Register Guidelines E-Books Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Go Back   MobileRead Forums > E-Book Readers > Amazon Kindle

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 12-30-2009, 11:31 AM   #1
nollagkind
Junior Member
nollagkind began at the beginning.
 
Posts: 6
Karma: 10
Join Date: Dec 2009
Device: Kindle 2
How reliable are amazon's ebook reviews

Hi,
I, like many others here, am a new kindle owner.

I have been looking at the kindle store and some of the books are getting fantastic reviews. I searched to see if this is matched any where else but could not find any supporting reviews. This only seems to be happening with free or low price ebooks. The reviews for mainstream stuff seem to be genuine.

I know, that in the past, authors/publishers have orchestrated campaigns to have books up there are best sellers or up there with 5 star reviews.

On one or two of the books I have looked at the author has posted one 5 star, albeit declaring themselves as the author.

So for books like Midnight in Madrid or Regression are the reviews representative of a wider reading public or could it be just family and friends helping out.
nollagkind is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2009, 11:45 AM   #2
lilac_jive
Grand Sorcerer
lilac_jive has much to be proud oflilac_jive has much to be proud oflilac_jive has much to be proud oflilac_jive has much to be proud oflilac_jive has much to be proud oflilac_jive has much to be proud oflilac_jive has much to be proud oflilac_jive has much to be proud oflilac_jive has much to be proud oflilac_jive has much to be proud oflilac_jive has much to be proud of
 
lilac_jive's Avatar
 
Posts: 5,871
Karma: 27376
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Pennsylvania
Device: PRS-505
It's hard to tell these days. You can also check out goodreads, which has a strong reviewer presence (and you don't have to type up a review to give it a star rating), but of course you might see the same thing.
lilac_jive is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Advertisement
Old 12-30-2009, 11:55 AM   #3
kennyc
The Dank Side of the Moon
kennyc ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.kennyc ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.kennyc ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.kennyc ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.kennyc ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.kennyc ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.kennyc ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.kennyc ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.kennyc ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.kennyc ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.kennyc ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
kennyc's Avatar
 
Posts: 31,576
Karma: 62071073
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Denver, CO
Device: Kindle2; Galaxy SIII; Xoom; Kindle Fire
Well, I tend to go with the consensus, but will read a few of the positive reviews and a few of the negative and decide whether it's for me or not. If there is only one or two reviews I wouldn't necessarily trust them...
kennyc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2009, 12:06 PM   #4
animedude01
Addict
animedude01 can extract oil from cheeseanimedude01 can extract oil from cheeseanimedude01 can extract oil from cheeseanimedude01 can extract oil from cheeseanimedude01 can extract oil from cheeseanimedude01 can extract oil from cheeseanimedude01 can extract oil from cheeseanimedude01 can extract oil from cheeseanimedude01 can extract oil from cheese
 
animedude01's Avatar
 
Posts: 255
Karma: 1200
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Los Angeles
Device: DR1000S, ILIAD2, Nokia n900, Kindle for PC, Astak EZReader Pro
With reviews, you're always taking a chance. If there are lots of reviews, it's most likely that the reviews haven't been orchestrated. However, you're also assuming that all the reviewers have the same opinion as you do. There really is no magic way of finding the perfect book. Over time, you'll likely find individuals who's reviews tend to work best for you. You should probably check with various sources if you can.

Other than that, you're always taking a chance with any reviews

Any book that only has one or two reviews are always risky as they could be rigged.

However, there have been very few books that I've disliked so much I regret buying them
animedude01 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2009, 12:14 PM   #5
crutnacker
Connoisseur
crutnacker has learned how to read e-bookscrutnacker has learned how to read e-bookscrutnacker has learned how to read e-bookscrutnacker has learned how to read e-bookscrutnacker has learned how to read e-bookscrutnacker has learned how to read e-bookscrutnacker has learned how to read e-books
 
Posts: 54
Karma: 850
Join Date: Dec 2009
Device: None
With nothing to back it up (except a friend who wrote some books that were published by a major publisher a few years back), I'd say that in some of these cases these are self published works and/or friends of the author trying to drum up some readership.

