I had quite a few responses to my last blog on the statistics of Amazon’s book reviews. It is surprising that out of 2.7 million titles, 97% of those sell only one or less books a year. I mean, what’s the purpose? Why is Amazon cluttering up their data base with this junk? I think I have read one or two of those (thereby giving the author his or her one sale for the year). After all, in my opinion, after you’ve read one Zombie book there is not much more to learn. Let’s face it, how many times and ways can one kill the dead undead?
Another phenomenon is the 4 star review. What’s the difference between “I really liked the book” and “I loved the book?” I think I know the reason for this kind of review.
I once had a teacher who consistently gave me “A” on writing. I wasn’t writing any differently on the various essays I turned in for grades. So I asked her one time, why can I not get one “A+”? Her answer was: “If I did that, you would have no room to improve.” I’m sorry, I just don’t understand that logic. I was writing at the top of my form, and better than all of my classmates. She had the best work that I could do. I wasn’t going to get “+” better. I think the same kind of illogical thinking goes into 4 star reviewers. They are “holding out” for the author to do—I don’t know what. Maybe hand-stands, double-splits, setting himself on fire, a second writing of the bible?
I’ve never been a fan of Amazon’s reviewing system. When I read a book it is either good, or bad. There are no “degrees” of goodness or badness. If it’s good it will hook me in the first two chapters and I have to finish it. If it doesn’t, I discard it because life is too short to spend it reading bad writing. I think a two-star system would do just as well. Reviewers could still give their reasons for why a book is “good” or “bad” and we wouldn’t have those timid souls who just can’t make themselves rate your book above four stars – because, they’re giving you a chance to “improve.” Life is a bitch, ain’t it?