Author Topic: What just changed on Amazon about Reviews and Ratings?  (Read 665 times)

TimothyEllis

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What just changed on Amazon about Reviews and Ratings?
« on: September 12, 2020, 12:35:58 PM »
I'm seeing a rash of ratings at the moment, but no reviews.

I've not had a new review on any book in 20 days now.

What changed on Amazon?

Did they reverse the $50 spend policy?
Genres: Space Opera/Fantasy/Cyberpunk, with elements of LitRPG and GameLit, with a touch of the Supernatural. Also Spiritual and Games.



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She-la-te-da

Re: What just changed on Amazon about Reviews and Ratings?
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2020, 10:43:18 PM »
Nothing about the review requirements changed that I know of. I know there's been a lot of complaining in general about reviews on other sites, mostly about them not showing. Whether that's to do with the reviewer not following guidelines or Amazon being slow, or who knows?
I write various flavors of speculative fiction. This is my main pen name.

 

alhawke

Re: What just changed on Amazon about Reviews and Ratings?
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2020, 04:15:45 AM »
I'm seeing a rash of ratings at the moment, but no reviews.

I've not had a new review on any book in 20 days now.

What changed on Amazon?

For the first time ever, I received a notification from Alexa, of all places, to check to see if I wanted to rate a book from 1-5 stars for a purchase I made four months ago. This has to be the easiest way ever to rate a book and could explain the uptick in ratings only. You guys tell me, is this a feature Amazon has had before, or is it new? And is Amazon selecting particular books for this?


A.L. Hawke | Author website | Goodreads | BookBub
 

Simon Haynes

Re: What just changed on Amazon about Reviews and Ratings?
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2020, 04:49:55 AM »
As I mentioned in another thread, I've seen the number of ratings soar recently. Amazon must be encouraging people to click somewhere or other. Maybe it's more in-your-face than it used to be?


 
 
 

 
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elleoco

Re: What just changed on Amazon about Reviews and Ratings?
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2020, 04:54:15 AM »
I looked at a book the other day that said it had 5 reviews but only showed 3. When I pursued looking for all reviews, I finally got 2 more to show, and they were star ratings only.

JRTomlin

Re: What just changed on Amazon about Reviews and Ratings?
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2020, 11:38:33 AM »
There do seem to be a lot more star-only ratings than there used to be which must mean that Amazon is pushing them.
 

Prawny Author

Ratings Change
« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2020, 08:34:51 AM »
The relatively new changes to Amazon's rating system greatly increases the chances of getting a rating in my opinion. The new system allows a reader to rate the book they read without leaving a review. So, while it may be a slight disadvantage to an author hoping to glean information about what works and what doesn't in their books, it allows people who are not confident about writing a review to leave a rating instead. Two of my novels that haven't had a review since their release over a year ago, now have five star ratings. Naturally, I would love a review but will settle for a rating over nothing anytime.
Anyone else noticed ratings on their books that did not previously have a review?
 
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ashleycapes

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Re: Ratings Change
« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2020, 09:27:52 AM »
Definitely, getting a rising in ratings (which is indeed nice) with that subsequent drop in reviews, so I've basically stopped checking my review sections for any potentially useful info now.

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TimothyEllis

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Re: What just changed on Amazon about Reviews and Ratings?
« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2020, 11:19:21 AM »
When I went to bed last night, my current book had 13 ratings.

Now it has 36. And only 1 additional review.

The downside is, the book now has a 4 star and a 3 star, and I've no idea why they marked it down.  :icon_think:  :shrug
Genres: Space Opera/Fantasy/Cyberpunk, with elements of LitRPG and GameLit, with a touch of the Supernatural. Also Spiritual and Games.



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TimothyEllis

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Re: What just changed on Amazon about Reviews and Ratings?
« Reply #9 on: September 17, 2020, 10:52:02 PM »
So now my book is at 45 ratings, and it's only day 4 in the US.