Heck, if you can make the Kindle best seller list, at least you can put that on your resume!
crutnacker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2009, 12:28 PM   #6
neilmarr
neilmarr
neilmarr ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.neilmarr ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.neilmarr ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.neilmarr ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.neilmarr ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.neilmarr ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.neilmarr ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.neilmarr ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.neilmarr ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.neilmarr ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.neilmarr ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
neilmarr's Avatar
 
Posts: 7,227
Karma: 6000059
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Monaco-Menton, France
Device: sony
Amazon reviews of self-published work and from smaller publishers are often 'author circle' and a tad partisan. One thing you can do to check the value of a critique, Nollagkind, is to click on the reviewer and see what else s/he's posted to be sure that you're reading a truly independent view of a book. Cheers. Neil
neilmarr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2009, 01:11 PM   #7
krazy4katz
Addict
krazy4katz ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.krazy4katz ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.krazy4katz ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.krazy4katz ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.krazy4katz ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.krazy4katz ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.krazy4katz ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.krazy4katz ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.krazy4katz ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.krazy4katz ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.krazy4katz ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
krazy4katz's Avatar
 
Posts: 273
Karma: 1515150
Join Date: Feb 2009
Device: Kindle 1, Kindle 3 (KK) and Kindle Voyage
Another good place to look for reviews is Librarything:
http://www.librarything.com

The nice thing is that you don't have to sign in or create a password to read reviews.

k4k
krazy4katz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2009, 01:31 PM   #8
Latinandgreek
Warrior Princess
Latinandgreek ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Latinandgreek ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Latinandgreek ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Latinandgreek ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Latinandgreek ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Latinandgreek ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Latinandgreek ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Latinandgreek ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Latinandgreek ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Latinandgreek ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Latinandgreek ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Latinandgreek's Avatar
 
Posts: 5,033
Karma: 9480467
Join Date: Sep 2009
Device: PRS-505; PRS-350, PRS-T1, iPad mini, HP Touchpad, Aura HD
Quote:
Originally Posted by kennyc View Post
Well, I tend to go with the consensus, but will read a few of the positive reviews and a few of the negative and decide whether it's for me or not. If there is only one or two reviews I wouldn't necessarily trust them...
I use a similar system when reading the amazon reviews. Surprisingly, the negative ones sometimes give me a much better idea whether or not the book is for me. Some negative reviews are childish or petty sounding, and those I usually don't pay much attention to; negative or semi-negative reviews that are honest and somewhat critical tend to five me a better idea about the book that gushing, 5 star reviews. . Be careful of spoilers, though, I find that a lot of reviewers on amazon spoil it up without any warning.
Latinandgreek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2009, 03:14 PM   #9
nollagkind
Junior Member
nollagkind began at the beginning.
 
Posts: 6
Karma: 10
Join Date: Dec 2009
Device: Kindle 2
OK, thanks for the replies.
I think its just a case of tread warily.
Some of the books I have been looking at have no other reviews that I could find. So I expect they are being hyped.
By the way, for international kindlers there is no such thing as a completely free book in the kindle store. The cheapest, for me seems to be $2.30. This seems to reflect the charge international roaming and VAT.
I can get free books elsewhere, at the sites recommended here, but not at the kindle store.
Thanks again
nollagkind is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2009, 04:24 PM   #10
troykm
Connoisseur
troykm will become famous soon enoughtroykm will become famous soon enoughtroykm will become famous soon enoughtroykm will become famous soon enoughtroykm will become famous soon enoughtroykm will become famous soon enough
 
troykm's Avatar
 
Posts: 50
Karma: 516
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Melbourne
Device: Kindle 2
i have learnt in life that reviews are subjective and should not be taken notice of. what i don't like you may love and vice versa. thats the best part of the free sample option.

one only has to look at movies, 2012 got great reviews, but i thought it was the biggest load of horse droppings i have seen in a long time...... but thats just my opinion
troykm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2009, 05:51 AM   #11
neilmarr
neilmarr
neilmarr ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.neilmarr ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.neilmarr ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.neilmarr ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.neilmarr ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.neilmarr ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.neilmarr ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.neilmarr ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.neilmarr ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.neilmarr ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.neilmarr ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
neilmarr's Avatar
 
Posts: 7,227
Karma: 6000059
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Monaco-Menton, France
Device: sony
Like everything else in the game, Troy, from acquisition editing through to actual reading, subjectivity rules. But careful reading of a soundly thought out review -- pro or con -- can provide a rough guide and help whittle down the huge field of reading options. Like LatinandGreek, for instance, I've often bought a book based on my disagreement with negative aspects in a review -- "too much historical detail", "too much time is spent developing minor characters" ... thanks a lot, reviewer; that's one for me. Cheers. Neil
neilmarr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2009, 08:07 AM   #12
nollagkind
Junior Member
nollagkind began at the beginning.
 
Posts: 6
Karma: 10
Join Date: Dec 2009
Device: Kindle 2
What I do is try to "calibrate" the reviewer.

If a reviewer regularly rates something close to how I would rate it, then I will be happy to rely on that reviewer's opinions.

