Author Topic: Too many reviews!  (Read 841 times)

RiverRun

Too many reviews!
« on: May 02, 2023, 09:48:03 AM »
The first book I self-published has been on Amazon for almost ten years. I had achieved the dizzying heights of about 35 reviews/ratings and zero sales over the course of 2022 and zero so far this year.

Sometime this spring, I forget just when, I looked at the Amazon page and saw that I had 103 ratings. The reviews are unchanged. The book is still at 4 stars. Only one was unverified. The other stores, ( UK and so on) were near the same number. Its in KU.  This seems like a definite error to me. I suppose its a convenient error, but I might like to promote this book someday and I would hate for Amazon to suddenly notice their error when I'm advertising the book.

For kicks I sent an email reporting a problem with a review. I received an email saying they checked the review in question and found no problem with it, have a nice day.

I did give the book away for free on Apple for about a year or 2, around 2021-2022. Probably gave away 20-50 copies a month for several months. Received one rating on Apple for my trouble. Doesn't add up to me.

This ever happen to anyone else?

The book is here.

https://www.amazon.com/Love-Divine-LeAnne-McKinley/dp/149775190X
 

Bill Hiatt

  • Trilogy unlocked
  • *****
  • Posts: 3633
  • Thanked: 1260 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Tickling the imagination one book at a time
    • Bill Hiatt's Author Website
Re: Too many reviews!
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2023, 11:52:58 AM »
The growth in ratings does seem a little rapid, but ever since Amazon started accepting ratings without reviews, I've found my titles have all increased considerably. My most popular book was at around 75 reviews or so and is now at 225. It's easier to just rate than to write a review, and so far more people tend to do it.

Oh, wait, I just reread the first paragraph and saw the no sales line in the first paragraph. Yes, that makes the situation odder, but does that also mean no pages read? Because if the book in in KU and getting read, the ratings could be coming from KU readers.

Reviews can come from strange places, however. One of my shorter titles has four ratings and one review, all from a period of time during which it hardly ever sold. However, I was using the book as a free reader magnet for a while. (It wasn't in KU at the time.) The ratings came from people who received it as a magnet. Given what you said about giving 20-50 copies away on Apple each month for several months, it isn't inconceivable that some of those readers found their way to Amazon and rated the book.

The number is surprising, but I wouldn't worry about it. So far, there haven't been any other reports (that I know of, anyway) of large numbers of ratings appearing out of thin air. Maybe you just got lucky with those freebies.


Tickling the imagination one book at a time
Bill Hiatt | fiction website | education website | Facebook author page | Twitter
 

LilyBLily

Re: Too many reviews!
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2023, 11:53:53 AM »
Yes. To many of us. We discussed this here, but offhand I don't know the name of the thread.

We speculate that Amazon has finally decided to count the ratings under KU that were given before its newer end-of-book rating page was instituted. And they're all coming in as verified reviews, too. I got a bunch--but only on my older books.
 

Bill Hiatt

  • Trilogy unlocked
  • *****
  • Posts: 3633
  • Thanked: 1260 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Tickling the imagination one book at a time
    • Bill Hiatt's Author Website
Re: Too many reviews!
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2023, 12:00:49 PM »
Interesting! That would certainly account for the OP's situation.

I think I did notice a recent spurt, but for me it wasn't as drastic.


Tickling the imagination one book at a time
Bill Hiatt | fiction website | education website | Facebook author page | Twitter
 

Hopscotch

Re: Too many reviews!
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2023, 12:42:23 PM »
How bitterly you all have shattered my dreams - my better-selling books saw their rating #s quadruple and I thought I had at last been discovered.  Drat.  Also noticed that my least seller with a one star and a five star averaged out to a four star, so now I understand the Zon's thinking less than I ever did.  Drat, again.
. .
 

RiverRun

Re: Too many reviews!
« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2023, 01:09:12 PM »
Thank you all. Very interesting. Does that mean people were leaving ratings in KU at some point that were not making it onto the regular book listing? I've never actually used KU as a customer so I don't quite understand this.

Weirdly strange to think that I may have a book that legitimately has a hundred reviews.

In December/January I did some free days through KU for some of my other books and noticed the ratings increase around that time for each of those books. But not all at one time. Whereas this book was not promoted at all and the reviews just appeared out of the blue. So perhaps if the reviews are trickling in a predictable manner, they might be recent?
« Last Edit: May 02, 2023, 01:11:21 PM by RiverRun »
 

Bill Hiatt

  • Trilogy unlocked
  • *****
  • Posts: 3633
  • Thanked: 1260 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Tickling the imagination one book at a time
    • Bill Hiatt's Author Website
Re: Too many reviews!
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2023, 11:14:13 PM »
Reviews and ratings trickling in would be recent. Because rating is so much easier, I seem to pick up some fairly frequently.