Serious WTF changed?
Genres: Space Opera/Fantasy/Cyberpunk, with elements of LitRPG and GameLit, with a touch of the Supernatural. Also Spiritual and Games.



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angela

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Re: What just changed on Amazon about Reviews and Ratings?
« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2020, 10:57:50 PM »
My most popular book, which usually gets about 10 reviews a month, has shot up 80 reviews in the last month.
 

notthatamanda

Re: What just changed on Amazon about Reviews and Ratings?
« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2020, 11:28:55 PM »
I just hope it's not scammers flooding lots of books with ratings/reviews to camouflage the fact that they are doing it to their own books to boost the ratings.

I have one new review the past week. I'm assuming it's a rating though because the actual review isn't showing up anywhere.
 

Prawny Author

Re: What just changed on Amazon about Reviews and Ratings?
« Reply #12 on: September 17, 2020, 11:31:28 PM »
So now my book is at 45 ratings, and it's only day 4 in the US.

Serious WTF changed?
Timothy, I have been told that Amazon now prompt the reader to rate the book after they finish it on their Kindle. As I don't have a Kindle, I can't confirm that.
 

TimothyEllis

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Re: What just changed on Amazon about Reviews and Ratings?
« Reply #13 on: September 17, 2020, 11:42:09 PM »
So now my book is at 45 ratings, and it's only day 4 in the US.

Serious WTF changed?
Timothy, I have been told that Amazon now prompt the reader to rate the book after they finish it on their Kindle. As I don't have a Kindle, I can't confirm that.

I thought they always did that. I just cancel it when it pops up. I guess they're being more aggressive about it now. Which shows how much reading I'm doing at the moment.
Genres: Space Opera/Fantasy/Cyberpunk, with elements of LitRPG and GameLit, with a touch of the Supernatural. Also Spiritual and Games.



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KSenniaV

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Re: What just changed on Amazon about Reviews and Ratings?
« Reply #14 on: September 18, 2020, 12:11:48 AM »
There's threads about this on Kboards, and one of the posters there said that Alexa has started prompting people to rate the books they've read. I'm not sure how many folks have Alexa, but that could explain at some of the uptick.
 

notthatamanda

Re: What just changed on Amazon about Reviews and Ratings?
« Reply #15 on: September 18, 2020, 12:12:54 AM »
Thank you for confirming why we are never getting Alexa.
Back to the topic.
 

TimothyEllis

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Re: What just changed on Amazon about Reviews and Ratings?
« Reply #16 on: September 18, 2020, 12:15:20 AM »
What's Alexa?
Genres: Space Opera/Fantasy/Cyberpunk, with elements of LitRPG and GameLit, with a touch of the Supernatural. Also Spiritual and Games.



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KSenniaV

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Re: What just changed on Amazon about Reviews and Ratings?
« Reply #17 on: September 18, 2020, 12:27:26 AM »
What's Alexa?

 It's sort of like Siri for amazon. It's an A.I. that listens to you all day. You can tell it to play music, and have it run all of your electronic devices, if you connect them. I don't have one, so I'm not certain on everything it does. I do know that it does listen to you all the time though, even when it's not supposed to, and that amazon employees listen to what Alexa hears, as well. But people still use them.

 https://alexa.amazon.com/spa/index.html#welcome

 https://www.reddit.com/r/amazonecho/comments/7gr1zw/what_is_your_creepy_alexa_story/

 https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2019/04/11/amazon-employees-listening-alexa-customers/3434732002/
 

alhawke

Re: What just changed on Amazon about Reviews and Ratings?
« Reply #18 on: September 18, 2020, 12:31:53 AM »
Alexa is everywhere in the US. Alexa and Google Home are the most popular listening assistants for voice commands with lights/locks/etc in the US. Probably, Alexa is the most.

I've had one book, so far, that it randomly sent a notification asking for a reviews. It is super easy to leave a review by just rating the book on a scale of 1-5.


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R. C.

