Sunday 28 April 2013

Reviews on Amazon and Why You Should Not Take Them as Gospel If You Value Your Reading Experience

Welcome to the world of rants, rants and more rants. Yes, this is the low down on Amazon reviews! Hurrah!

I hate Amazon reviews with a passion. The only reason I ever write them myself is when I have to. I've heard along the Internet grapevine (so it might not be true) that Amazon have been deleting some reviews. Not in a control-the-press kind of way, but in a stop-authors-bad-mouthing-the-competition and friends-of-authors-giving-them-completely-false-good-reviews kind of way. If that is the case, then they darn well haven't been deleting the right reviews.
 I may have moaned before about how my Kindle is registered to my mum's account from before I had my own and how I can't send books to it and swapping it to my account would mean losing the 150 or so books I've read (and the good hundred or so that I haven't). Well, it means that my mum has to buy books for me.
 And that's where 'the good hundred or so I haven't' bit comes in. See, a lot of them are just books by Austen or Stoker or someone old which I just haven't yet had the willpower to get through. But a large amount are books with rave Amazon reviews.
 "Why won't you read it?" my mum will say. "It's got forty five-star reviews on Amazon!"
 Fact is, Amazon reviews lie. I don't know if that's because the idea of reviewing only appeals to people who, like me, hate to be harsh, or if the general public really are that easily pleased, but I've found that even the worst books are praised to within an inch of their lives. In fact, you're more likely to find a good book in the deep dark hole of 'mixed reviews' than the shining temple of 'five stars'.
 Which is why, occasionally, I'll write an Amazon review. Not because I loved the book, nor even because I love cutting the souls out of fellow writers in a fit of jealousy. No, I write the review so that maybe, just maybe, someone about to buy that book, that stupid book with no punctuation, the whole love-at-first-sight-with-no-explanation gig and a strange view of racism towards Native Americans, will realise that there's at least one bad review, and it's logical and cutting enough that it might possibly be true. And then they'll stop themselves from buying it, at least until they've harvested reviews from the farther reaches of the Internet.

I just thought I'd warn you. Sorry for the mini-rant, but, hopefully, not taking Amazon reviews as Gospel may just save your life one day.

Yeah, I wouldn't count on it either.

Reader out!

No comments:

Post a Comment