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Old 11-05-2009, 12:13 AM   #1
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"Do not buy this book till the Kindle version is priced correctly!" --WTF?

Adam Penenberg, author of a new book titled "Viral Loop: From Facebook to Twitter, How Today's Smartest Businesses Grow Themselves," is a journalism professor at at New York University. On a recent post at FastCompany's website, he spoke of how hard it is to get reviews for your books in today's media landscape, for both print books and ebooks together. At one point in his commentary, he talks about how "reviewers" on amazon's website sometimes say good things, resulting in 5 stars and sometimes say bad things, resulting in 1 star review, and some of the comments by "reviewers" border on you know what:

"...On my Amazon page, Frank Todaro, from Houston, Texas, gave my book a negative 1-star rating. Was it my research? My prose? My theories? No, he hasn't even read the book. He panned it because Amazon priced the e-book version above $9.99. "Why is the Kindle version too expensive?" Todaro wrote. "Do not buy this book till the Kindle version is priced correctly."

Penenberg's response to this?

"Dear Amazon: Please lower the price of the Kindle version of Viral Loop to $9.99. Hey, Frank Todaro! I'm the frickin' author, not Jeff Bezos. Take it up with him. In the meantime, don't buy the Kindle version if you can't afford fourteen lousy bucks, but don't blame the author for pricing. We have nothing to do with it."

Last edited by taglines; 11-05-2009 at 12:17 AM.
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Old 11-05-2009, 12:40 AM   #2
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Yeah, I hate it when people use the Amazon rating system to whinge about things unrelated to the quality of the book. Sometimes people complain about the physical quality of a used book or the service of a second-hand book seller. That's as constructive as using Amazon.com to complain about the service you got at a bricks and mortar bookshop.

Apple was having a similar problem with people give low ratings to iPhone applications they considered overpriced (but probably hadn't even bought). They now only allow you to rate apps that you've bought and this seems to have fixed the problem. Pity Amazon can't do this. They have introduced "Verified Purchase" tags which could be used to weed out illegitimate reviews but it will be hard to do so while preserving genuine reviews from readers who didn't buy the book through Amazon.
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Old 11-05-2009, 06:35 AM   #3
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Anyone with an ounce of common sense will discard a "review" like that straightaway. Negative reviews only effect my purchasing decisions if there are many and they are all saying the same things - I was almost put off buying the sony reader 600 because there were numerous reports on glare and low contrast. Thank goodness I went with my gut instinct on that one as I love it!

I hope Amazon do change the review system so only people who've actually bought from them can leave a review - sounds fair enough to me. There won't be as many reviews but I'd have a bit more faith in the fact that the reviewer has actually used the product.
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Old 11-05-2009, 11:32 AM   #4
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Problem is, if enough people post bad reviews like that, it throws off the average, and so many will see the average and not go further to see the individual reviews.
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