Sorry that happened to you. I was trying to order a children's book for my daughter today and noticed the same thing. I flagged the inappropriate comments and sent an email to customer service. I found it disturbing that some of the posts were a few months old - apparently nobody is monitoring the reviews, and even more bothersome (IMO) - apparently no one else bothered to flag them even though a few people posted that they were offended at the content of many of the posts. I guess we'll avoid BN.com from now on unless they're going to start monitoring the reviews.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but even if you reported each of the non-reviews, B&N is unlikely to do anything about it.
This has been going on for a long time, and is actually the reason that I've bought nothing from them for the last several months. I'm not an author, but I am a customer and I don't think B&N deserves my money if they aren't going to give the producers of their books the respect it takes to respond to reported reviews.
Pick any "Free Friday" NOOK Book and you'll see hundreds of inappropriate non reviews which have been reported multiple times, but still remain.
I STRONGLY encourage everyone to send an email or letter, or make a call to the B&N executive leadership.
I'm a fan of B&N and Pubit in that being able to write and publish my own books has changed my life. That said, I'd like to believe the issue is going unresolved because it is not getting visibility with the right people.
Let's give them the benefit of the doubt and make sure the decision makers are aware. If they then choose not to look out for us authors, then we can always make other choices...
Here's the corporate link for Contacts (www)barnesandnobleinc.com/misc/contact_us.html
CEO is: William Lynch 122 5th Ave., New York, NY 10011
I just emailed off a letter to their Corporate Communications, PR group. Next stop is Mr. Lynch.
This practice falls under the law of unintended consequences. The chatters are schoolkids, whose schools have tried to cut down on unproductive computer use by blocking access to Facebook and other social media sites. So the kids look for any site that can be turned into a chat mechanism and found this one.
There is quite a simple solution for any site operator, which is to institute a delay in posting of reviews (10 minutes is good, 30 is better) which makes it useless for chatting. Unfortunately it can be a bit frustrating for reviewers who want to see their comments instantly, but it discourages misuse.
I had it happen to my Guest Log on a web site before. I was getting around fifty of those BS comments a day. Most of them were in Italian, guess they didn't figure a redneck could speak Italian....I wound up chasing a few of them down to their real IP and raised the dickens with them. The first time they laughed, the second time nothing was ever put on my site again. It's odd how much fun you can have when you really get into a computer.
These reviews aren't usually a determent to your book. Most of htem are just BSing with each other, but I don't like it either. The ones that really make me mad are the ones you get the same day your book gbets posted online and they say things like:
This is the worst book I have ever read. I couldn't get past the first chapter. The author obviously knows nothing about (whatever the book is about) and it should be rtemoved from sales!
These are the reviews that make you mad as you know they can't have read your book, or probably haven't bought it, either. They are just being (in French) Craphauds!
I have seen these on 3 or 4 of my titles. None of the chats were offensive, or negative towards my books, so I didn't worry about it.
Reviews drive traffic, so their 5 star reviews make my books a little easier to see.
Is it annoying? Yes. Is it hurting me? No. Is it worth worrying about? Not in the least.
Has anyone heard of a review that makes sense being removed? The reviewer wasn't the most literate and had spelled several things wrong, but it was directly related to my book and piece and they gave it 5 stars and one day it was there the next it just wasn't. Is B&N the only one that can remove them? Did the reviewer remove it?
I have tried via repeated emails and live chats with Barnes and Noble customer service to get them to do something about it as well. Unfortunately, they do not seem to be interested in resolving the situation. Like a previous commenter on this thread, I pointed out to them that a simple 24-72 hr waiting period would rectify the situation, and until something is done the book review boards on their site are essentially a joke with almost no bearing whatsoever on the actual book. It's a disgrace that the world's "largest seller of books" isnt committed to preserving the integrity of the art that is the reading and serious discussion of literature, though I guess I'm a naive romantic to believe that they'd be in it for anything other than the profits.