Reply
Frequent Contributor
rafalweb
Posts: 174
Registered: ‎07-26-2010
0 Kudos

Book Reviews- All Real?

I recently finished a book that received glowing user reviews, but with which I wasn't too thrilled.  No big deal, it's just my opinion.   But it got me thinking.  Given that so many Amazon product reviews are said to be plants, could it also be possible that some extremely positive book reviews on sites like BN and Amazon could also be plants?  It was just a thought in my head.........opinions?

Correspondent
Strayer
Posts: 653
Registered: ‎05-28-2011
0 Kudos

Re: Book Reviews- All Real?

A writer will ask friends to write positive reviews. Otherwise, your reviews are legitimate. The reviews that that are of concern are the nasty ones. That has happened to writers here. Some have gotten complaints about the price of ebooks in their reviews. B&N doesn't plant reviews.
Doug_Pardee
Posts: 5,504
Kudos: 3,957
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Book Reviews- All Real?

There's always the possibility. If a reviewer has nothing negative to say about a book, that's a red flag for me. Also, reviews by Harriet Klausner carry no weight with me.

 

That said, there are differences in taste, and even if they have the same taste as you, a lot of people just aren't picky. I once left a review in which I complained about the author's tremendous love of the comma splice, and someone responded that they didn't see any comma splices. Um, with rare exceptions it's quite clear if a comma is used in a comma splice or not. I'm sorry to say that in my experience most Americans are either ignorant or apathetic about proper spelling and grammar.

 

Few readers understand "good writing" from "bad writing," too. Dan Brown is a huge success as an author, but the poor quality of his writing is infamous. By and large, people don't care.

 

I look over the reviews for indications of the good points and the bad points of the book, and to what extent those matter to me. I also read a sample to see what I think. These days, though, I read almost entirely free e-books, so I'll pick up most anything that looks reasonably interesting, but I'm prepared to bail out on the e-book if it's not living up to my expectations. Just because I started it doesn't mean I have to finish it.

 

Frequent Contributor
rafalweb
Posts: 174
Registered: ‎07-26-2010
0 Kudos

Re: Book Reviews- All Real?


Strayer wrote:
A writer will ask friends to write positive reviews. Otherwise, your reviews are legitimate. The reviews that that are of concern are the nasty ones. That has happened to writers here. Some have gotten complaints about the price of ebooks in their reviews. B&N doesn't plant reviews.

Actually, the possibility that BN would plant reviews never entered my head.   I was thinking more along the lines of publishers, etc.  Or, as you stated, author's friends.   I'll frequently see a review, for instance, that states, "I couldn't put it down!".   And that's all.   So I just have to wonder.   Thanks for the responses.....

Wordsmith
Sardonicus
Posts: 380
Registered: ‎05-11-2010
0 Kudos

Re: Book Reviews- All Real?


rafalweb wrote:

. . . author's friends.   I'll frequently see a review, for instance, that states, "I couldn't put it down!".   And that's all.   So I just have to wonder.   Thanks for the responses.....


You  and the others are quite right, of course.  Even accepting disparities in individual tastes, some reviews are simply not to be taken seriously - for any number of reasons.

As Yogi Berra might've said, "Caviar Empire".

 

 

 

 


 

The people who live in a golden age usually go around complaining how yellow everything looks.

- Randall Jarrell








Contributor
willaful
Posts: 29
Registered: ‎12-29-2010
0 Kudos

Re: Book Reviews- All Real?

No question about it. Many Amazon authors game the system very successfully.

 

If you want reliable personal reviews, I recommend blogs or GoodReads. You'll soon get a sense of who's a shill and who can be trusted to be honest.

Correspondent
timetravel
Posts: 97
Registered: ‎03-31-2009
0 Kudos

Re: Book Reviews- All Real?

The worst I have seen is here on B & N.  One author has written many "anonymous" reviews raving about her book.  All of the reviews sound the same, and you can easily see they are all written by the same person.  

 

Several times I have read complaints against people who write reviews before the book has been released. Obviously they don't know that reviewers receive advanced reader copies.  Of course, books are like music. Everyone has different likes and dislikes.

 

 

Distinguished Wordsmith
spec
Posts: 890
Registered: ‎05-27-2010

Re: Book Reviews- All Real?


timetravel wrote:

Several times I have read complaints against people who write reviews before the book has been released. Obviously they don't know that reviewers receive advanced reader copies.  Of course, books are like music. Everyone has different likes and dislikes.

 

 


Many times reviews contain admission "I have yet to read a book" etc.

By example:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/imperfect-justice-jeff-ashton/1104911872?ean=9780062125361&format=no...

 

Some of 5 star reviews: "Can't wait to read!" "I cannot wait to read Mr. Ashton's book." "Im looking forward to reading" "Without even reading this book yet, I am sure that it is going to be awesome."

Reviews for this particular item are almost fun to read.

 

Personally recently for online purchases I took an approach of looking at worst reviews first and seeing if there are any serious complaints. That method allows me to evaluate by reviews the item faster.

Distinguished Scribe
Sun_Cat
Posts: 788
Registered: ‎12-03-2011
0 Kudos

Re: Book Reviews- All Real?


spec wrote:
 Personally recently for online purchases I took an approach of looking at worst reviews first and seeing if there are any serious complaints. That method allows me to evaluate by reviews the item faster.

I do this routinely, especially for electronics. In fact, one of the reasons I recently bought a Nook Simple Touch rather than a Kindle Touch was because I read that the KT is hard to hold in one hand while reading in bed due to its narrow bezel and lack of curved back. Since I do a lot of one-handed reading in bed, that complaint really helped me to decide on the NST.

Please visit me on Goodreads. Currently reading:
Journey Into Now by Leonard Jacobson