If I find that I regularly disagree with a reviewer then I conclude we have different tastes.

I am new to the kindle and I was trying to calibrate the reviews on the kindle store for new or kindle only books.

At this point, my conclusion is that they are not reliable.

When I see an author posting a 5-star review for their own book then I strongly suspect they're boosting the ratings.
see here http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/5...ight_in_Madrid
and here http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6...Takes_the_Cake

The other point is that if the download is $0.0 then I can't rely on the download numbers as there's no risk for the downloader.

I am not saying the books referenced are necessarily bad books but if the author lacks confidence that others will give them good reviews that can't be a good sign.

Last edited by nollagkind; 12-31-2009 at 08:53 AM. Reason: typo
nollagkind is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2009, 08:14 AM   #13
Latinandgreek
Warrior Princess
Latinandgreek ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Latinandgreek ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Latinandgreek ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Latinandgreek ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Latinandgreek ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Latinandgreek ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Latinandgreek ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Latinandgreek ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Latinandgreek ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Latinandgreek ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Latinandgreek ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Latinandgreek's Avatar
 
Posts: 5,033
Karma: 9480467
Join Date: Sep 2009
Device: PRS-505; PRS-350, PRS-T1, iPad mini, HP Touchpad, Aura HD
Quote:
Originally Posted by nollagkind View Post
I am new to the kindle and I was trying to calibrate the reviews on the kindle store for new or kindle only books.
I like your method, I think I will try that out next time I buy something off of Amazon. I hadn't realised that the reviews at the Kindle store were different from the reviews from the pbooks, I thought they used the same reviews (much like you can find some amazon.com reviews on the amazon.ca page)
Latinandgreek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2010, 01:50 AM   #14
eboyhan
PandaMuse
eboyhan doesn't littereboyhan doesn't litter
 
eboyhan's Avatar
 
Posts: 104
Karma: 104
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Florida
Device: kindle dx, kindle touch SO, kindle fire, kindle fire hd8.9
Hi,
The question of reviews is of course broader than just Amazon.com. Anywhere you go on the Internet to make a purchase you're going to run into "customer generated" reviews. The reliability of these is (in general) unknown.I have developed a couple of rules of thumb which I have found to be helpful. First, go to the non-Kindle page for the book at Amazon.com -- there will often be "editorial" reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist. These are written by publishing industry "insiders", and are not necessarily objective, but they are a good first place to get an impression of a book. Next I turn to the customer reviews (still sticking with the printed version of the book). I tend to give greater credence to books with a lot of reviews than books with only one or two reviews. I tend to read three or four of the most positive reviews, and one or two of the most negative reviews; and from this and make a general purchasing decision. Then I go back to the Kindle page, and see if there are any reviews there (particularly negative ones) -- and check that there are no complaints about the formatting or structuring of the Kindle edition. There are situations where Amazon will sell you many titles as a single book (these are usually older, out of copyright, public domain books). It is important to check (if you can) if there are any problems with how the multiple titles are included in the single book -- many times you can be 10 books in to a 30 book series, want to go back to the second title in the series, and if there is not a good table of contents (often there is not), this can be difficult to do. By and large, I personally, know pretty much what I like in a book and don't need to rely much on reviews -- I have my favorite authors, and genres, and pretty much stick to them with few exceptions. However, when I am buying something more tangible from Amazon (or any other e-commerce site for that matter), I find that customer reviews (using the protocols described above) can be quite helpful.

This is been a bit long-winded, but I hope it helps.
eboyhan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2010, 09:47 AM   #15
neilmarr
neilmarr
neilmarr ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.neilmarr ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.neilmarr ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.neilmarr ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.neilmarr ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.neilmarr ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.neilmarr ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.neilmarr ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.neilmarr ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.neilmarr ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.neilmarr ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
neilmarr's Avatar
 
Posts: 7,227
Karma: 6000059
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Monaco-Menton, France
Device: sony
And beware 'review mills' -- a new internet-based business model that charges authors and publishers for writing positive reviews and circulating them on line (including to Amazom). Shady to say the least. Neil
neilmarr is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Amazon's $9.99 eBook Attacked as "Predatory Pricing" Wetdogeared News 195 12-27-2009 10:57 AM
Ebook reader reviews kressg23 Which one should I buy? 10 02-14-2009 02:01 AM
eBook Store reviews? KlondikeGeoff Sony Reader 7 01-07-2008 01:23 AM
PDA24/7 Ebook Reviews Bob Russell Deals, Freebies, and Resources (No Self-Promotion) 0 05-11-2005 07:49 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:54 AM.


MobileRead.com is a privately owned, operated and funded community.