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Thread: Negative revews: vendor responses

  1. #11
    Publishing Mentor dsieg58 is a Premium Member
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    It didn't occur to me that this might be against Amazon's TOS. But that might well be the case. (Unfortunately, I wouldn't know how to go about checking that.)
    What's not allowed
    Amazon is pleased to provide this forum for you to share your opinions on products. While we appreciate your time and comments, we limit customer participation to one review per product and reserve the right to remove reviews that include any of the following:

    Promotional content:
    Advertisements, promotional material or repeated posts that make the same point excessively
    Sentiments by or on behalf of a person or company with a financial interest in the product or a directly competing product (including reviews by publishers, manufacturers, or third-party merchants selling the product)
    Reviews written for any form of compensation other than a free copy of the product. This includes reviews that are a part of a paid publicity package
    Solicitations for helpful votes
    For more information on what we consider promotional content, please see our Frequently Asked Questions.
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/community-h...ews-guidelines

    Inappropriate email communications: All email communications with buyers must be courteous, relevant and appropriate. Unsolicited email communications with Amazon.com users, email communications other than as necessary for order fulfillment and related customer service, and emails containing marketing communications of any kind (including within otherwise permitted communications) are prohibited.
    Misuse of ratings and feedback or reviews: Any attempt to manipulate ratings, feedback, or reviews is prohibited.
    Review solicitations that ask for only positive reviews or that offer compensation are prohibited. You may not ask buyers to remove negative reviews.
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/custom...deId=200414320

  2. The Following User Says Thank You to dsieg58 For This Useful Post:

    Mikl (22 August 2014)

  3. #12
    Marketing Mentor Mikl is a Premium Member
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    Perfect. Just what I needed. I shall consider throwing this back in their face.

    Mike

  4. #13
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    We received a negative (2-star) review on Amazon for a book we wrote. I actually didn't know you could change or edit reviews, but I thanked him for his feedback and tried to address some of his points as clarification for any other potential readers that might check out his review.

    The guy ended up getting back to me, re-wrote his review, and added 2 stars to the review. (So 4 stars total) He still left a few valid criticisms and we did our best to answer them, but overall I thought it was pretty cool of him to make the adjustment to the review and was pretty proud of the way I handled it. Example here

    To any publishers dealing with a critical view I think it's best to calmly address the criticism, correct any mistakes or confusion, and honestly thank the person for providing valuable and honest feedback. Keep in mind that this public criticism will probably help determine whether future buyers purchase. If you're direct and genuinely cool with your reply, you'll probably end up winning a few over and making some additional sales.

    I recently became active in a paid forum for dropshippers. There was a pretty scathing review of us in there with a ton of inaccuracies. I could sense the author was coming from a place of frustration and just tried to empathize with my reply and address his points. He ended up becoming a fan of ours - I'm actually looking forward to having a beer with him in a month in Chiang Mai - crazy stuff!

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    Mikl (22 August 2014)

  6. #14
    Moderator Kay is a Premium Member
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    How to react to a bad review IMO depends on what you think of the reviewer and their ability to write a coherent and rational review. I've had some really awful reviews on a couple of my travel books.

    This is a paraphrased example of what I'm up against.

    Book description:

    This is a collection of my personal experiences of [place]. It describes where I like to eat, drink and sleep. It's NOT a guide book. If it's a guide book you're looking for you'll be better off buying a Lonely Planet book, or similar.

    Book reviews:

    One star! This is no good as a guide book. It's just about some places where the author likes to go.

    There's not much point in responding to someone who obviously didn't read the book description before they bought the book. I just ignore them. A lot of reviews are just tactical anyway: shills, revenge ratings, attacks by competitors, etc. And Mike's post about his experience with the review he wrote is just another example of how sellers try to manipulate the results.
    British Expat - helping people to live and work abroad since the year 2000.

    The joy of Internet delivery - the cartoon illustrating this will make you laugh!



  7. #15
    Publishing Mentor dsieg58 is a Premium Member
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    I've had some really awful reviews on a couple of my travel books.
    I've had lots of bad reviews for my fiction books. LOL. Personally, I think it goes with the territory. Especially when you're writing out of the mainstream. Most of them you can tell they have an ax to grind, or didn't even bother reading past the first chapter. Many of them even come right and say they didn't read past the first chapter. If I can tell, then other people are smart enough to as well. So, you're left with the question...why did they even buy it? Since they could have read that much for free with the "Look Inside" feature and not wasted their money. I think (Personal opinion) for an author to reply to a bad review is in poor taste. One, because everyone is entitled to their opinions. Two, no matter what you write, or how well written, some people aren't going to like it. Three, most people won't review a book they like. This is a fact. I have literally 100's of glowing testimonials for my nonfiction, (They write to me privately) but there is only ONE review on Amazon, after 1000's of sales. But by the same token, some people ONLY review books they don't like. They get to sit anonymously behind their keyboard and tear people down. They get a perverse thrill out of it. It's like the expression, "Don't feed the trolls." Fourth, in my opinion, replying to a negative review, no matter how well written, makes the author look insecure and unsure about their own work. As long as the majority (80%-90%) of the reviews are positive, your book/product won't suffer. Twenty-five, 4-5 star reviews and no negative reviews would send up a red flag to Amazon, I'm sure. It simply isn't realistic. Go choose any extremely popular product and look at the reviews...none of them have ALL raving fans.

    The review system at Amazon is flawed, no question. (Is there anything that isn't?) But I would rather have it with its flaws, than not have it at all. I don't think everyone is out to manipulate the reviews (I don't) but there are enough people that do that you have to take it all with a grain of salt.

  8. #16
    Marketing Mentor Mikl is a Premium Member
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    Just to wrap this topic up .....

    A week has gone by since I received their request to upgrade the star rating for my review. I didn't respond to that request, and do not plan to do so. Thanks to the comments and advice in this thread, I can see that their request was unreasonable, and isn't worth wasting any more time on. Thanks to all who contributed.

    Mike

  9. The Following User Says Thank You to Mikl For This Useful Post:

    dsieg58 (28 August 2014)

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