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Ask Audible > Fake Audible reviews?

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message 1: by Hanna (new)

Hanna | 3 comments Hello,

Apologies if this is in the wrong place: please feel free to move it.

I was just browsing audible for a book and noticed a couple of books that had 25 reviews which were all positive. Interestingly, the books don't seem to exist here on goodreads.. this made me curious, so I glanced over some of the reviews, then looked at the other reviews of one of the reviewers.. In both cases, all reviews were 5 star. I also noticed that most of the reviews seemed rather brief and pretty vague.. some of these reviews could be copied and pasted onto other reviews and it wouldn't be all that odd to a potential reader..

I know this goes on on the internet, but haven't really noticed it all that much on audible before (I'm more of a 'casual' 'audibler', getting most of my audiobooks from the library via Overdrive, RB digital and more recently Borrowbox).

Anyone have any insight/opinion on this..?

P.S: A search found this old thread (in particular, message 5 from Jem), but I've seen people get rather 'antsy' on 'the interwebs' when old threads get resurrected, so ... :D


message 2: by Simon (new)

Simon | 15 comments I have noticed that on some Audible releases there have been a small number of five star ratings posted within an hour or two of the book becoming available. I do tend to wonder about those sometimes but it could just be people rating because they enjoyed the start so much or people who had some kind of early release version now able to rate.

I do also see similar to you but given that many reviews on there will be people on the app just entering something brief because they were prompted at the end of the book. There's a slight bias there because obviously anyone who doesn't finish a book won't get prompted.

It's such a shame for all the people who put genuine effort into their reviews that this phenomenon has surfaced on the wider Internet.


message 3: by Robin P (new)

Robin P | 1032 comments It seems like you would have to have multiple accounts in order to post multiple reviews, or get multiple people to do it for you. I think we can only post reviews for books we bought from Audible, which is frustrating because we may want to add a review for an audiobook we got from another source. I suppose an author could set up multiple accounts and "gift" the book to those accounts, then submit reviews - or pay people to do it. Still it's concerning.


message 4: by Jeanie (new)

Jeanie | 3233 comments This does answer one question I've had about the proliferation of one-sentence reviews... I don't use the app so I didn't know about the prompt. I had just figured it was from people who wanted to write a review because they really liked the book but aren't all that great at writing. I think I'll be more likely to click on "Not Helpful" for these reviews now.


message 5: by Simon (new)

Simon | 15 comments Well there's no guarantee that 1 or 2 sentence reviews are like that, here's one of my most recent . . .

Audible I hate you! Why on Earth would you inflict this on me?????? I'm going to hunt you down and when I find you . . . Well, you get the gist I'm sure :-)


message 6: by writer... (new)

writer... (goodreadscomwriter) | 22 comments Jeanie wrote: "This does answer one question I've had about the proliferation of one-sentence reviews... I don't use the app so I didn't know about the prompt. I had just figured it was from people who wanted to ..."

Perhaps a sentence or 2 is all the listener has to say ? Maybe they'd rather say little than be wordy and negative...


message 7: by Julesy (last edited Apr 06, 2019 03:08PM) (new)

Julesy | 88 comments I am a reviewer for one publisher who provides advance reading copies. We are given the book well in advance of its release date. When the book is released, we are to provide a review that very same day. The publisher has instructed us that we do not have to be verbose, even one sentence is sufficient as long as it is a 5 star review. If we truly did not enjoy the book, we are to inform the publisher before posting our review.

Just giving my viewpoint as one who provides reviews that those reviews you've seen could be totally legit.


message 8: by Faith (new)

Faith | 407 comments Julesy wrote: "I am a reviewer for one publisher who provides advance reading copies. We are given the book well in advance of its release date. When the book is released, we are to provide a review that very sam..."

A review that is required to be a 5 star review is not legit at all. At the very least that should be disclosed in the review so that people can determine whether they should ignore it.


message 9: by Alan (last edited Apr 06, 2019 03:31PM) (new)

Alan (alanmintaka) | 184 comments Hanna wrote: "Apologies if this is in the wrong place: please feel free to move it. I was just browsing audible for a book and noticed a couple of books that had 25 reviews which were all positive. Inte..."

On Audible, the only way to filter reviews is by "Most Recent" or "Most Helpful." For me this is a pretty limited filter and doesn't help me identify whether or not some of the reviews are false positives.

For this reason I always check for other website reviews for the same title. There are often one or more Amazon or alternate Audible links at the start of the Audible reviews section for a title; e.g. Amazon, Audible.co.UK, etc.

In the case of an Amazon website, I filter the reviews by star rating. You can't do this with Audible reviews.