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Re: What just changed on Amazon about Reviews and Ratings?
« Reply #19 on: September 18, 2020, 01:21:06 AM »
What's Alexa?

Long time techie here...

Alexa and Google Home are as described above.  However, I challenge the AI attribute. 

They are more akin to listening and surveillance devices that have interactive response capabilities.

One: They ARE monitoring 24/7.
Two: The are supposed to react AFTER when they recognize the initiation phrase: "Alexa" or "Hey Google."
Three: There are NO guarantees your actions/comments/statements/rants are not tracked.
Four: A real-world example - My DIL joked about jumping off a cliff. Unprompted, Alexa chimed in with suicide prevention contact information.

I was an early adopter of Alexa but dumped it and went to Google Home.  Connecting devices to Alexa was challenging. Connnecting to Google Home is near plug-and-play.

Happy to discuss in detail if anyone wants to know more about how Alexa and Google Home work and their ultimate commercial goal(s).

Finally, blatant self-promotion...

One of the plot lines in my new Noir novella series is the topic of privacy and ubiquitous surveillance.  In the US of A, there is no longer an expectation of privacy.

Cheers,
R.C.

PS: The name of the series is: Aydin Trammell. The title of part one is: Ptarmigan Lane.
 

Jan Hurst-Nicholson

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Re: What just changed on Amazon about Reviews and Ratings?
« Reply #20 on: September 18, 2020, 05:46:49 AM »
Where are you seeing the ratings rather than the reviews? I can only see reviews. Maybe I haven't got any ratings  :icon_sad:

How are ratings calculated?
To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. Instead, our system considers things like how recent a review is and if the reviewer bought the item on Amazon. It also analyzes reviews to verify trustworthiness.

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alhawke

Re: What just changed on Amazon about Reviews and Ratings?
« Reply #21 on: September 18, 2020, 07:03:24 AM »
Where are you seeing the ratings rather than the reviews? I can only see reviews. Maybe I haven't got any ratings  :icon_sad:

You can tell indirectly if your rating count goes up but you don't see a review.


A.L. Hawke | Author website | Goodreads | BookBub
 

Marti Talbott

Re: What just changed on Amazon about Reviews and Ratings?
« Reply #22 on: September 18, 2020, 07:06:24 AM »
I have a few ratings without reviews too. I like it. I know readers who absolutely hate writing reviews. Chances are the reading public is not aware of the difference yet, and I doubt they count the reviews to find out. Interesting.
I'm just here for the good company.
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Jeff Tanyard

Re: What just changed on Amazon about Reviews and Ratings?
« Reply #23 on: September 18, 2020, 07:23:31 AM »
What's Alexa?


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Marti Talbott

Re: What just changed on Amazon about Reviews and Ratings?
« Reply #24 on: September 18, 2020, 07:33:51 AM »
What's Alexa?


A real-life version of HAL-9000.

It's true, Amazon listeners are hired to listen to everything said on Alexa. I don't have one, but according to 1984 and a bunch of other books, we could be forced to have them everywhere we are. Camera's too?
I'm just here for the good company.
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Jeff Tanyard

Re: What just changed on Amazon about Reviews and Ratings?
« Reply #25 on: September 18, 2020, 07:44:12 AM »
What's Alexa?


A real-life version of HAL-9000.

It's true, Amazon listeners are hired to listen to everything said on Alexa. I don't have one, but according to 1984 and a bunch of other books, we could be forced to have them everywhere we are. Camera's too?


We already have them everywhere.  Everything is a "smart" machine nowadays, and I hate it.  I'm almost convinced the refrigerator is spying on me.   :tap
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Prawny Author

Re: What just changed on Amazon about Reviews and Ratings?
« Reply #26 on: September 18, 2020, 07:50:07 AM »
I am going to assume that the new rating system does not have the $50 limit imposed on it as does the review system. It may well explain the rash of new ratings flooding the scene. Plenty of people have been peeved about the limit and have been unable to leave reviews.
 

