Author gets wtf-pwnd by Amazon customers / reviews

And it’s not even his fault.

An article of Mr. Paul Carr over on Techcrunch got my attention. In short. Some dude published a book. As usual, a hardcover edition is available first.

Publishers make the most by selling hardcover editions. Then after a couple of months, a paperback edition is released. These days, e-books get released together with the paperback. Why? Because publishers make most of their money with hardcover editions.

In comes ‘The big short‘ by Michael Lewis. A new book, available in hardcover edition.

What’s all the fuzz about? People want their e-book. But they have to wait? Why? Argghh damn you, because publishers make the most on hardcover editions.

So what do people do these days? They will yell in your face. They will use whatever means necessary to express the fact that you SUCK. And it so happens that Amazon makes it easy for people to express their feeling. You can leave a review.

Result as of 3/23/2010 14:08pm:

– 43 five star reviews
– 10 four star reviews
– 3 three star reviews
– 5 two star reviews
– 67 one-star reviews

Auch, that must hurt if you are Michael Lewis.
Phew, we are getting there, be patient.

Enter Mr. Paul Carr, bigshot writer/author. (If you write it often enough I guess that makes it true). He’s not a fan of Amazon’s idiotic review policy:

“Amazon needs to – immediately – change its review policy so that only people who have actually bought a book are allowed to review it.”

Waw … he means people that actually bought it through Amazon should be allowed. You getting paid by Amazon here Paul?

“…it would also banish all of the general haters (who would never spend money on a book by the object of their hatred) as well as the kids and trolls who have never bought a book in their life.”

Good … good … I can feel your anger Pauly … Soon your training will be complete, and you will know the true power of the dark side.

Dude, wtf?
So suddenly the e-book haters are people who never bought a book in their life? Then why do they want to buy an e-book?

So basically you only want to allow people that will tell you how great you are and how super-duper product x really is? That’s kinda biased no? What kind of review-system is that? Wait don’t tell me, it not a review system at all.

You see, when you want to have a review system, the kind of system in which people say good things about something, you have to keep in mind that there are others out there, that might not agree. So these people have to be able to talk about their experience etc as well. It keeps the system in balance. It’s what makes Amazon such a great shopping experience.

I know when I want to know something about a book, a dvd, a game, I head over to Amazon UK. Because I know that’s where I’ll find reviews from other customers. If I knew that only good/positive reviews were allowed there, the system would have no value what-so-ever.

I get it.

Don’t get me wrong. I get your point.
The reputation of the book is being damaged by these one-star “false” negatives. But does Amazon have to change it’s policies because of that?

Because the review system at Amazon works perfectly. People are telling you what they feel. And when people (customers) are that vocal, it usually means you dropped the ball somewhere. In this case, e-book customers that are left out.

Is it Michael Lewis’ fault?
Nope, not at all. But maybe he’ll think twice about dealing with publisher x again in the future.

That’s the thing with technology and web 2.0 and all that. The customer has a lot more power that we like to admit.

And then others start writing about it as well.

“If Amazon wants to be a fair vendor of books, they need to delete these idiotic, pro-kindle, fan boy reviews. Is Amazon a fair arbiter of this, or has their mad kindle lust blinded them to what is right?”

Walking a thin line here no? Amazon deciding what a good review or a bad review is?

“These pro-kindle, anti-author reviews are completely unfair to the writer. A review is supposed to be about the book, not the publishers format release schedule.”

Power of the customer at work. You want to dance, you better pack your dancing shoes.

“I was surprised to hear from a number of literary agents who wrote to thank me for that. They have apparently been having all manner of issues with Amazon reviewers over the years…”

Yea it’s annoying when customers tell you your business sucks.
Seriously, read the above quote again, and after that, be sure to read it once more.

Did you notice Mr. Paul Carr and Mr. Barry Ritholtz are both writers? You probably did because they like to talk about it, alot.


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