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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I think they honestly believe that giving a review is their way of "paying" for the book.

They have to do it fast, though, because they downloaded 99 other top 100 freebies today, and they all deserve a sentence or two.

This happens every time I do a giveaway. My weirdest reviews are always from freeloaders who picked it up the same day. During my most recent free period, I had an amusing batch of totally nonsensical reviews based entirely on the "click to look inside" portion. My personal favorite was "I guess you have to be a dr Who fan to appreciate this book. Was not impressed." (Ahem - the book in question is a Doctor Who cookbook, complete with a sonic screwdriver on the cover.) A few days after the free period, I'm getting lovely reviews from people who actually read and liked the book.

Has anyone else noticed this pattern?
 

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ChrisRachael said:
My personal favorite was "I guess you have to be a dr Who fan to appreciate this book. Was not impressed." (Ahem - the book in question is a Doctor Who cookbook, complete with a sonic screwdriver on the cover.)
LOL, did we get a review from the same person?

A group of writer friends and I put together a perma-free cookbook of recipes that are either mentioned in our books or that are inspired by our books. And at the end of each recipe, we include an excerpt from that book (usually talking about the food that the recipe is for).

This was my personal fave: "It just wasn't for me. They liked talking about their own books and that wasn't for me."

Um...the cookbook is clearly labeled as pairing recipes with excerpts from the romance novels that inspired them.... ???
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Amanda Brice said:
LOL, did we get a review from the same person?

A group of writer friends and I put together a perma-free cookbook of recipes that are either mentioned in our books or that are inspired by our books. And at the end of each recipe, we include an excerpt from that book (usually talking about the food that the recipe is for).

This was my personal fave: "It just wasn't for me. They liked talking about their own books and that wasn't for me."

Um...the cookbook is clearly labeled as pairing recipes with excerpts from the romance novels that inspired them.... ???
Ha! That's a GREAT idea. (I may be biased. I write geek tie-in cookbooks. In addition to Doctor Who, I've got Walking Dead and Firefly coming up this year.) It's a fun way to cross promote each other's books while also giving loyal readers some nifty bonus content. Plus, I love theme cookbooks.

Reviews like that make me wonder what they thought they were downloading.

I don't know if this happened with you, but my cookbook freeloaders get PISSED that the directions aren't short, succinct, and preferably numbered by step. The folks who actually buy the cookbooks, on the other hand, tend to give me kudos for directions that make it sound, as a particularly nice reviewer said, like you're "a pair of friends hanging out in the kitchen." I'll continue catering to the paying customers, thanks.
 

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smreine said:
I never seem to get new reviews while my book is free. They come filtering in a few weeks later.
That's how mine have been too. I think I get one from someone who already read it, saw it free and remembered they wanted to write a review. After that, a few trickle in the first few days, but it's about a week later that I get maybe 4-6 in one day. (which is an avalanche for me.
 

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ChrisRachael said:
I think they honestly believe that giving a review is their way of "paying" for the book.

They have to do it fast, though, because they downloaded 99 other top 100 freebies today, and they all deserve a sentence or two.

This happens every time I do a giveaway. My weirdest reviews are always from freeloaders who picked it up the same day. During my most recent free period, I had an amusing batch of totally nonsensical reviews based entirely on the "click to look inside" portion. My personal favorite was "I guess you have to be a dr Who fan to appreciate this book. Was not impressed." (Ahem - the book in question is a Doctor Who cookbook, complete with a sonic screwdriver on the cover.) A few days after the free period, I'm getting lovely reviews from people who actually read and liked the book.

Has anyone else noticed this pattern?
If someone leaves a negative review within hours of acquiring the book, the chances are that it is genuine - it is what they really feel. They didn't like it, didn't finish it for that reason, and were sufficiently motivated/annoyed to leave their opinion. I will sometimes leave a review for a book that I found too poorly written to finish.

I wasn't sleeping early this morning and was flipping through the Amazon lists looking for something to distract me. I found one just released and well reviewed book (bunch of five stars on the same day) that was so appallingly written that I had difficulty getting through the first couple of pages. It was - plot wise - a blatant take-off of a well known book and TV/Movie series only it was written by someone with no skill or understanding. It was billed as "the first in a trilogy" by an unpublished author. Every time the protagonist was mentioned there was a laundry list of the clothing and accessories he was wearing - all by brand name or label. He didn't look at his watch, he looked at his Rolex watch. His shirt, shoes, trousers, sunglasses, even his belt were all described by (expensive) brand and model. He wasn't just handsome, his "sexiness" was such that when he walked into a bar, all the women got so excited that they nearly slid off their stools.

I didn't attempt to read more than a few pages, and although it has nothing to redeem it I didn't leave a negative review because I had expected it to be comically bad and it was. The blurb gave that much away - I only looked at it for entertainment - I wanted to see how bad it was.

Many people will likely leave a pretty negative one star review. I will check later this evening and see if that is the case.
 

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I am with DarkScribe here (hey, that must be a first!)

I am constantly amazed at the contempt expressed by some authors for people who read their books and happen not to like it.

Whack-a-mole? Freeloaders? Those terms are dripping with contempt.