Simon Haynes

Re: What just changed on Amazon about Reviews and Ratings?
« Reply #27 on: September 18, 2020, 06:21:50 PM »
I'm a bit puzzled, because I'm sure there was a discussion on these boards about the new 'ratings only' feature well over six months ago.  Unless I'm living in a parallel universe or something I distinctly remember investigating it back then, because some were saying their reviews were 'missing' as they had x number of ratings and only y number of reviews. It's not something new.

I think the 'new' thing is that maybe Amazon are allowing anyone who owns the book to leave a star rating, even if they're not spending the $50/yr (as I commented a few days ago.)  Pretty sure Amazon are being a bit more 'in your face' with asking readers to rate the books they've just finished, too.

Unfortunately, despite a degree in computer programming, I've never managed to master the search feature on any forum I've ever encountered. I'll dig around anyway, just for historical curiosity.



 
 
 

 
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Simon Haynes

Re: What just changed on Amazon about Reviews and Ratings?
« Reply #28 on: September 18, 2020, 06:24:10 PM »

 
 
 

 
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Wonder

Re: What just changed on Amazon about Reviews and Ratings?
« Reply #29 on: September 19, 2020, 05:33:51 AM »
Yup, it seems like the ratings feature has been around for a while. I downloaded a book in the iOS Kindle app, tapped my star rating at the end of the book, and I got a little message saying "rating uploaded to Amazon.com" or something like that. I didn't leave a text review, but when I logged into the Zon I saw my rating was there. The book was new with only a few reviews, and my rating adjusted the average, but it didn't leave a review or my name behind.

I admit, as a reader it was nice to be able to leave a rating without thinking hard about how I'd need to explain myself. I can see ratings being popular with readers.

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notthatamanda

Re: What just changed on Amazon about Reviews and Ratings?
« Reply #30 on: September 19, 2020, 06:00:48 AM »
I've seen people leave reviews that end with "and I need fifty more characters for this review to qualify so I will keep typing until I get there" or the like.
 

Prawny Author

Re: What just changed on Amazon about Reviews and Ratings?
« Reply #31 on: September 19, 2020, 07:01:17 AM »
Yep, welcome back to November 2019:

https://writersanctum.com/index.php?topic=3052.msg58271#msg58271




I missed this post back then Simon, so thanks for digging it up. I will say, though, that it seems to be more prevalent at the moment. Something more recently has changed to encourage the ratings increase. I mean, I had two books I released in 2019 that didn't gain any reviews until both of them received a five star rating within days of each other just this month. The books had no connection to one another and totally different genres.
I just checked Timothy's latest book and it has increased to 66 global ratings including 18 reviews. Well done mate. You're gonna make a motza if that trend continues.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2020, 07:05:28 AM by Prawny Author »
 

Simon Haynes

Re: What just changed on Amazon about Reviews and Ratings?
« Reply #32 on: September 19, 2020, 07:20:15 AM »
Agreed. It took years for some of my novels to reach 20 or 30 reviews, and yet my prequel novella just passed 54 after 3 months.

 
 
 

 
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TimothyEllis

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Re: What just changed on Amazon about Reviews and Ratings?
« Reply #33 on: September 19, 2020, 11:48:06 AM »
Agreed. It took years for some of my novels to reach 20 or 30 reviews, and yet my prequel novella just passed 54 after 3 months.

My current book is at 66 in under a week, when book 1 in the series only has 61 from most of the year.
Genres: Space Opera/Fantasy/Cyberpunk, with elements of LitRPG and GameLit, with a touch of the Supernatural. Also Spiritual and Games.



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Prawny Author

Re: What just changed on Amazon about Reviews and Ratings?
« Reply #34 on: September 19, 2020, 02:08:33 PM »
I'm beginning to wonder if some scam-artists aren't trying to get rid of some competition by throwing fake ratings around. Maybe they figured out a way, then they tip off Amazon or something? Seems to me it is happening too quickly all at once to be honest or organic. Could be just my super suspicious mind, though. Usually...if it's too good to be true...
 

