashing them because they don't like me.

OR

(b) She HAS read the other books, and she's just angry at how the third book turned out.

I suppose it's possible someone is that passionate about the books. If so, that's a good thing. Like I said, though, I just hate that it drags my average down so badly right in the beginning.
 

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One of my books received two, one-star reviews, on the same day. It had been up for almost a year, but since it only had two other reviews it dropped the avg rating to a three. Sales dropped to zero immediately. It followed the same pattern you described. The reviewer(s) had no other reviews and seemed intent on taking a hatchet to my sales. The title of one of the reviews, "Do Not Buy" was my biggest clue.

One star reviews 'kill' books with no (or very few) reviews. Time will have to pass to see how it will all turn out.

It was irritating because I sold hundreds of copies of that e-book and only had one return for all of that time. But what could I do? I have 16 other e-books and more on the way so I can't focus on one title. I'm positive it's a good book so it will rebound and I am sure the same will happen for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Bakari said:
One of my books received two, one-star reviews, on the same day. It had been up for almost a year, but since it only had two other reviews it dropped the avg rating to a three. Sales dropped to zero immediately. It followed the same pattern you described. The reviewer(s) had no other reviews and seemed intent on taking a hatchet to my sales. The title, "Do Not Buy" was my biggest clue.

One star reviews 'kill' books with no (or very few reviews). Time will have to pass to see how it will all turn out.

It was irritating because I sold hundreds of copies of that e-book and only had one return for all of that time. But what could I do? I have 16 other e-books and more on the way so I can't focus on one title. I'm positive it's a good book so it will rebound and I am sure the same will happen for you.
I guess I'm lucky that this is the third book in a series. That probably means people will buy it, despite the review. I hope so.

If it was the first in the series, it would be especially deadly.
 

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Sorry to hear about that review.

Re: Storage unit. I had a friend in a similar fix. He did lose it all. Don't take the chance. If you can still get into the unit, remove the sentimentally important stuff now. Everything else can be replaced.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
D.A. Boulter said:
Sorry to hear about that review.

Re: Storage unit. I had a friend in a similar fix. He did lose it all. Don't take the chance. If you can still get into the unit, remove the sentimentally important stuff now. Everything else can be replaced.
I would have done that a long time ago if I had a car to get there, but a taxi there would cost more than I have. I've contacted the one and only friend I have nearby, and she won't return my messages, so I have no way to get there.

Plus, they put a lock on and won't let us in at all, now. They do that as soon as you're late, and they won't let you take anything out until you pay in full. :(
 

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Bummer, Tara. if this hasn't already been suggested--i'd offer a free coupon on smashwords(if you're on sw) for a day or two and get some downloads. you should pick up some good reviews then. ( i'm still planning on contacting you in late july for a cover consult.)
 

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Sorry you're having such a hard time, Tara. At the end of the day you've just got to put the bad review from your mind, because there's no telling where it really came from or why. I know that's not easy, I've got a bad review on B&N that's dragged my average down, despite most of my other reviews being four and five stars. 

My best advice is to send out some review requests to book bloggers and maybe offer up a few review copies on forums to see if you can get more good reviews that'll balance out the one star one. Keep your chin up.  :)
 

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It sounds like you have some real intense stuff going on -- don't do a number on yourself on the review thing, which seems like the least of it.

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Think about what you can control and what you can't. You can get more copies out there, you can delve into your next project. You can't make that review go away, and you can't know what was really in her heart, and you cannot control someone's reaction once you've done your best and let your work loose in the wild. If you are determined to keep writing and growing, this is a small blip in your career, more significant to you than to anyone else.

The review is an opinion and reads like an opinion -- the reviewer has a right to it. It reads to me like she really has read your books -- and that she has published the review to multiple places explains the lack of Verified Purchase. However, other people might read the review and want to find out what made her so passionate. Since it's third in the series, most people are going to at least glance at the first book to determine. That review will probably not be the lone factor in the decision.
 

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I understand how frustrating that must be. But, I think I saw somewhere that some readers feel that a 2.5 rating is better than no rating at all. Hopefully that's true! I know it's hard, but try not to dwell on it, because it will only hurt your motivation for your next book(s). Just keep writing and eventually things will work themselves out.  :)

I'm so sorry that you're going through such a hard time right now. I hope everything works out with the storage situation!

I also agree with what everyone else has said, though. It might be a good idea to send requests to book review blogs to try to balance out your rating.
 

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I completely agree with Michelle and I, too, am sorry to hear of your troubles. I hope this lightens your spirits; as a reader, I pay zero attention to reviews after the first in the series. Once I'm hooked, I'm hooked. Forever. That's what's so great about a series. I really don't think you should worry about it, but I'm sending good thoughts your way.
 

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Tara sorry for your troubles, sending positive thoughts for all things not to do with your review.

As for your review contact Amazon and state that it wasn't bought a verified purchase review see if they can help you.  ;)
 

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Mel Comley said:
As for your review contact Amazon and state that it wasn't bought a verified purchase review see if they can help you. ;)
I don't get the point of that. There's no rule that it has to be purchased at Amazon. If Amazon did pull it, there goes someone who has very well read three books by Tara -- never to return, possibly to tell her friends, potentially to blossom into the kind of scandal the internet loves to eat up and toss out. And if this woman can prove she bought a copy? I don't see any good that can come of pursuing this. Tara might win the battle, but if this woman even tells a couple of her friends, she'll lose the war.
 

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Tara, from everything you've said it sounds like a bad review is actually the least of your problems. I say dwell on it to avoid thinking of all the other stuff.  :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Yeah, this bad review was just the icing on a very horrid cake. It couldn't have come at a worse time, that's for sure.

I've never let any other negative bother me. In a way, I was glad for the feedback. This one just came at a horrible time, and without any positive reviews to average it out on B&N.

I haven't emailed Amazon about it, and I don't intend to. It's probably a legitimate review. The reader seems extremely passionate. I THINK what happened is that the character didn't go in the direction the reader wanted. (In other words, she chose the wrong guy. At least in the reader's opinion.)

I'm going to take this review to mean I'm doing a good job if people are that passionate. I just wish it had come AFTER a couple of more good reviews, so the average wouldn't be SO horrible. (Especially on B&N!)
 
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