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Old 01-17-2010, 12:39 PM   #76
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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?
if you can, emailing the author might help. Tell the author why you won't be buying the book in any format. Also leaving a message on the author's website is a good idea if that can be done.

But if you do want to review the book to say about the delay issue, don't give it one star (can you post a review without giving any stars?) as it could be a really good book.

Take Under the Dome for example. A lot of people on MR are reading it and really like it. So 1 star is wrong for a book that's good.
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Old 01-17-2010, 12:43 PM   #77
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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?
I've e-mailed publishers before and received responses. Somtimes useless, often useful. For example, I e-mailed a small mass market publisher because they didn't have e-books available. I got a personal reply that said they would forward my e-mail to one of the higher-ups because they were trying to push him toward having e-books available. Another time, I contacted a huge worldwide publisher about a paperback with slightly bad binding, and they sent me a new copy of the book, and their expense.

If a publisher has a contact address on their web site, and customers' e-mails keep ending up in their spam box, then their IT people are doing something wrong. I'm not saying all publishers respond to e-mails, but someone should at least try sending them an e-mail.

On the other hand, I can't imagine publishing higher-ups reading one-star Amazon reviews to find out if people disliked the format and price. When would they have the time? Maybe if someone pointed out the reviews and discussions to them, they'd pay attention. Until then, a lot of executives probably don't know they exist. (Sadly, execs tend to be the last people to hear about stuff like this. )
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Old 01-17-2010, 12:48 PM   #78
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I agree the consumer's voice must be heard, and affecting sales numbers is a great way to exercise that voice. However, coercing people into not buying through negative reviews seems a bit harsh. Wouldn't it be better to form a digital reader coalition, maybe through a forum, that advances the rights of those consumers? It could help win others to our cause by convincing them to wait to buy their hardback or paperback versions until the eBook is out. I realize that is more effort and takes more time than a smear campaign, but it somehow seems more ethical. When the coalition membership grows larger in numbers, the sales figures they wield does too. Those meaningful sales figures will attract one or two publishers to pander to the coalition, thus starting the evolution in publishing practices.

Just a thought
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Old 01-17-2010, 01:00 PM   #79
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob G. View Post
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.
Sometimes I wonder if Amazon even knows what their own guidelines are. They say reviewers should refrain from mentioning "Availability, price, or alternative ordering/shipping informat." But they also say reviews should refrain from commenting on other reviews, and we know they never take off those reviews. Like you said, reviews on political books are useless. On the other hand, they have removed legitimate negative reviews when an author complained enough. If they left them on, people would probably buy more books because of the controversy.

And why are they letting people post "The book came in great condition and was shipped on time" as a review?! Gah! :tongue


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Originally Posted by Jellby View Post
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.
I don't think people should have to buy the book to review it. I have lots of books I bought from another vendor, got for free, borrowed, etc. That doesn't mean I don't have anything to say about them.

Also, I think binding, paper, printing, typesetting, etc. are part of the content, as are bad formatting in an e-book. I've read lots of helpful reviews that mentioned those things as a part of a review. But I think there's a difference between "I didn't finish this book because I couldn't get past the typos" and "I will not buy this because of the DRM." I would rather read about the DRM, etc. in the forum or in the comments. Or heck, couldn't someone start a thread on a board like this, or even a blog, that lists books they're refusing to buy for those reasons? Then they would have more control over what appears.
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Old 01-17-2010, 06:25 PM   #80
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Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
What you want to do is make a mockery of Amazon's rating system.You want to give false ratings to books you've never read.
No, I want to use Amazon's rating system in a way which they allow. If a book is unavailable to me, then 1 is a perfectly accurate rating.

If Amazon agreed with you? Well, they'd change their system. But they haven't, they've simply added a flag for reviews where someone did buy the book through them.

Simply because you think that taking corporate restrictions at face value... well, it's bluntly laughable. You're directly arguing in favour of helping the darknets, who will be the only beneficiaries if they did adopt your proposal.

Give it up and move on, because you're deliberately hurting the market. THAT is childish.
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Old 01-17-2010, 06:33 PM   #81
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Originally Posted by brecklundin View Post
what is wrong with simply not buying the book until the ebook version can be purchased?
Because that's a -bluntly - naive and unrealistic view of what will actually happen, for many people. The people giving 1 star reviews show the author that there's a market for ebooks, if they make them available promptly and at a sensible price.

Other people, a lot of other people? Already downloaded it from the darknet and are reading it. More restrictions will only push this ratio up. It's deliberately self-destructive behaviour from the publishers which clearly shows they're ignoring the lessons of the music industry.

By giving those reviews thumbs down, you're supporting unauthorised copying by helping ti hide the consequences of the decisions which are boosting darknet usage. Plain and simple. Think not only about your actions, but the full consequences of those actions.

Amazon show both high and low score review when you look at a book, it's not like it stops you from - easily - seeing high scoring reviews or anything.

(Me? I've bought it second hand, and sent a picture of the book with the receipt on it to the author. And I'll be buying his books second hand for some years to come.)
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Old 01-17-2010, 07:33 PM   #82
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I think the 1 star rating sends a clear message. Obviously this action has created some well needed publicity. I do not think it hurts the author. Few people will buy just looking at a ratings chart. They will read through a number of the ratings to weed out the trolls and see more details.

