Ever Wondered Why Writers No Longer Rely on Reviews?

Glob_Cover

“The story dosent really pull the reader in. The writing is ment for a very young reader. The story line is rather boring.”

I offer this genuine internet review for the book shown above, obviously written by someone who cannot spell to save themselves, as a classic example of today’s trend in internet troll reviews.

Fortunately most genuine readers simply ignore them.

While their numbers are low, the major internet book distributors seriously need to look at their current rules and regulations regarding who can and cannot submit a review. Unfortunately, one major internet book distributor allows these people freedom to vent their bile.

Why?

Reviews like this can be found on most books pages on one particular major book distributor’s internet site. Is it any wonder that many writers today can no longer rely on the whole review process anymore, let alone bother to read them for the purposes of feedback?

There was a time not that long ago when writers relied on genuine professional reviewers who were connected with the publishing game to sell their product. Unfortunately these days the trend is now for a book to judged by its cover and by nonprofessional reviewers, instead of its content. There is also another ridiculous internet practice currently in vogue – the phenomenon of ‘liking’ a book.

If you think the above only applies to ‘Indies’ you need to think again. Many well established writers working through one or other of the major publishing houses are also being targeted by trolls through internet book distributing sites.

In some instances, many of the so-called reviews are anything but. In recent months I have heard from other writers of many instances where when challenged, the ‘reviewer’ freely admits that they haven’t actually read the book in question!

These people need to be made aware that because they currently have the freedom to post a review, an internet book distributor’s site is not just another social interaction site like Facebook or Twitter. Its purpose is simply to offer books for sale…

6 thoughts on “Ever Wondered Why Writers No Longer Rely on Reviews?

  1. I happen to be reading the story in question and I would have to say I’m enjoying it.

    I wonder if the trolling starts with something more innocent. Last week, commentators on the CBC mentioned a new cover for ‘Anne of Green Gables’. The cover was an image of a sexy blonde farmgirl (the story is about a pre teen red-haired orphan girl). Since L.M. Montgomery has been dead for seventy years, somebody deciced to slap on a new cover and load it at createspace with no idea what the story was about. In a matter of days, the book had garnered more than three hundred negative one star reviews.

    Perhaps some trolls start out by posting an angry review in a case like the ‘Anne’ book and feels that rush of power – the knowledge that others might read his warning and steer away from the edition in question. Then he goes hunting for other books, his criterea slowly eroding unitl he’s hitting books almost at random, hoping for a response from the authors.

    Nothing to do but crack on, I suppose.

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    • I’m not surprised in the least that the cheapened version of a classic children’s tale received so many one star reviews. I presume that since seventy years have passed, the author’s estate no longer has copyright.

      Thanks for the comment Andrew. 🙂

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      • My mother was annoyed to no end. She grew up in what is now Cavendish National Park. The author lived down the road and visited them freqently. It bothers me as well to see her work subjected to such low reviews because some jerk is trying to make an easy dollar from her iconic work. It has sold more than 50 million copies worldwide so they probably figured there was still some money to be had.

        Just imagine, in a hundred years, some fool will slap an image of a sexy blonde on Goblin Tales and try to make a quick buck when they see your sales figures.

        As for the trolling, I’ve been hit with some nasty reviews as well. Some seem to be simple trolling and some are just folks who don’t want what I’m writing. I wonder if we should be allowed to post a review anonymously? On the one hand, it might make folks think twice about their comments, on the other, it would discourage a lot of reviewers – troll or not.

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    • Whoa, there Jack! I mean ‘we’ in general. I wasn’t talking about leaving a review on my own work. I agree, that’s a pretty sleazy trick, and readers are sharp enough to pick up on it and spread the word. You’d think I’d be more careful with words…

      The point I’m making is that the ability for anyone to leave a review under a pseudonym can sometimes change ‘I didnt care for this book’ to ‘I haven’t seen such a disaster since Olaf the Hairy accidentally ordered twenty thousand viking battle helmets with the horns on the inside‘ (yes, I realize that horns would make no sense on a helmet – Just quoting Mr. Atkinson). Anonymity tends to embolden folks, turning what might have been a simple review into a personal attack.

      But it also gives responsible reviewers the freedom to express their views without having to expose their identity to the world.

      I suppose you never get the good without a little bad mixed in 😉

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      • Point taken my friend. 😀

        Being constantly plagued by a few persistent but cowardly individuals hiding behind pseudonyms like ‘Anonymous’ on Blogger was one of the main reasons why I migrated to WordPress.

        Sadly a few trolls have now found Goodreads.

        Like

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