Saturday, June 20, 2015

S.D. Skye's Hell or High Water 365-Day Blog-athon Day 6 -- Amazon Review Reform???

If you're an author, then at some point in your life you've had a complaint about Amazon reviews. I've really gotten to the point in which, depending on the product, reviews weigh less and less in my decision whether or not to buy. I've quit running to Amazon every day to look at my own reviews because I've been trolled. So many authors are gaming the system, too. Not a day goes by that I don't get bombarded on twitter from fake review sites willing to use their little armies to boost my ratings...for a "small" fee. I'm sure some authors out there use these sites to manipulate their book ratings. I do not.

And how about legion of Internet trolls who live to do nothing but crap all over authors' work? It's sad the way people hide behind aliases to write spiteful reviews.

I've been the victim of at least two trolling reviews--and from two fellow authors no less who write in the spy thriller genre (whom I don't know, never met). They each wrote ONE book review EVER and it just happened to be of my books? Really? And this one book you read--of all the books in the world--my book is the one that compelled you to write a review? No, I don't think so. Then they changed their "review names" to protect the guilty, but I'm former FBI--I can find out stuff. There's other ways to find out the true name from an Amazon account. Even though I know their names I've never said anything and wouldn't. Just not worth it. But I'm not the only author who has gone through this kind of thing. Lots of other authors go through the same crap. 

And then there are those 1-star reviews "because the UPS put my shipment in the bush instead of on my front stoop" or "I received it in three days instead of two days as promised."  

The Amazon review system is begging for reform...and it looks like they've headed the call. According to this article on CNET, Amazon is IMPROVING it's customer review system. 
Looks like they are going to start weighting reviews, so that "newer reviews, reviews from verified Amazon purchasers and those that more customers vote up as being helpful" are weighted more heavily than other reviews. 

Will it really help? 

I don't know. Doubt it. Amazon needs more extensive reviews of their reviews and they need to have balls about how they handle them. Delete people who create trolling accounts for the sole purpose of 1-starring books. Delete any review that does not review the actual product, rather the shipping speed or some other madness. They need to delete any review that attacks the author versus the book. And the vast number of "reviewers" who create accounts for the sole purpose of reviewing of giving a bad review to ONE book? I mean c'mon, it's clear that's just someone guzzling haterade. Plus, people will always find a way to game and manipulate the system. For example, now instead of selling fake reviews these review companies will start selling fake helpful votes.  

I guess in time we will be able to better judge the effectiveness of this reform...but let's just say, I'm not holding my breath for "improvement." 


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