Originally Posted by BWinmill
What is the incentive to post thoughtful and honest reviews? Any time you post a review, it is for the benefit of the people creating and selling the product. You are rarely receiving monetary benefits. You rarely have a sense of responsibility to other consumers. Heck, you can't even count on recognition.
In other words, any intelligent person would just skip writing a review and do something more productive with their time.
Actually, a few years ago, I posted a generally, although not in every respect, positive review of some folding glasses on Amazon, and out of the blue, the seller sent me another pair and a nice note thanking me for the review.
I rarely write reviews, but I sometimes do if I think that there's something useful I can add to the conversation. This is usually not the case with books. But with the glasses, for instance, I was able to make some comparisons to a more costly pair and figured it would help someone decide which pair to buy.
I appreciate informed reviews, and I can usually tell whether a book review is informed or not simply by the writing style & the vocabulary used.
I recently did not buy a book because of a review. The book in question was some collected writings of Raymond Chandler - mainly letters. One of the reviewers took the time to compare the contents with an earlier collection, and point out how an earlier volume covered most of the same ground. This was not apparent to me from the Amazon description of the book. As it happened, I own the earlier volume, so the review saved me some bucks.
Overall, I usually can find a useful review for any book or other product I'm thinking to buy. This is especially true of one star reviews of kindle books, which sometimes identify objectively wrong things, such as bad formating.