I constantly check reviews on Amazon sites for reviews of products I want to buy. The star rating is what I look at first, then the reviews.
One thing I’ve noticed recently, though, is how people misuse the review area of Amazon – and, ultimately, skew the star rating system.
If you look through product reviews, you will find people who actually review the seller, rather than the item. On Amazon, you have the opportunity to review the seller in a different area of the site. Typically, customers receive an email that asks them to rate the transaction.
Unfortunately, comments like, "Fast shipping. Thanks!" along with a five-star rating now end up in the product review section. That means the star rating is for the seller, instead of the product.
As customer, this really stinks. I have to be much more vigilant about ratings and thoroughly read reviews before I make a purchase.
As an author, however, this can be a good and bad situation. If reviewers had a great experience with the seller, it will help your star rating. If they had a really bad experience, however, it could hurt it.
This is another reason a great reason to patrol sites like Amazon for reviews. See what people are saying and how they rate your work. If they comment on the seller, gently point them to the seller review area, or simply ask them what they thought of the book itself.
Other reasons people give a bad rating:
- They don’t like the cover art.
- They wish it was offered on Kindle instead.
- They wish it was in hard copy instead of on Kindle.
- They don’t like the author’s Web site.
- They haven’t liked anything else from the author and don’t bother to read the book, just give it a bad rating.
This Amazon Sales Rank is Not Revolutionary (wickedly funny post)
One-Star Ratings on Amazon for Book without Kindle Version (GREAT post from Publishing Perspectives)0