I’m Not Ranting, Really! About Amazon Reviews

DISCLAIMER: I only released my book yesterday. I don’t have any reviews yet, so, as of right now, this post is NOT about any bad reviews I MYSELF have gotten.
First of all, I found this article on Huffington Post:
About amusing flame reviews of classic books on Amazon.
I know there are trolls on Amazon that have nothing better to do than post one-star reviews for whatever reasons, including that a lot of people don’t like Amazon itself (gasp). I was looking at some other reviews of books that I’d bought recently (well, okay, they were free books, but still, they are considered “purchases” from Amazon. They must be, I even get receipts for them!) Many of them had five star or four star reviews. And then, the one star or two star reviews… Many of these reviews are nothing short of specious and ridiculous, but they AREN’T posted by trolls. They’re posted by, presumably, other writers, or readers who “bought” the book when it was offered free, then actually got around to reading them.
Reviews that get me annoyed include:

  • Ones where the reader writes that they didn’t like the book because “I don’t like this genre” or “this is not my kind of thing” and then proceed to give it a one star review on account of those feelings.(One of the big pitfalls of offering your book for free, IMO)
  • Ones where the reader starts to pull quotes from the book and critique them. I saw one review where the reader started giving a frigging GRAMMAR lesson in the review. Really?
  • Ones that spoil the plot, then trash it. Great, that story I was in the middle of reading just became completely ruined thanks to me reading your review, you turkey!
  • In the comments section of the article, you may see a comment from a man who had someone give his book a one-star review because their book arrived damaged in the mail!
    So, the question needs to be asked: which reviews on Amazon should one pay attention to? I think I need certain criteria, and unfortunately, a lot of people don’t pay as much attention to detail as I do.
    Criteria includes:

  • That the review is from someone who has either done a few reviews OR that the review has been deemed “helpful” by the majority of those who bothered to rate the review.
  • That the review is from someone who actually purchased the book from Amazon.
  • That a positive review is specific about what they liked about it, or that if it’s a negative review, that the review is not trashing spelling/grammar/editing when the post itself is filled with mistakes. OR ALL CAPS!!!!!!!
  • Oh, BTW, I’m sometimes a little leery of those “I received a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review” reviews as well. Not exactly sure why. But if the review seems legit in other ways, then I’ll take it more seriously.
    Yes, I suppose I need to be prepared for a negative review or two. But I believe it’s important to be able to separate the wheat from the chaff when it comes to reviews, not just for my own book but also for ones I’m considering reading as well.


    4 thoughts on “I’m Not Ranting, Really! About Amazon Reviews

    1. That’s odd that you’re leery about reviewers noting they got the book for free. You know they’re legally required to put that in their reviews if they got a review copy, right? Nothing to be worried about. 🙂


      1. I agree about putting the disclaimer in the review. If I made it sound like I think it’s sort of sketchy as to whether it’s a real review or not, that wasn’t my intent. I am certain it’s a real review.


    2. I would be suspicious of any book that only had 5 star reviews. No book will be loved/appreciated by all. As an author, you’ve got to take the bad reviews along with the good reviews – this is just part of the job.


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