And yes, people have been able to rate books for a long time. I don't know how KU works either, but I recall some of the apps have that function when people reach the end of the book. But prior to the ratings being displayed on the page, those ratings just went into the cyber limbo. Amazon toyed with adding them to the average once before, then stopped for some reason, then went back to them.

Amazon moved in mysterious ways.


Tickling the imagination one book at a time
Bill Hiatt | fiction website | education website | Facebook author page | Twitter
 

Bill Hiatt

  • Trilogy unlocked
  • *****
  • Posts: 3633
  • Thanked: 1260 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Tickling the imagination one book at a time
    • Bill Hiatt's Author Website
Re: Too many reviews!
« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2023, 11:16:22 PM »
How bitterly you all have shattered my dreams - my better-selling books saw their rating #s quadruple and I thought I had at last been discovered.  Drat.  Also noticed that my least seller with a one star and a five star averaged out to a four star, so now I understand the Zon's thinking less than I ever did.  Drat, again.
Give thanks to the gods of the internet. This is one of the very few times I've ever heard of Amazon's weird weighting of reviews actually benefiting an author. Averaging a 5 and a 1 and getting 1.5 (or at least, lower than 3) is much more typical.


Tickling the imagination one book at a time
Bill Hiatt | fiction website | education website | Facebook author page | Twitter
 

writeway

Re: Too many reviews!
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2023, 10:58:17 AM »
Amazon has been adding Goodreads ratings to books on Amazon.
 

Bill Hiatt

  • Trilogy unlocked
  • *****
  • Posts: 3633
  • Thanked: 1260 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Tickling the imagination one book at a time
    • Bill Hiatt's Author Website
Re: Too many reviews!
« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2023, 11:37:04 PM »
Amazon has been adding Goodreads ratings to books on Amazon.
Intermittently. I don't see any on my books currently, though I have at some points in the past.

Of course, Amazon should furnish a note on affected pages that the two rating systems are different, but I'm sure it won't. Getting a five on Goodreads is harder (more specific criteria), and a three is considered a positive rating, but on Amazon, it's considered a critical rating. The net result is that Goodreads rating averages are normally lower.

Intermittently, Amazon also shows IMDB ratings on movies and TV shows. I see it sometimes, but not always.

The inconsistencies make me wonder if Amazon is testing different patterns to see if the added ratings make any difference in sales. Otherwise, they should have finished migrating to including the added ratings long ago, but they don't seem to have.

Not so long ago, Doordash tried including Google ratings of restaurants in addition to its own. That didn't last long. Of course, Doordash doesn't own Google or vice versa. Amazon does own Goodreads and IMDB, which may account for its flirtation with their ratings. It can add them for free.


Tickling the imagination one book at a time
Bill Hiatt | fiction website | education website | Facebook author page | Twitter
 

RiverRun

Re: Too many reviews!
« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2023, 11:46:46 PM »
I have a Goodreads ratings on all my Amazon books but they are listed specifically as Goodreads, not included in Amazon's rating. This particular book was my freebie on Amazon for a long time and due to a lucky promotion, I gave away a lot of books. So Lilyblily's explanation makes sense in my case.
 

LilyBLily

Re: Too many reviews!
« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2023, 05:30:45 AM »
I know for sure that Amazon has not moved over any reviews or ratings from Goodreads for my most recently published women's fiction novel (published last year). I wish Amazon would! That book has more reviews on Goodreads than on Amazon. And they have five stars, too, dang it.
 

alhawke

Re: Too many reviews!
« Reply #12 on: May 04, 2023, 07:31:48 PM »
It can't only be KU because my books are wide and I'm seeing the same review increase. I'm not so sure it's Goodreads either because many of my Goodreads ratings tend to be 0.5 points lower and most of my books have remained the same overall score. Could it be that Amazon is sending rating requests to prior customers? I have received rating requests from time to time.
 

Bill Hiatt

  • Trilogy unlocked
  • *****
  • Posts: 3633
  • Thanked: 1260 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Tickling the imagination one book at a time
    • Bill Hiatt's Author Website
Re: Too many reviews!
« Reply #13 on: May 05, 2023, 12:03:09 AM »
It can't only be KU because my books are wide and I'm seeing the same review increase. I'm not so sure it's Goodreads either because many of my Goodreads ratings tend to be 0.5 points lower and most of my books have remained the same overall score. Could it be that Amazon is sending rating requests to prior customers? I have received rating requests from time to time.
RiverRun is correct. If Goodreads ratings are included, they are always separate (and labeled as Goodreads), not just merged into Amazon.

I get review requests, too (sometimes for my own books, another example of the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing). But they are typically requests related to books I've read in the relatively recent past. If Amazon sent out requests to prior readers, that would be a lot of emails... Even in the more-is-better culture of Amazon, I have a hard time visualizing that.


Tickling the imagination one book at a time
Bill Hiatt | fiction website | education website | Facebook author page | Twitter