Have you ever had a positive Amazon review conversation?

July 29, 2015 Fun Questions, Uncategorized 21

Fun Questions LogoJoin me as I ask a Fun Question that’s been on my mind. I’ll give you my take, but I really hope you’ll jump in with your answers too, since I’m really curious to know what my fellow readers and bloggers think! So today’s question is…

Have you ever had a POSITIVE Amazon Review conversation?

This question comes on the heels of one of my reviews in Amazon getting lots of comments – it was a book that has a lot of haters and apparently they all stalk the reviews because they came out to comment on my review. No one was unkind to me – I had given a fairly neutral review myself – but the negativity just rubbed me wrong.

One commenter, despite clearly not liking the book, approached the topic in an engaging way that made me want to reply and have a discussion. *shakes head* Stupid, stupid Berls! Will you ever learn what baiting looks like?! I don’t know if I will, because I just like to believe people are good and have good intentions. Nieve, I know, but I refuse to think otherwise about people until they prove me wrong. Well the reply I got, despite being politely written, was very determined author hatred. I ended up not reading the entire reply, deleting my own comment, and fully disengaging. I just don’t want to be part of anything so negative. It’s not why I read, review, or blog. I just won’t do it.

But it got me thinking – I don’t believe I’ve ever had a POSITIVE Amazon review conversation ever! Does Amazon breed negativity or is it just me? How do the exact same reviews I post here get so twisted and controversial on Amazon?

As a rule I don’t reply, but I have engaged three times and I’ve regretted it each time. The first, an author attacked me for my opinion of the book. I replied back, saying I was sorry they felt that way but that I felt I had been honest and clear about why I didn’t like the book. Well shortly after that the author was attacked by numerous people for her comments to me. Sure, she shouldn’t have said anything, but seeing people quote my response to her in their very ugly attacks made me feel really crappy. I wasn’t mean and didn’t like seeing my words twisted that way. I deleted my comment and so did the author. But damage was done and I didn’t like being even slightly attached to it.

The second time someone commented on my review – a book I gave 1 star and they gave 5 stars – and they were quite nasty about my not liking it. It was mean and I replied with something along the lines of “I’m glad you liked it and I hope you will/have written a review to express how much you like it. I also hope no one will unkindly judge you as you have judged me for having expressed that opinion.” Nothing bad came of that, but I don’t feel good about “putting her in her place,” so to speak.

And the third time is the one I described at the start. These comments keep pulling me in and I seem to keep thinking that I can have decent interchanges with people on Amazon. But I have yet to see that happen.

Has anyone had a positive Amazon review conversation? Am I alone in this? The negativity, despite being rare in comparison to the number of reviews with no response, makes me hesitant to continue posting on Amazon. Those emails that someone has commented, followed by a really negative or nasty remark put me in a bad mood and just spoil so much of what I love about reviewing – sharing book LOVE, not HATE!

What has been your experience?

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Berls

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About Berls
Berls has been a book lover her whole life. She reads pretty much every genre and is currently working hard at making her childhood dream of becoming an author come true. She loves sharing her thoughts about books, blogging, and just random fun stuff. She's a challenge and read-a-thon junkie, so it's no wonder that she loves co-hosting the COYER reading challenge. Leave a comment, Berls is always happy to chat!

21 Responses to “Have you ever had a positive Amazon review conversation?”

  1. Melanie Simmons
    Twitter:

    I’ve never gotten comments on my reviews on Amazon. Then I tend to only post reviews on Amazon for books that are less well know. If it is a book from a many time best selling author, I just post the review on the blog, Booklikes and Goodreads. I do post reviews for all my indie publishers, but they don’t have the crazy fan base. Good to know this is an issue though.
    Melanie Simmons recently posted…The Dangerous Book for Demon Slayers Audiobook by Angie Fox (REVIEW)My Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      Smart. I’ve kind of stopped posting reviews on Amazon, but maybe I’ll get back to posting the indie authors. Though one of my comments was for a book I’d never heard of before reading it… So maybe I’ll base it on how many reviews they have.