Simon Haynes

Re: What just changed on Amazon about Reviews and Ratings?
« Reply #35 on: September 19, 2020, 04:25:52 PM »
This freebie has been downloaded 5500 times since June, so 55 reviews works out to only one per hundred.


To be honest I can't see a scam angle. If a book gets a ton of suspect ratings it's the ratings (and the accounts leaving them) that would get investigated/deleted/banned, not the book.


 
 
 

 
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notthatamanda

Re: What just changed on Amazon about Reviews and Ratings?
« Reply #36 on: September 19, 2020, 10:38:33 PM »
I thought we did see some authors getting nasty letters about possible fraudulent reviews but I wasn't able to find any old links on it. Scammers were targeting various books to hide the fact that the reviews on their own books were bogus. Maybe I'm remembering it wrong?

I thought the rule of thumb was 1 review per 100* sale. 1 review per 1000 freebie.  Are your 55 reviews or ratings?

Sorry, not trying to pick a fight first thing in the morning (here).

Side note - I'm wondering why Amazon is pushing the review thing anyway. A long, long time ago, reviews on Amazon were part of the appeal. Far less of a selling point now. I'm not sure they can ever clean up the system enough to make it worthwhile again.

*edit cause I left the number out the first time, duh sorry.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2020, 11:47:31 PM by notthatamanda »
 

TimothyEllis

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Re: What just changed on Amazon about Reviews and Ratings?
« Reply #37 on: September 19, 2020, 10:42:19 PM »
I thought the rule of thumb was 1 review per sale.

No. More like 1 review per 100 sales in the first week, and then rapidly dropping to 1 in 500 to 1000 after.

Sale including KU full reads.
Genres: Space Opera/Fantasy/Cyberpunk, with elements of LitRPG and GameLit, with a touch of the Supernatural. Also Spiritual and Games.



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notthatamanda

Re: What just changed on Amazon about Reviews and Ratings?
« Reply #38 on: September 19, 2020, 11:48:07 PM »
I thought the rule of thumb was 1 review per sale.

No. More like 1 review per 100 sales in the first week, and then rapidly dropping to 1 in 500 to 1000 after.

Sale including KU full reads.
Correct, I left out the 100 and just edited my comment. Pre coffee sorry. What I said made no sense at all.
 

Simon Haynes

Re: What just changed on Amazon about Reviews and Ratings?
« Reply #39 on: September 20, 2020, 01:32:22 AM »
5500 freebie downloads, 56 'scores' overall.  22 of them full reviews, 34 ratings.




 
 
 

 
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Jan Hurst-Nicholson

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Re: What just changed on Amazon about Reviews and Ratings?
« Reply #40 on: September 20, 2020, 01:41:06 AM »
5500 freebie downloads, 56 'scores' overall.  22 of them full reviews, 34 ratings.

 :banana: :banana: :dance:  :clap:

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Caitríona Page

Re: What just changed on Amazon about Reviews and Ratings?
« Reply #41 on: September 23, 2020, 12:13:30 PM »
So now my book is at 45 ratings, and it's only day 4 in the US.

Serious WTF changed?
Timothy, I have been told that Amazon now prompt the reader to rate the book after they finish it on their Kindle. As I don't have a Kindle, I can't confirm that.

I thought they always did that. I just cancel it when it pops up. I guess they're being more aggressive about it now. Which shows how much reading I'm doing at the moment.

It's been my impression they've been doing that for years. Although I thought on the Kindle it sends the review to Goodreads, not Amazon proper?
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Prawny Author

Re: What just changed on Amazon about Reviews and Ratings?
« Reply #42 on: Today at 06:16:24 AM »
I've been following Timothy's latest book since this thread started and saw that it reached 80 ratings just one day ago, now he has 79. So how does someone lose a rating?