Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Amazon Reviews

Several of the groups for whom I review books ask that I post the reviews on a consumer website so I post to Amazon.com.  I was perusing my reviews today and it just struck me as interesting which reviews got comments and which didn't, and which reviews had people finding them helpful--or not.  As of this moment, I have 171 reviews on Amazon.  My reviewer rank is 4518.  I have 395 votes on my reviews, as to whether they are helpful or not, and of those votes 261 are "helpful".  Sixteen of my reviews have garnered comments and the one that has garnered the most is Two Kisses for Maddy.  Basically certain commenters took offense towards my complaints about overuse of the "F" word.  I noticed too that another review of the same book--a one star review by someone who perused the book at the store, noticed the language and chose not to purchase it, also garnered a lot of negative votes.

I gave five stars to All Different Kinds of Free but my review was short and basically said I liked it.  I have four people saying the review is helpful.  I gave The Goodbye Quilt , a book by a popular author, five stars, and wrote a pretty thorough review, which 23 of 23 people said was helpful--and I can understand why people find that review helpful but 0 of 3 people found my review of In Name Only  to be helpful, yet I think I gave some very clear reasons why I didn't like this much as much as I had hoped to.  I have to wonder if the voters were friends of the author--I realize they might not like my negative review, but to say it isn't helpful?

My review of Sweetie is different--I gave it four stars and a fairly positive review, but nothing extraordinary.  49 of 53 people found my review helpful--that's probably more votes than any other review.  I wonder if the voters are friends of authors?

What about you?  Do you post your reviews on Amazon?  Which reviews have gotten the most votes?  The most comments?


  1. I do post reviews on Amazon and like you I don't understand the helpful votes. It reminds me a bit of high school the way the votes are cast. It does seem like if some hates a book they go through and find all the positive reviews unhelpful votes and vice versa. They should really just get rid of the votes in my opinion. It's really bad on YA books.

  2. I never bother saying whether reviews were helpful or not. Although on other products--toys, games, etc.--the reviews definitely do help. But it's not like they're going to get rid of the unhelpful ones, so what's the point?

    I have put up a few reviews on amazon, but I never go back to see if they've gotten comments.

  3. I do post reviews on Amazon (but not always) but I've never looked at comments

  4. I use the reviews to help me with selection. I also follow some reviewers more after reading what else they review. I have never done the "helpful" thing- except on Yelp. I suspect many more of your reviews are followed than are reflected.

  5. I review on Amazon. I like checking for reviews of books I'm interested in. I've voted on reviews for helpful or not. But, I agree that there seems to be no consistency or anything on how people vote. What amuses me about Amazon reviews are how viciously obsessive people can be towards other reviewers and particular reviews.

    I looked up my stats:
    346 reviews.
    573 (of 704) helpful votes.
    1541 reviewer rank.

    At first glance, The Kitchen Daughter, June Bug, and In a Heartbeat seem to have the most helpful votes. Both reviews were positive. A Tailor-Made Bride got most helpful critical review, but it was 3 stars. It was interesting to me at how annoyed I was as I noticed the reviews that people were unhelpful! I wanted to ask them why.

  6. Honestly, I don't get all worked up over comments, likes or whatever on Amazon. If one of my regular readers here had a negative comment about one of my reviews, that might bother me--and saying that you disagree, that you loved a book I hated or hated one I loved isn't a negative comment; telling me I was mean or something like that is a negative comment--but those anon. "helpfuls" on Amazon are worth the paper they are printed on to me.

    This post is more about me being amused and a little puzzled about which reviews get the attention. Sweetie was a good book but it is by a small press and as far as I know it never hit any bestseller lists--yet it got more "likes" than any other book I read. I wonder if the author's friends or people who work for the publicist do that? I know I don't generally mark reviews when I read them. The vast majority of my reviews have no comments and aren't marked as helpful or not, yet In Name Only, a self-published book which as far as I know has not hit any list of big sellers garnered three "unhelpful" votes.

  7. Oh, Lizzie is me, RAnn--evidently my daughter is logged into a gmail/google account

  8. I haven't tried posting on Amazon before. I do read reviews on Amazon though and it really is interesting what people find interesting or helpful and what they take issue with. Oh human nature!

  9. I've only done two book reviews thus far and posted them on Amazon. I haven't bothered to check to see if any comments or votes were left on them.


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