  2. Braine Talk Supe

    I can’t directly answer your question, BUT, I’ve noticed that people gravitate more towards negativity than anything else. I’ve noticed it on my stats too, when I publish reviews for books I didn’t like, for some reason they have more views over the 3-5starrer books. I think the world has become such a miserable place for a lot of people and hating and such is all they know nowadays. What a waste of energy, IMO
    Braine Talk Supe recently posted…Quick Hit: Gin Lovers- Dangerous Games by Jamie BrennerMy Profile

  3. Lola
    Twitter:

    I actually haven’t received many comments on my amazon reviews, maybe because I mostly cross post my reviews of less well known books? I have received a one or two comments and often don’t reply either way. I actually am not on amazon enough to have an opinion or know much about this. I’ve seen conversatiosn escalate on goodreads and even some on amazon, but never on one of my reviews. I usually only have people comment on my reviews on my blog and everyone seems mostly positive there even if the book is nothing for them.
    Lola recently posted…Lola’s Kitchen: Cajun Pasta RecipeMy Profile

  4. A.E. Albert

    I wonder if these people realize how they are affecting freedom of speech. Even in general conversations I hear people apologizing for an opinion that is negative. But ‘negative’ doesn’t mean a bad attitude toward the issue, but an opinion contrary to it. I used to be excessively PC. But I’m seeing more and more people being condemned for expressing contrary opinions and people avoiding expressing themselves all together and just nodding their head.

    I try not to get angry over what people think. It’s hard to not allow my personal bias and sometimes moral stance to get in the way. People should be allowed to think what they choose. Society needs to stop judging what people think and only a person’s action.

    Nasty responses to reviews not only infringe on a person’s freedom, but they are doing exactly what they are accusing the reviewer of doing.

    I’m ok with people being angry. They have the same rights as I do. But be respectful about it. And don’t turn the issue into mob mentality.

  5. Anya @ On Starships and Dragonwings

    Urgh this!!!! For a while I deleted Amazon notifications of comments without looking because I didn’t want to feel bad, and then I just didn’t want to post reviews at all because nothing good comes of it. I once got a nasty comment from C. S. Friedman on a review of her newest book because she didn’t like what I had to say! I was like wtf????? I have once in a while had someone post to say they agreed with my review though 🙂
    Anya recently posted…Half Wild by Sally Green Audiobook {4 Stars}My Profile

  6. Bookworm Brandee

    I’ve never had a comment on an Amazon review, Berls. Unless I have and don’t know about it. I have had a few negative comments on the very first review I ever posted on GR. I didn’t comment back because – well, I was intimidated since I’d just started posting reviews. I have also had one negative comment, from an author who wasn’t the author of the book I was reviewing (wth?!?) on my blog. I did respond to that one but the author didn’t reply. It is a drawback to ‘social media’ in general that people ‘feel’ anonymous and therefore feel free to attack. I’m proud of you for how you’ve handled it. I don’t know how I’d fare, honestly. I’m also sorry that you’ve had to deal with negativity like this. It isn’t why any of us read, review, and blog.*sigh* People…it takes all kinds…
    Bookworm Brandee recently posted…That’s What HE Said #32 ~ Thirty Thursday & Hungry Hearts #11My Profile

  7. Ramona
    Twitter:

    I didn’t pay much attention to Amazon review. GR is the place for people who love to read, and that’s where I had some conversations. (This was before Amazon purchased GR…) Anyway, I’ve never replied to negative reviews & comments, except once, for a minor point. Otherwise, big no-no. Good discussions? Sure. But this was five ys ago, when the blogosphere and GR were somewhat different. Today, I don’t know. I’m older, I’ve got stronger opinions about things, and less patience with obtuse individuals, so I’d say that getting involved into a discussion would potentially end in disaster. My advice is to curb your urge – I know it’s hard. Stop checking the reviews, stop getting upset, just take a step back until you feel you are sufficiently detached to be able to handle bad stuff. It might take years, though, but eventually you will distance yourself enough. Sorry it happened to you, ducks 🙂 There are a lot of meanies out there :\
    Ramona recently posted…How To Write Great DialogueMy Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      Yeah, I typically don’t reply but for some reason those three scenarios I did. Just got under my skin. Like you said – my patience for obtuse individuals is so but thin! I wish Amazon wouldn’t notify me when I get a comment, because otherwise I’d gladly go on without ever knowing. I’m guessing there’s a setting somewhere that can chance that – finding it will be the trick. Or I just might not review on Amazon anymore… It’s funny because if someone wanted to say they didn’t like my writing I’d be okay with that, but I really can’t stand people attacking authors or saying someone’s opinion is wrong. Authors aren’t up for debate, just their work IMO. And if someone doesn’t like a reviewers opinion that does not give them the right to attack – it’s an opinion! It doesn’t hurt my feelings, just pisses me off! LOL!

