Thursday, August 25, 2011

Reviews and thoughts

Last week I read a NYT article on review factories: In a Race to Out-Rave, 5-Star Web Reviews Go for $5. (It might not open, sometimes the NYT makes you subscribe to their site.)

But the theory is still there and is sound: “For $5, I will submit two great reviews for your business,” offered one entrepreneur on the help-for-hire site Fiverr, one of a multitude of similar pitches. On another forum, Digital Point, a poster wrote, “I will pay for positive feedback on TripAdvisor.” A Craigslist post proposed this: “If you have an active Yelp account and would like to make very easy money please respond.”

The big question is--how much attention do you pay to reviews? Personally, if a book has 5 bad reviews and no good ones, I'll probably skip it. But if you've looked on Amazon and one of two things
1. All or most of the 1 and 2 star reviews are either as a shipment, price, or Amazon problem (The Fifth Witness), or even after reading the blurb the reader thought the book was about something else entirely (Please Look After Mom).
2. The polarizing effect--100 5 star and 100 1 star with very little in the middle (Heaven is for Real before the explosion of 5 star reviews), you have to make your own choice.

Which is what it all boils down to for me. Making my own choice based on good & bad reviews and what they actually say. One liners mean nothing to me, and I ignore them.

What about you?

3 comments:

Wendi Zwaduk said...

Sometimes I read the reviews and snicker that someone had an issue with the price--author don't usually control that--or it wasn't what they thought--that's what blurbs and excerpts are for. Sometimes I buy the book because there are reviews that I think are unfair and I've found some great books that way. I've also been turned off by some that were all 5 star because I found it almost hard to fathom the book was truly that good. Maybe I'm wrong and maybe I'm completely off the mark, but that's my thought.

Isabel Roman said...

I agree, Wendi! Anything with that many 5 star reviews seems fishy. Then again, giving the book 1 star for a price problem is crazy too.

I read "Please take care of Mom" but read some reviews that gave it a 1 star because the woman thought it was a nice mother/daughter book. Um, hello back of the book blurb!

Wendi Zwaduk said...

Yeah, that's not an ooey gooey cuddly book. Geesh people don't pay attention some times.

Goddess Fish Blog Tour Partner

Goddess Fish Blog Tour Partner
Goddess Fish Blog Tour Partner