Tue 10 November 2015

Read, Rate, and Review

Posted by. James Jackson This article was posted in Self Publishing, eBook Marketing, General and tagged with Reviews, Self-Publishing, social media, marketing
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Author Feedback and the importance of Reviews

terran chronicles universe blog Reviews are an integral, and often important, part of most people's purchasing decisions. In the past, we would ask friends and family for their opinions on various things. These days, with the explosion of the internet phenomenon, we are able to get the thoughts and opinions of more people, sometimes a lot more people.

Massive companies spend vast amounts of time, effort, and energy, in capturing these reviews, so as to inform their customers that not only do they think their products they are selling are great, so do thousands of others. Amazon is one of these companies, and their eBook Kindle program is world leading.

When it comes to eBooks, these reviews are an integral, and critical, part of an author's life. Many companies utilize a five star rating system, coupled with the ability for anyone to leave a review. Most people leave honest views, with heartfelt feedback. These people are the heart and soul of the review system, and they should be cherished and encouraged. These reviews can range from enjoying a story, to hating, and everything in between.

These reviews are often conducted by strangers with a high degree on anonymity. The odds of ever meeting authors face to face are slim to none. Thus the normal social filters we were taught as children are often not applied by these people when commenting. There is a small group of vocal people who leave hateful and harsh reviews, for no reason other than the fact that they can, while often remaining anonymous. These people are called 'trolls'. These people often only read snippets of an author's book, or sadly in some cases none at all. They often slam a writer because of who they are, and their reviews are rarely based on what they have read. Their reviews are not a true reflection of an author's work, and should be ignored. Many companies try to combat these shameless critics, with varying degrees of success. One of these companies is Amazon.

Amazon is an extremely progressive company, and as such they are constantly making changes to their eBook platform and review system in their quest to stay the best, and to weed out these trolls. A few recent changes are having a positive effect on their review system, but this comes at a price. Their strategy is to use the power of numbers. Trolls are few in number, while the masses are many, thus for books to be recommended, Amazon requires a large number of reviews. This by default means that any book they recommend, will have a high rating, with many glowing reviews. Scathing and inappropriate comments by a minority are overwhelmed, and though they still exist, are outweighed.

Another hurdle for authors, is the latest attempts by Amazon to stop friends from providing reviews. Many authors banded together to combat these trolls, and provide reviews of each other's books. Many authors do this ethically, as in they read a book and review it, sadly a minority of authors have ruined it for the rest of us, thus Amazon have made yet another change to their review protocols.

This is a reply from Amazon when a review is written by a possible friend.

"We cannot post your Customer Review for (book title deleted) by (author name deleted) to the Amazon website because your account activity indicates that you know the author."

One problem with this system is that now, the faceless horde of trolls are mostly immune from having their reviews blocked. They are not friends, so their reviews will remain, and only by complaining on a case by case basis, can these be removed. This adds yet another task to an author's busy life.

To combat this issue author's need a large number of reviews by people they do not know, in order to beat this hateful minority. I ask that everyone who reads an eBook, spends a couple of minutes to acknowledge the author's hard work.

It is as simple as, 'Read, Rate, and Review!'

So to all my fans and followers who have read my stories, I ask that you visit my Amazon page, and, 'Read, Rate, and Review, my work! I would love to read your thoughts on my story, both good and bad. These reviews also help authors hone their craft.

I thank you in advance for your support.

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It Take it easy mates

James Jackson