Friday, July 26, 2013

Negative Review News

She hates your book more because she expected to like it -- neil conway / Foter / CC BY
ABC News reports that a new study of negative review on websites like Amazon has uncovered an interesting finding. While crazy and fraudulent reviews do occur, the typical negative reviewer is in fact one of the products best customers (defined as the most loyal csutomers who spend the most money on the product). And their study specifically included analysis of Amazon book reviews.

So what does this mean--well, first off don't rush to assume your worst critics are competitors, ignoramuses or the habitually grumpy.  Surprisingly (to me anyway) most reviews were found to actually be feedback from legitimate customers. About 95% had bought the product through the site and some of the rest may have bought it elsewhere and gone to the site to review it.

But also don't think this means everything in the reviews is gold, because the bad reviews are generally from customers who don't like change, and it is inevitable that a writer will create different kinds of books during their career.  So they are a small number of people with a specific perspective, but to the extent you care about their point of view at all, you have to try and work out where they fit in with your other, less vocal, readers.

2 comments:

Fiona Glass said...

This is a particular problem for authors who move to a new genre or style - rather like actors who don't want to get typecast!

Thanks for the insight.

Rayna Scherer said...

As a reviewer, I like to believe that my readers have gotten an inkling of what my tastes are. If I find I am reading a book I normally wouldn't read I will state it. That way my views will be speculatively, like with historical romance. I hate it.But I have a close friend that writes and I review them because she is a great writer. I see reviews on amazon and good reads that say " This is not my type of book I would not buy it." That tell me that she did not buy the book but she reviewed it. WTH!! I started seeing more and more in the erotic genre. And sometimes they get scathing and mean. Calling the readers sinner and immoral. That shit needs to go.Verified purchase my ass.