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I was puzzled this morning when I read a review on my novella, The Bridge, and I immediately looked up the name to see if the reviewer was one of my regular followers. She isn't. (at least not on Facebook) And the review she did is her only review on Amazon. But what she wrote implies she wrote the review with her arm twisted behind her back! What is going on with reviews?

Touching story but short. Have nothing else to say about this book. I shouldn't be forced to put more cause I'm just gonna put stupid stuff.

...at least she gave it 3 stars... But why even bother? It sounds to me like she didn't want to review it at all, so I wonder why did she? ???

Edited to add: This is not one of those 'I got a bad review' threads. It's only her statement about 'being forced' that I find strange.
 

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Amazon requires that a review be at least 20 words long (I suspected to avoid reviews like "Great!" or "Sucked!").  I don't know why this reader decided to leave a review, but perhaps this requirement is why she commented on being "forced."
 

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I agree with Stuart that it probably refers to the required length. A lot of people are not comfortable elaborating on anything more than just their gut reaction. I've noticed that the number of reviews on my books has gone up since Amazon started sending out requests for reviews, but the word count per review on average has become considerably shorter.
 

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Some people hate having to leave reviews. I noticed one guy did forty-four reviews in one day (which I noticed because one of them was for one of my books), and almost all of them ended with this line: "Just typing to fill in the required words (this requirement is ridiculous!)." It seems odd that you'd leave so many reviews if you didn't actually want to post any sort of meaningful comments, but I'm guessing people like this really just want to leave a star rating.
 

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S Jaffe got the reply in before I could post - can't seem to do anything on KindleBoards today: way too laggy this a.m.

Yes, the twenty word minimum. I've seen similar reviews with openings such as great, good, so-so, etc. but some superfluous filler words to meet the minimum length.

An option for the one word reviewer is to just Like the book.
 

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Sometimes the thought that a person might find it an inconvenience to write TWENTY WHOLE WORDS depresses the heck out of me. I visit schools across the maritime provinces teaching kids to write and I constantly hear questions such as "How much should I write? I wrote one paragraph, is that enough? I don't KNOW what to write next, I already wrote one sentence, can't I stop???"

(all right, that last sentence wasn't even a sentence...)

But then when I get to feeling depressed I remind myself that this is just proof that there will ALWAYS be more readers than there are writers in the world!

And then I cross my fingers...
 

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I had this on a 5-star review, very similar:

It kept me interested, til the end. but I don't have 13 more words to say about it... so i want to submit

Cracked me up.
 
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Caitie Quinn said:
Although it does seem weird her first review would be a 3 star she has nothing to say about LOL
It's possible people get the email from Amazon asking them to review and think they are obligated to do so.

I felt like that about seller ratings they demanded at first until I realized it wasn't really necessary to respond.
 

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Caitie Quinn said:
Although it does seem weird her first review would be a 3 star she has nothing to say about LOL
She probably rec'd the "Rate this book" email. My father bought my book, rec'd the email and thought he HAD to leave a review. Luckily I told him he didn't have to and thankfully, he did not. ; )
 

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Does anyone else just glare at those emails?

I've been asked to rate my own books and other people's books I've worked on (and been credited on)... And yet, Amazon is deleting new reviews every day.

Right hand, meet left hand.
 

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N. Gemini Sasson said:
I agree with Stuart that it probably refers to the required length. A lot of people are not comfortable elaborating on anything more than just their gut reaction. I've noticed that the number of reviews on my books has gone up since Amazon started sending out requests for reviews, but the word count per review on average has become considerably shorter.
The same here. I've started getting a large number (for me) of very short reviews.
 

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I just read a book on my Fire. First time. And before I finished reading the end stuff, it popped me over to a review page.

Also on my Fire, while I'm playing games, I'll get a pop-up asking me to review.

I guess we don't have to ask for reviews at the end of our books anymore, Amazon is doing it for us.
 

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I had no idea either that you had to leave 20 words minimum, or that people felt that they had to leave reviews. I shall check the wording of those emails Amazon always send me to see if I'd feel pressured if I didn't know differently...
 

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Interesting.  I have a lot of reviews that are the person's only review.  Maybe it's the result of "would you rate this book" emails.  (however, none have seemed forced yet!)
 

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Caitie Quinn said:
Does anyone else just glare at those emails?

I've been asked to rate my own books and other people's books I've worked on (and been credited on)... And yet, Amazon is deleting new reviews every day.

Right hand, meet left hand.
I've gotten those. It was tempting, but... I resisted.

I recently got one on the third book in my trilogy that said something along the lines of: "I've only just finished the first book, but so far love this series." Fortunately, it was a 5-star and I didn't mind, but I so badly wanted to comment and suggest she leave it on the first book, which could use the boost more. :-\
 

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I bet it's a combo: reader got the "would you like to review this?" email and thought, "well, okay ... never done this before, but I'll try it," then was annoyed to discover the 20-word minimum. She perceived Amazon as asking her to do it a favor by reviewing and then making it difficult to do said favor.
 

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I think this is a variation of things. I wish I could just leave star ratings at Amazon, I would feel less pressure to write. I am not a writer, never have been, never will. Its incredibly difficult and intimidating for me to write a review. I think that this is very hard for you guys to understand since you are writers.
Its impossible for you to put yourself into the shoes of someone like me or other readers.  ;)

Writing on forums is very very different than putting something out there others will constantly judge, belittle, pick on and downvote.

So now Amazon is sending out these emails and even I start feeling guilty.  :D. So what do you do if you don't know how to express yourself, you just write a sentence. Twitter style. But now some of you don't want those either.  :D. Reviewers can't win, can they.  :p

The other thing is mentioned above. At the end of the book on any kindle you get asked if you want rate it. But those are just ratings that go only to a personal kindle page. I haven't read a book on the Fire yet to see if its different there.
If it is and its an actual review on the book page, it would explain the short ones. I typed out my first ever post here on my Fire 8.9. It took me like 10 times longer than usual. I wouldn't want to write more than a sentence in a review on a Fire either.  :D. Maybe that is just me, or maybe I am getting old.  :p

I prefer reviewing on Goodreads. I can always leave a star rating, but I am not forced to leave any text if I don't feel like it. And there is no downvoting. Sometimes the star rating is like a placeholder. I read the book, I put in some stars for now and later I can come back and put in some text. Since I can't do anything like that on Amazon, I have stopped reviewing books there.

There are many books I read that I can easily review in one sentence. Its all about how a book made me feel, or not. I don't care about technical stuff, I am just a reader. Sometimes we just don't have anything to say other than we enjoyed the book, we liked the characters and the story was fun to follow. What more do you want  :D
 
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