Huffington Post reviews reviews on Amazon


This came up today on The Passive Voice (a blog that should be required reading for anyone who reads and all writers daily), and Christina said it better than I can.

She wrote a lovely warning about the dangers the review system is in – if those who want honest reviews don’t participate in providing them,  and discussing Amazon’s changes and the choices faced by all sites with reviews on them.

She has a lot of good points in her article, but the one that struck me the most was someone MUST have a reason for leaving negative reviews – and she mentions at least one possibility. But it’s almost impossible to prove.

Negative review removal – NOT!

The only defense against that is other reviewer and customers; authors are NOT successful when they complain about most negative reviews.

For example, even when a negative review said her book had missing pages, which “was incorrect and misleading information. I knew that it could put readers off because, let’s face it, who wants to buy a book with ‘missing pages’? Especially if it’s a murder mystery where every clue matters.”

But customers can click whether a review was helpful or not, and leave their own reviews, and enter into discussions on the ones that are there. Even NON-customers can do this. And report to Amazon that the review is abuse.

I urge you to USE your power for good.

4 thoughts on “Huffington Post reviews reviews on Amazon

    1. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt Post author

      “Let someone else do it” is the current system. I don’t blame readers, especially those on mobile phones reading, because it is really awkward to type a decent review with your thumbs in a tiny space. Witness chatspeak.

      It makes sense when a product already has 2300 reviews to think that yours might not be necessary.

      So maybe it would work to decide if you want to have your say by FIRST deciding whether the review carries enough potential weight? And leave reviews when 1) you have something unique to say, or 2) there aren’t many?

      I left one review for a product (a tape to hold a throw rug on wall-to-wall carpeting) because 1) that use was mentioned ONLY for this tape of all the products I found on Amazon, and 2) it didn’t work the way you might want it (the tape didn’t stick to the underside of the rug), but darn it if that tape hasn’t kept a rug which had to be repositioned daily from moving – for over a year now. And I had removed the tape and thrown it away when it wouldn’t stick to the rug. I replaced the tape from the trash onto the carpeting – and voila. NO ONE ELSE mentioned this.

      Many a time some kind soul has left precisely that kind of detailed information for ME – it’s my way of paying back a bit.

      With books, and with Amazon looking for relationships that might indicate tit for tat reviews, I worry about reviews from kind writers whose books I’ve reviewed – even in a different genre. So I won’t ask fellow writers to leave a review if that’s how we met. Which cuts down on the pool of just those people who might have written a cogent intelligent review – other writers.

      I know the idea is to remove even the appearance of impropriety, and I’m in agreement with the principle, but I’m finding out how hard it is to get started.


  1. juliabarrett

    Reviews on Amazon – which used to come fast and furious – are slow as molasses these days. Most readers do not ever leave a review. There is so much system gaming that actual readers neither leave reviews nor read them. At least most readers.


    1. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt Post author

      I leave reviews.

      I agree with you most people don’t. But I rely often on people having left one, so I do, especially when I strongly like or dislike a product.

      But I’m a writer, and reasonably experienced saying things in writing in a coherent way.

      That why I liked Christina’s suggestion: say why you liked or didn’t like something – in and out quick – and it’s still a lot better than nothing.

      Liked by 1 person


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