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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just a dopey observation here.

My books do pretty well when it comes to getting reviews - the first in my series currently having over 300.  I definitely can't complain. I've reached the point where I'll keep track of them when a new book is released, to get an idea of general opinion on the story itself, but I don't obsessively check for them.  That being said, for a while now I've seen the oddest trend during those sometimes months-long lulls between book releases.

If I get a great glowing review, my sales rank for that book will take a nose dive.  If I get a low review, specifically one that goes into detail on all the things they hated, I see a sales boost.  It's the weirdest thing and just happened again today.  A book that was slowly sliding down got a low review and *bam* now the rank is several thousand spots higher than it was.

So all doomsayers of 1 stars take note. They're definitely not always a bad thing.

Sure they may hurt my feelings a bit, but it seems they are also providing me the means to purchase enough tissues to wipe away those tears.  ;D
 

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Rick, have you checked your borrows? My rank changes with a borrow, but not at the same time the borrow appears on my stats.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
HAGrant said:
Rick, have you checked your borrows? My rank changes with a borrow, but not at the same time the borrow appears on my stats.
Most of my books aren't on KU.
 

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I can see this. Amusingly, as an avid gamer, I often base my game purchases on the negative reviews.

If a game has lots of positive reviews, and one negative review on the front page of Steam, I go read the negative.

If it tells me "This game sucks because gameplay mechanic 1, bad controls, and a shitty story." It may indeed stop me from buying it.
But if it tells me "This game sucks because it's too short." or "This game sucks because I do not personally like this genre." or "This game sucks because you have to spend too much time doing x" where x is something I actually like... then maybe the negative review has just talked me into actually buying it. And frankly, I trust the negative review to tell me what the game has in it. Just that person didn't like it. But I know they probably told me the truth. Someone who LOVES a game may fluff up its good points and ignore its flaws. A negative review is probably more accurate.

So maybe people do similar with books?
I don't get most of my books based on reviews. I get most from friends who already read it because I'm slower than most of my friends who read.
But if I were going to get a book based on the reviews, I think I'd pay attention to the negative reviews as much as the positives.
I do that when I buy items from Amazon too...

I always check the low reviews as well as the high ones to try to get a balanced view.
If an item has nothing but 5 star reviews, I'm going to wonder if it's that good, or if no one has pointed out the flaws yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Arshness said:
A negative review is probably more accurate.

So maybe people do similar with books?
I don't get most of my books based on reviews. I get most from friends who already read it because I'm slower than most of my friends who read.
But if I were going to get a book based on the reviews, I think I'd pay attention to the negative reviews as much as the positives.
I do that when I buy items from Amazon too...

I always check the low reviews as well as the high ones to try to get a balanced view.
If an item has nothing but 5 star reviews, I'm going to wonder if it's that good, or if no one has pointed out the flaws yet.
I can buy that logic. I also think people are quicker to trust reviews that are 3 star and lower these days. There's been so much gaming of the system in the past few years that I can imagine people look at high reviews with a great deal of skepticism.
 

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As an online buyer, I find that the 2-, 3-, and 4-star reviews are the most useful. People feel obliged to justify why they didn't give a 5 or a 1, so they go into detail about the story, the relatability of the characters, and production values like grammar and other annoyances. I also look at the graph of the distribution of star rankings: all 5's usually have some relationship with the author, all 1's either didn't read the product description or, if it's not a book, didn't read the manual.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Molly Tomorrow said:
It sounds like comfirmation bias to me.
That's why I started off by saying it was just a dopey observation. Nothing scientific about it in the least. More of a "Hey now! That happened again." :)
 

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Yes Rick,
The "this book had too much (whatever) in it may be someone else's gravy.  Oh cool this book has lots of (whatever) must buy now.
 

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Rick Gualtieri said:
That's why I started off by saying it was just a dopey observation. Nothing scientific about it in the least. More of a "Hey now! That happened again." :)
It's interesting. Did anything else change on the web page for the book besides the review?
 
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