If it does hurt the authors temporarily, it helps them in the end. Because it will help to get the ebook out earlier in the future and make more sales! A logical model would simply be to sell the ebook at a higher price until the paperback comes out.
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Old 01-17-2010, 07:34 PM   #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nbvanyoos View Post
I agree the consumer's voice must be heard, and affecting sales numbers is a great way to exercise that voice. However, coercing people into not buying through negative reviews seems a bit harsh. Wouldn't it be better to form a digital reader coalition, maybe through a forum, that advances the rights of those consumers? It could help win others to our cause by convincing them to wait to buy their hardback or paperback versions until the eBook is out. I realize that is more effort and takes more time than a smear campaign, but it somehow seems more ethical. When the coalition membership grows larger in numbers, the sales figures they wield does too. Those meaningful sales figures will attract one or two publishers to pander to the coalition, thus starting the evolution in publishing practices.

Just a thought

Actually a coalition that could get dozens or hundreds of 1 star reviews on books people couldn't buy would be a great idea! That would likely get noticed.
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Old 01-17-2010, 07:42 PM   #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DawnFalcon View Post
Because that's a -bluntly - naive and unrealistic view of what will actually happen, for many people. The people giving 1 star reviews show the author that there's a market for ebooks, if they make them available promptly and at a sensible price.

Other people, a lot of other people? Already downloaded it from the darknet and are reading it. More restrictions will only push this ratio up. It's deliberately self-destructive behaviour from the publishers which clearly shows they're ignoring the lessons of the music industry.

By giving those reviews thumbs down, you're supporting unauthorised copying by helping ti hide the consequences of the decisions which are boosting darknet usage. Plain and simple. Think not only about your actions, but the full consequences of those actions.

Amazon show both high and low score review when you look at a book, it's not like it stops you from - easily - seeing high scoring reviews or anything.

(Me? I've bought it second hand, and sent a picture of the book with the receipt on it to the author. And I'll be buying his books second hand for some years to come.)

Actually, I might do that. Closing on 200 books of interest/recommended that are georestricted. I might do a list and see how many are available for free in the usual places, too.
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Old 01-17-2010, 07:49 PM   #85
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DawnFalcon View Post
No, I want to use Amazon's rating system in a way which they allow. If a book is unavailable to me, then 1 is a perfectly accurate rating.

If Amazon agreed with you? Well, they'd change their system. But they haven't, they've simply added a flag for reviews where someone did buy the book through them.

Simply because you think that taking corporate restrictions at face value... well, it's bluntly laughable. You're directly arguing in favour of helping the darknets, who will be the only beneficiaries if they did adopt your proposal.

Give it up and move on, because you're deliberately hurting the market. THAT is childish.
email the publishers and tell them why you won't be buying their book. That will have more effect then a 1 star at Amazon.
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Old 01-17-2010, 07:53 PM   #86
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Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
email the publishers and tell them why you won't be buying their book. That will have more effect then a 1 star at Amazon.
Why would I talk to the publishers? They're the problem, and just dropping their sales estimates by one produces a huge shrug*. Informing the two ends involved in solving it - the writer and the customer - is what will be effective.

*From when I did do it, a few times.
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Old 01-17-2010, 07:58 PM   #87
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Originally Posted by DawnFalcon View Post
Why would I talk to the publishers? They're the problem, and just dropping their sales estimates by one produces a huge shrug*. Informing the two ends involved in solving it - the writer and the customer - is what will be effective.

*From when I did do it, a few times.
if you get your way, the book won't sell. And the publisher won't know why it's not selling other then it's not selling at Amazon. So, maybe the publisher and/or author won't want to sell via Amazon for the eBook. Now, all the Kindle users who do want that author's eBooks won't get it. All you do is try to hurt the innocent. Now if you get all those people to email the publisher and/or author, you may have more impact on a positive note instead of "it just doesn't sell".
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Old 01-17-2010, 08:02 PM   #88
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If a publisher notices that their sales at Amazon specifically are less than other channels then they will investigate why?
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Old 01-17-2010, 08:05 PM   #89
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Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
if you get your way, the book won't sell. And the publisher won't know why it's not selling other then it's not selling at Amazon. So, maybe the publisher and/or author won't want to sell via Amazon for the eBook. Now, all the Kindle users who do want that author's eBooks won't get it. All you do is try to hurt the innocent. Now if you get all those people to email the publisher and/or author, you may have more impact on a positive note instead of "it just doesn't sell".
A letter to the publisher and/or author is always a good idea. But I think you don't give the publishers enough credit. If sales figures at Amazon drop, they will find out why. And they are reading on this site as we speak. So the 1 Star ratings are getting the message accross.
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Old 01-17-2010, 08:12 PM   #90
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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.
LOL, this whole protest is certainly well within Amazon's interests. Of course they're going to bend their rules to allow it to go ahead.

Personally, I'd think twice before becoming Amazon's stooge in a fight between them and the publishers. Like any company, Amazon's only real priority is its own bottom line.
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