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Old 01-17-2010, 08:37 AM   #61
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Not done anyone any good yet.

If it plays a part in waking up the publishers so that they release ebook versions of their books at the same time as the hardbacks then it will have had the desired effect.
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Old 01-17-2010, 08:43 AM   #62
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It's just being silly and childish and not doing anyone any good.
So is what they are doing. Incompetent, as well.
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Old 01-17-2010, 09:21 AM   #63
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So is what they are doing. Incompetent, as well.
I know the publishers are the problem here. But do you want to sink to their level?
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Old 01-17-2010, 09:23 AM   #64
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I know the publishers are the problem here. But do you want to sink to their level?
Sometimes that's the only thing that works. The publishers are corporations, they only care about return on investment to stockholders. Unless you can somehow affect that, they don't listen.
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Old 01-17-2010, 09:29 AM   #65
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I wonder how much this actually harms the author? I really do not know what the typical deals authors have with publishers. Obviously different authors have a wide range of leverage with a publisher. But if an author is somewhat established aren't they usually given and advance against future sales? I ask because I dunno...

But, while these retaliatory/"guerilla" reviews might not harm the author for a given book, if such reviews appear in sufficient number to lower the rating then it will harm the author come time for the negotiation of their deal for the next book because the publisher is going to point to lower sales numbers for the last book even if a reason for the lower sales and ratings might be due to the business practices of the publishers. BTW, if all publishers actually make this the norm I would expect whatever authors guild/union to look into collusion charges, though the courts today simply have made it too easy for companies to collude even in the face of there being obvious proof of acting in concert and in an anti-consumer fashion. I mean look at cable and the telco's (especially cellular) companies and how all of they rates change in concert and their plans never are truly competitive.

So, in a way the publisher wins no matter what approach the consumer takes...to me that is one of the things I find wrong with publishers (or record labels as well) in that they point fingers at both consumers as well as use anything they can to pay the author less. I really hope their comes a point for many authors where they have enough success to be able to contract with an editor, an expert to create well formatted versions of the book in however many formats the author chooses and of course someone for any cover art and in book art. Because of the ability to self publish this can be handled all outside of the publisher's reach.

but, I just don't know who well or poorly publishers treat most author.

Still I see a setup similar to how one can pick up contract programming jobs on any number of sites where the developer bids on the project. Such a system is really great for both parties because if things go well, odds are there will be more work should the developer want to keep working with the individual or company, but if either party is not pleased, both can move on with little or no hard feelings until they find the right people they can work with successfully.

Still I feel the consumer is the loser if these sort of reviews become the norm as peer reviews were once an excellent source to gauge a product. These days with angry "getting even" reviewers combined with paid reviewers, the systems are becoming less relevant every day.
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Old 01-17-2010, 09:30 AM   #66
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I know the publishers are the problem here. But do you want to sink to their level?
exactly...
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Old 01-17-2010, 09:39 AM   #67
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Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
I know the publishers are the problem here. But do you want to sink to their level?
So what methods of trying to persuade the publishers to change their methods would you propose then?

I think it was you that mentioned the likes of blogs and twitter in a previous post, using the Amazon ratings is really just another variation of that same theme.

Emailing the publishers will most likely just end up in their spam box.

Writing a letter to them is possibly more likely to be noticed than emails, but that is a whole other level of effort and very few people would bother.

Any other suggestions?
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Old 01-17-2010, 09:50 AM   #68
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Originally Posted by spideog View Post
So what methods of trying to persuade the publishers to change their methods would you propose then?

I think it was you that mentioned the likes of blogs and twitter in a previous post, using the Amazon ratings is really just another variation of that same theme.

Emailing the publishers will most likely just end up in their spam box.

Writing a letter to them is possibly more likely to be noticed than emails, but that is a whole other level of effort and very few people would bother.

Any other suggestions?
No, this is an excellent way of getting them to sit up and take notice. The other methods mentioned will not matter an iota to Amazon because they dont directly affect their business.

If Amazon dont like it then they can remove all of the one star reviews, which relate to the delayed release of an eBook. At least in doing so they will have heard their customers. I know this is a publisher issue but I'd rather have Amazon fight that battle than us as consumers.
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Old 01-17-2010, 09:56 AM   #69
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Originally Posted by brecklundin View Post
I wonder how much this actually harms the author? I really do not know what the typical deals authors have with publishers. Obviously different authors have a wide range of leverage with a publisher. But if an author is somewhat established aren't they usually given and advance against future sales? I ask because I dunno...
With the big print publishers, almost all authors, even new ones, get an advance against royalties. What varies is the amount. In some genres, I think the average for new authors is $5,000 -- with some getting less. And geting paid royalties after that can take ages. I recently read about a mass market print publisher that paid royalties 14 months after publication. But many authors are desperate enough to sign up for a "deal" like this because at least they get distribution into bookstores. Do people really think an author that desperate is going to be able to negotiate details about e-book releases and formats with their publisher?


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Still I feel the consumer is the loser if these sort of reviews become the norm as peer reviews were once an excellent source to gauge a product. These days with angry "getting even" reviewers combined with paid reviewers, the systems are becoming less relevant every day.
I agree. I love reading negative reviews on Amazon because so many of the glowing reviews are from people like Harriet Klausner or from people who say "It's great wow wonderful" without backing up their claims. But many of the negative ones have become just as useless. Imagine my frustration when I click a one-star review, hoping to read about the plot or writing (gee, what a concept ), only to learn that it got a one-star review because somebody didn't like the format and never read the book.