It is certainly true that is you give away large numbers of books, you put your book in the hands of many people who would not otherwise have read it, nor paid for it. Many of them will not like it. Some will even leave reviews saying as much. Some readers will completely mis-understand the book, or will be so enraged by the first chapter that they feel the need to rant on Amazon. Or their aim is to rise in the reviewer ranks and they want to write as many different reviews as possible.

People have all sorts of reasons to write reviews, and for the most part, they are valid reasons. If this bothers you, you can always stop doing freebies.
 

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Patty, I am now ashamed. You have enlightened me and reminded me. I was, in fact, very flattered with so many grabbing up my free offer. I was new enough then to believe they did so because they were intrigued with the tags, or blurbs and did not know there were people that downloaded freebies by the hundreds. Still, people were reading me. I was flattered and felt appreciated.

I need to be better. Thanks.
 

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strath said:
I got zero reviews from freebie moochers. Zero! I knock wood and cross fingers but so far all of mine say varified purchase.
If someone downloaded your book while it was free on Amazon, then it will say "verified purchase." Because it is a verified "purchase" in the sense that they got it from Amazon. Amazon doesn't split hairs as to whether the purchase was $0.00 or something more than that. If it was gotten from them, then it's a verified purchase.
 

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I don't think any of the authors here dislike readers or mean to disparage "readers" as a group.

"Freeloaders" is, however, probably offensive. Kinda funny, yet offensive.  ;)

What none of us, readers or authors or both, like is unfairness. I've seen reviewers who are clearly not authors chew people out for wasting everyone's time with an unjust statement. It's not just authors who are troubled by careless or contemptuous reviews, and there is a big difference between the fair and critical review of an unhappy customer versus someone who feels they are being harassed by Amazon's emails or whatever.

However, there's shit-all we can do about it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Patty Jansen said:
I am with DarkScribe here (hey, that must be a first!)

I am constantly amazed at the contempt expressed by some authors for people who read their books and happen not to like it.

Whack-a-mole? Freeloaders? Those terms are dripping with contempt.
Look, I get that you're trying to pick a fight, but I picked up the term "freeloading" here on Kindle Boards. Honestly, I thought that was the locally approved term to distinguish between downloaded free copies and downloaded paid copies. I've had the same "you're doing it wrong" reaction when I referred to them as "free sales." No matter what you call the downloads when your book is free, someone is going to disapprove.

I think it's honestly funny when people download a book and give it a low review for being exactly what the book promised. I got a good chuckle out of a reviewer who didn't like my Doctor Who cookbook because it's full of recipes about Doctor Who. How can you not laugh at that?
 

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I don't even care about unfairness of single reviews. My unfairness is someone else's justice. People can say whatever they like and people can read the reviews and the sample and make up their own mind.

The only unfairness I'd go in to bat for is when an author is targeted by a large group of people with bullying treatment because of other reasons, like a difference in political opinion.
 

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ChrisRachael said:
Look, I get that you're trying to pick a fight, but I picked up the term "freeloading" here on Kindle Boards. Honestly, I thought that was the locally approved term to distinguish between downloaded free copies and downloaded paid copies. I've had the same "you're doing it wrong" reaction when I referred to them as "free sales." No matter what you call the downloads when your book is free, someone is going to disapprove.

I think it's honestly funny when people download a book and give it a low review for being exactly what the book promised. I got a good chuckle out of a reviewer who didn't like my Doctor Who cookbook because it's full of recipes about Doctor Who. How can you not laugh at that?
We get those reviews all the time, from people who don't appear to have looked at the book's description and have gone to read indiscriminately and realised that the book was not at all what they normally read.

I think that the risk of this happening is much greater with ebooks, because when you open a book on your ereader, you don't get to see the cover again in the same way the cover keeps reminding you of what sort of book you're reading with a physical book.

I'm not picking a fight. I just think that we are wordsmiths and we should be as careful as we can with words. As writers, we should be very sensitive to the emotional meaning of words. Freeloaders and whackamole are very negative words that imply a very negative opinion of people.
 

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ChrisRachael said:
Look, I get that you're trying to pick a fight, but I picked up the term "freeloading" here on Kindle Boards. Honestly, I thought that was the locally approved term to distinguish between downloaded free copies and downloaded paid copies. I've had the same "you're doing it wrong" reaction when I referred to them as "free sales." No matter what you call the downloads when your book is free, someone is going to disapprove.
I wouldn't fault you for using a term that you learned from others unknowingly, but JFYI, freeloader is definitely a loaded term. Look at its context in politics. (Don't discuss actual politics here, just Google, especially in terms of topics like "47 percent" or "makers and the takers.") It's definitely meant to describe someone who is either a cheapskate / moocher / etc. or someone with parasitic tendencies in society.

I think "free sales" is just fine, FWIW.
 

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To answer the OP's question, though, YES, the majority of "disappointed" reviews tend to come in fast, sometimes during the promo itself. More reviews trickle in later, though you don't know if they bought it for hard-earned dollarz or caught it on the free download day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Moissanite_Jewel said:
For a short time some called them unicorns. ;D
Ooh! Can I call them glitter sparkle ponies? Because I'd love to say I recently corralled 25,000 glitter sparkle ponies into my stable.
 
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