Sci-Fi, fantasy and speculative Indie Authors Review discussion

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Group members > Reader Reviews: I wonder if Amazon should copy Airbnb's model?

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message 1: by Richard (new)

Richard Penn (richardpenn) | 758 comments Just back from a long trip with Airbnb, I've been impressed by their guest reviews mechanism. You get an email a few days after you leave a room, with an initial star rating and then a half-dozen specific questions with check-box answers. Then you're asked for open comments at the end. The host is also contacted for a review of the guest, and both have the opportunity to send private comments as well as public ones.

If this was done with ebooks, it would have to be sent out a few weeks after the purchase, and the first question might be "Did you finish the book: yes / not yet / gave up part way through." The "not yet" choice would lead to a follow-up email a month later, while the others would trigger specific questions. I don't think giving the author the chance to review the reader makes much sense, it would be more a matter of letting us respond to their review. I know we're advised never to do that, but I'm tempted sometimes, when a reviewer is basically saying they don't like the genre I'm writing in, as opposed to saying it's a bad book.

Anyway. Just a thought.


message 2: by Robert (new)

Robert Zwilling | 229 comments Letting the author have an input during the the review process might be seen as a step away from being an independent review.

When buying general merchandise on some sites, there is a set of a standard set of questions that goes along with the text review. I think amazon has something like it, preset questions about the readers impression of the book, but I don't recall seeing it the last time I wrote a review.

How accurate was the item description? Change this to how close to your expectations was the story.

How satisfied were you with the seller's communication? Change this to how easy was it to read the story?

How quickly did the seller ship the item? Change this to did you have any trouble downloading the ebook, any noticeable typos, or other problems with format.

How reasonable were the shipping and handling charges? Change this to how reasonable was the price?

These questions are generic and applicable to all ebooks without raising a question of interference from the author.

You could add one more item, that would be to let the reader pick the genre from a list, or create their own genre name.

I read 1 and 2 star book reviews of books I have read and haven't read. The ones where the reader completely misunderstood the type of story they were buying raises some questions as it does happen and the reader is pretty clear about the issue. Is it the advertising, the blurb wasn't clear enough, the cover too suggestive? There are other things to be seen from the 1 and 2 star reviews.

Some readers are never going to clearly check out what the story is about before buying it. Does everyone read the fine print before buying everything? Or is is just going to be the cover or the author's name that makes the reader want to read the story?


message 3: by E.M. (new)

E.M. Swift-Hook | 13 comments Richard wrote: "Just back from a long trip with Airbnb, I've been impressed by their guest reviews mechanism. You get an email a few days after you leave a room, with an initial star rating and then a half-dozen s..."

Perhaps you should suggest this model to Amazon - except it would be hard to work with review copies maybe...


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