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      I don’t think I’ll ever respond to them ever again! But even the ones I don’t respond to seem to be all negative comments. I hate getting an email from Amazon that someone commented on one of my reviews – my stomach drops and I think, “now what?”

  8. Angie F.

    Actually, most of the comments I get on my Amazon reviews are positive. Usually thanking me for being honest and helping them avoid a book that they’d end up hating. The only negative comment I can think of was from the author telling me that I was factually wrong about something, after she already Tweeted me about being factually wrong about something else! Go away, gosh! And I wasn’t wrong, btw. I never respond to any comments though.

    Normally, if I post a negative review for a super popular, hyped up book, the fans attack with unhelpful ratings. This is one thing I really hate about Amazon reviews. Your review can be totally fair and explain what didn’t work for you and why you didn’t like it, but it can still be marked as unhelpful because someone doesn’t agree with it. There is a big different between “This review wasn’t helpful” and “I don’t agree with this review.” It drives me crazy.
    Angie F. recently posted…Wishlist Wednesday #100: One by Sarah CrossanMy Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      Really?! That’s awesome — why can’t I have that experience? Grrr. Although sounds like you’ve had your share of negative too. I wonder if this could also be a case of quantity opening you up to a wider spectrum. You read at least double what I do – so maybe I just need to read and post more to experience both ends. Hmmm… that unhelpful thing is total crap though. They should have to qualify why it’s unhelpful – bet a lot less people would take the time to come up with a reason!

  9. Stormi
    Twitter:

    Unless, I get an email telling me someone commented on my review I don’t even pay attention. And I never get that email, so I am guessing nobody comments on mine or I just never know. 🙂 I do think there are a lot of negative comments on amazon than positive. We live in an era where it seems people must complain about something or they are not happy so I tend to just not listen. 🙂
    Stormi recently posted…Audiobook review of Zombies in LoveMy Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      I don’t either – but I get emails. For EVERY SINGLE COMMENT. And then I’m curious, so I look it up. And then it’s mean and I either ignore it (as I normally do) and let it stew and piss me off, or reply and regret it. Grrr. Sucks. You’re so right, people suck lol. I know that’s not what you said, but I’m taking it there. Except for our wonderful group of book bloggers of course 🙂

  10. Debbie @ CK2S Kwips and Kritiques

    I rarely post any of my book reviews on Amazon any longer for that exact reason! I got burned several years back when everyone went after an author who allegedly had a group of her friends liking all the positive reviews. I happened to have a positive review of her book. Once attention came to it, my review was attacked as fake and so I eventually took it down because the hatred just wasn’t worth it. I much prefer talking to bloggers (like through COYER) as everyone is respectful regardless of differences of opinions.
    Debbie recently posted…Review: Awake by Natasha PrestonMy Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      Uh what a horrible situtation to get caught up in! I hate the mob mentality when it takes hold 🙁 I agree with you completely, I so prefer the blog community and I’m glad I’m not alone in thinking that Amazon may not be worth it. I think I’m only posting reviews to Amazon from now on if it’s a book I recieved especially for review or I notice that the author doesn’t have many reviews – in which case they need my review. But if they have hundreds, I’m not putting myself out there!

  11. Jonetta (Ejaygirl)
    Twitter:

    I have had a couple and they were interesting, polite discourses, one I initiated. I believe a reviewer had written a very nicely outlined criticism about one aspect of the story. As I had a completely different understanding of the situation, I posed the possibility of a different point of view. By the time we were done, others had joined in and it was quite pleasant as we weighed the pros and cons. It was a rare Amazon experience.

    I have noticed a trend, however. The most rabid conversations tend to be around popular genres more than specific books. It gets especially nasty whenever world building is involved, typically UF or PNR. I’m seeing similar situations in the New Adult reviews. I’m unsure why these genres seem to bring out the nasties but they seem to always show up.
    Jonetta (Ejaygirl) recently posted…Audio Review: Memory Man by David BaldacciMy Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      I’m glad you’ve had a positive experience! It gives me hope that they do exist!!

      That’s interesting about the genres. At first when I read your comment I was thinking that must be my problem, since those are the genres I read most – but then I realized that the negative comments I got were for a mystery (with a chiristian leaning), a contemporary romance, and dystopian – all YA. So who knows!

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