March 3, 2014

Discussion ~ Amazon Review Voting

I have to blow off some steam about something that's been bugging me for a while now - voting whether reviews on Amazon are helpful or not. I know it's kind of a silly thing to be ticked off at all about. I'm more annoyed than steaming about it really.   

Right now, I've posted 168 reviews with a total of 93 helpful votes out of 107 votes total, which really isn't bad when you look at it. But I don't see the point of voting my review as unhelpful if it really isn't. For instance, had I just written something completely generic, then I would understand how that isn't going to help someone in deciding whether or not to buy a book. 

But my reviews aren't like that. Maybe if they're a bit rambling then that wouldn't be helpful? I don't know. I put a lot into writing my reviews and keep at them until I'm 110% satisfied with what I've written. Sheesh, if I'm complaining about this, I can only imagine what I'll be like when I'm an author and get negative reviews. ;) Nah, I'll handle them like a champ. For real.  

I recognize I'm obviously not the only reviewer who gets voted as unhelpful, and there are reviews I've read from other bloggers which are helpful so I can't help but wonder why they are not voted as such. Sometimes it almost seems like people do it to be jerks. And I bet they aren't reviewing nearly as much as we are.   

If an author gives a book in exchange for an honest review and say you rate it two stars, does the author have the right to ask you not to post your review on Amazon? And if the author asks you this, do you end up not posting it there? Is it fair? I'm feeling torn about this because I know how much work goes into writing a book and can only imagine how much goes into publishing it, especially if he or she is self publishing. 


  1. I agree that people downvoting your review is so annoying!! I really think people do it because they disagree with your review - if they loved or hated the book and your review is too positive or negative because of it. But if your review is well thought out and reasoned, it's just unnecessary for someone to downvote it for that!

    But there isn't anything you can do unfortunately but hope the majority of people aren't downvoting for silly reasons! Generally Amazon seems pretty fair.

    And I think if an author doesn't want you to post your negative review on Amazon, that's kinda shady because the author is controlling what people say about their book but it is so hard for self-published authors to generate buzz for their book so I would probably agree to not post it. But I would post it on my blog so it's kind of a compromise. :)

    1. Yeah, I can see that if they disagree. I agree with you totally - if it's thought out then I don't see the need for it to be downvoted. I mean, I've seen some reviews on there that are one or two sentences long, and I'm kind of suspicious of those. Not everyone is as long winded as me, though, lol! But those super short ones don't seem to be terribly helpful.

      Yeah, they are fair. Do you ever wonder if someone downvotes someone's review for reasons that have nothing to do with the review? Sometimes I can't help but think that.

      Luckily, I've never been asked not to post a negative review on Amazon, but I've heard of that happening to other bloggers. I don't know what I would do if I was asked honestly. I want to support self published authors, but I also want to be able to post honest reviews. If I take the time to read a book, I'd like to put a review up. Negative reviews don't usually keep me from reading a book - sometimes they make me want to read a book even more. Thanks for weighing in, Charlene! :)

  2. I have often wondered about quite a few of your points. This is a really great discussion! I also don't really understand the relevance of voting for a review. It is very rare that I will base my purchase on reviews only. At the end of the day, if I want the book I buy it. It fascinates me when I see a book that I think is 5 stars being rated as 2 stars or lower, and I find it interesting to read their points. As for Negative reviews and authors.. sigh that just freaks me out a little bit.

    Great post girl!!

    Chanzie @ Mean Who You Are.

    1. Thanks, Chene. I was kind of worried about posting this and sounding petty, but I can't help but wonder sometimes. There have been so many books I've loved that have had mostly negative reviews. Sometimes a negative review makes me want to read a book even more, lol. I guess I'm just afraid of getting caught up in author-blogger drama but also want the freedom to post honest reviews even if I don't like the book. I would never attack a book or an author if I ended up not liking a book. I'm always fair. Thanks for commenting, Chene! :)

  3. The down voting is a funny thing. I down vote if I'm reading through the reviews and a person says something like "this was the worst movie because of all the violence." And it was for Catching Fire. Duh.

    As for reviews, yikes! I understand for blog tours because that's a promotional deal. And I understand if the blogger chooses to withhold the review for whatever reason, but ratings, reviews, and opinions are part of the bargain. We get to live the dream of sharing our stories. The cost is no longer owning them once they're out there.

    1. I admit I down vote if the review if a sentence or two and is generic like, "This book was so good!" Well, why was it good? Tell me, I wanna know what was it that blew you away? So I think that's why it's a pet peeve of mine that my reviews get down voted. It's not a huge deal, but sometimes I get paranoid when I'm writing a review, wondering, "Is this helpful? Is it going to be down voted?" Again, I know it's silly.

      I've never been asked not to post on Amazon, but I'm afraid the day will come when I will be asked. So I don't know what I'd say. Like Charlene said above, it's hard for self published authors to generate buzz for their books, but I also feel like if I take the time to read a book, I should be allowed to post my review anywhere no matter if it's negative or positive. And I would never bash a book or an author. I'm always fair. Thanks for commenting, Robyn! :)


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