It reminds me of an angry reader I "met" on-line years ago, who gave a book a one-star review and flamed the author over my mailing list, other mailing list, and even various author boards because she thought the author was "ignoring" her at a booksigning. (It sounded more like a misunderstanding.) In the "review," she admitted that she threw the book at the author and walked out, so she clearly never read it. Amazon took it down within days. But Amazon had better service back then, and they were better at taking down "protest" reviews.

Also, I'm pretty sure Amazon has review guidelines that the reviews must actually be about the content of the book. But they aren't as good about as taking them down anymore.
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Old 01-17-2010, 09:58 AM   #70
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No, this is an excellent way of getting them to sit up and take notice. The other methods mentioned will not matter an iota to Amazon because they dont directly affect their business.

If Amazon dont like it then they can remove all of the one star reviews, which relate to the delayed release of an eBook. At least in doing so they will have heard their customers. I know this is a publisher issue but I'd rather have Amazon fight that battle than us as consumers.
what is wrong with simply not buying the book until the ebook version can be purchased? Why does there need to be some militant "statement" in order to get attention to the individual? Just put the info out there and encourage others to not buy until the ebook version comes out at an ebook appropriate price...if it doesn't then there are plenty of other options.

Baseless reviews serve zero purpose than to label such reviews/reviewers as nut jobs to be ignored...sorry but that is how it comes across.

I suppose the way companies are combating these tactics is simply to have a peer rating system for each individual review...I know I will usually give then thumbs-down to such "I'm getting my pound of flesh" type reviews that have nothing to do with the product itself....
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Old 01-17-2010, 11:27 AM   #71
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Also, I'm pretty sure Amazon has review guidelines that the reviews must actually be about the content of the book. But they aren't as good about as taking them down anymore.
Actually, you would be mistaken. One of the review police emailed Amazon about taking the Kindle protests down and were told they were within Amazon's guidelines.

Again, I'm sorry some of you feel this is "childish" and if Amazon was the only place one could turn for book reviews, even just user submitted ones, I might sympathize. But it isn't. If someone is only looking to Amazon for advise on what to read, I feel sorry for them period.

This just happens to be one form of protest that companies have been known to listen to. Anything else is easily ignored. And it's not like the review police aren't voting the Kindle protests down so it's really easy to find a "real" review. But, as I mentioned earlier Amazon user reviews on political books are next to worthless as they are rarely more than cheerleader for or against the political side of the author. So I have a hard time the reviews on this book weren't going to devolve into name calling anyway. Look at how many of the review police are accusing the Kindle people of being politically motivated.

I find it kind of disheartening that so many people here seem to think expecting equal treatment for eReaders is unreasonable (especially as the publishers are trying to push prices upwards to hardback levels) and daring to actually speak out against these moronic policies in a forum that publishers actually care about (because it can hurt the bottom line) is childish and sinking to some level.

Last edited by Rob G.; 01-17-2010 at 11:31 AM.
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Old 01-17-2010, 11:30 AM   #72
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what is wrong with simply not buying the book until the ebook version can be purchased? Why does there need to be some militant "statement" in order to get attention to the individual? Just put the info out there and encourage others to not buy until the ebook version comes out at an ebook appropriate price...
...and where should this information be posted to "get it out there"? I think the Amazon reviews section is an excellent place to do so.

The primary reason I bought a Kindle was so that I wouldn't have to lug around a 1,000 page hardback novel with me. So yes, it's a bit of a sticking point when I found out that publishers are delaying ebook releases.

The more information that can be provided when researching a device and the content available for it, the better. Empowering the consumer to make a decision based upon all the facts, not just the ones the publishers want them to know.
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Old 01-17-2010, 12:01 PM   #73
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.
The primary reason I bought a Kindle was so that I wouldn't have to lug around a 1,000 page hardback novel with me. So yes, it's a bit of a sticking point when I found out that publishers are delaying ebook releases.
Me too.
And I realised my main problem with hardback was more it taking a lot of room in the library, than the actual price.
So I waited for paperback. Sometimes borrowed the book at the library.
If the hardback cost say 20E, I have no problem with paying e-book 20E. But I will not spend these same 20E on hardback; I'll just wait.

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Old 01-17-2010, 12:29 PM   #74
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Also, I'm pretty sure Amazon has review guidelines that the reviews must actually be about the content of the book.
Why shouldn't you be allowed to comment on the binding, paper, printing or typesetting quality of a paper book? Those are part of the product you get when you buy it (and you don't need to actually buy it to have something useful to say, you could have seen it in a bookstore, or gotten it as a gift). The same can be applied to ebooks, you can comment on the formatting, crappy OCR, obnoxious DRM or whatever.
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Old 01-17-2010, 12:37 PM   #75
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Why shouldn't you be allowed to comment on the binding, paper, printing or typesetting quality of a paper book? Those are part of the product you get when you buy it (and you don't need to actually buy it to have something useful to say, you could have seen it in a bookstore, or gotten it as a gift). The same can be applied to ebooks, you can comment on the formatting, crappy OCR, obnoxious DRM or whatever.
Actually, you cannot comment on the formatting, cappy OCR, obnoxious DRM or whatever unless you actually have the Kindle version. These are things that are specific to the different eBook versions. And you won't know of any errors unless you've read the Kindle version. So those sorts of issues are not good for a review unless you've read the eBook in question. So please keep reviews to the actual product and not go off on some tangent hat's irrelevant.
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