Thus I can look at low ratings exclusively just to see what some of the detractors have to say. Of course some of the low-rating reviews could also be false negatives, but at least it's a fast and easy way to get multiple sides of the story. False positives or negatives are easier for me to identify that way.

Unfortunately, Amazon reviews aren't always linked with the Audible title. In those cases I go to directly to the Amazon website on another browser tab and do a search for the same title. Most of the time I can find a matching title with reviews.

For an Amazon title with a high number of reviews, there are usually a few posts that refer to the same audiobook version and narrator listed on Audible. Thus you can get the narrator ratings there too.

If the foregoing review sampling still doesn't help me identify a believable consensus, I copy/paste the title into Wikipedia. If the title is there, I check the "Reception" section for any reviews, as well as the "See Also" and "External Links" for other places to check. The bonus with these Wikipedia articles is that I sometimes find quick links to reviews by columnists and review mags (NYT Book Reviews, etc).

Some or all of the above resources help me a lot when it comes to clearing out the "fakes."

Happy Listening,
Alan Mintaka


message 10: by Julesy (new)

Julesy | 88 comments Faith wrote: "A review that is required to be a 5 star review is not legit at all. At the very least that should be disclosed in the review so that people can determine whether they should ignore it."

You misunderstood. If it's an honest 5 star review, it's posted. If not, we notify the publisher why we did not like the book. I have posted less than 5-star reviews when I did not feel it wasn't deserved.


message 11: by Faith (new)

Faith | 407 comments Julesy wrote: "Faith wrote: "A review that is required to be a 5 star review is not legit at all. At the very least that should be disclosed in the review so that people can determine whether they should ignore i..."


That still skews the rating towards five stars. If you have to report to the publisher there is too big a chance that it influences how you rate and review. I've received hundreds of ARCs and never had a publisher make a demand like that, and if they did I'd ignore it. If I don't know the reviewer I discount the 5 star ARC reviews because they are padded with reviews from friends, family, other authors and people who are afraid that if they don't give a positive review they won't get any more free books.


message 12: by Laurie | LOHF (new)

Laurie  |  LOHF (barklesswagmore) | 15 comments I would never review for a publisher who requests five star reviews. They should send you an ARC with no qualifications and that should be the end of correspondence between reviewer and publisher. Anything else is suspect.


message 13: by Robin P (new)

Robin P | 1032 comments Faith wrote: "Julesy wrote: "I am a reviewer for one publisher who provides advance reading copies. We are given the book well in advance of its release date. When the book is released, we are to provide a revie..."

I agree, that is manipulative. And ridiculous - only a few books a year rate 5 stars from me. Plus a five star rating with a very brief review tells me nothing. If it's such a great book, there should be plenty to say. If the reviewer can't do that because they have to churn out the review so fast, that is not at all helpful to other readers, and in the long run, not helpful to the author.


message 14: by L J (new)

L J | 270 comments I don't recall ever being asked for positive reviews in exchange for ARCs. Even if the 5 star review is not required I suspect too many lower star reviews would equal no more ARCs which makes all 5 star reviews for books from that publisher suspect.


Audiblelovers.com | 76 comments A little bit off-topic,
but the worst authors can do,
is getting a good review by another author who
didnt read at all (I am quite sure they didnt because the book is awful).

I am talking about a German novel I have read half a year ago and a sequel was just released and famous German scifi authors gave the 1ˢᵗ book in the series good reviews.

It is boring!


message 16: by Simon (new)

Simon | 15 comments I've got to admit I tend to ignore most reviews that state they are of ARCs and I definitely ignore author quotes about how good books are in the blurbs.


message 17: by Margo (new)

Margo | 1 comments I never trust reviewers that I have some experience of/know through GR or booktube. Even if a reviewer is legit if you don't know what they like how can you know if your tastes will be similar?


Audiblelovers.com | 76 comments In my case I listen to audiobooks because of
• past experience (I liked its last novel)
• at least 4 stars/ 5 stars

I try to listen to it before reading the reviews or watching youtube reviews.

I usually read/ watch them because I am curious what they say.

There are some novels/ audibles with really strange reviews like
• Christina Dalcher’s Vox
or
• Stephen King‘s Elevation

My reviews for both: “boring“


message 19: by Faith (new)

Faith | 407 comments Audiblelovers.com wrote: "In my case I listen to audiobooks because of
• past experience (I liked its last novel)
• at least 4 stars/ 5 stars

I try to listen to it before reading the reviews or watching youtube reviews.

I..."


The reviews of Elevation are based on the fact that King wrote it. It was worse than boring, it was terrible. The reviews of Vox are inexplicable. The book could not have been more heavy handed and, I agree, boring.


message 20: by L J (last edited Jun 18, 2019 11:24AM) (new)

L J | 270 comments I check reviews of books if I haven't read any by the author or in the series even though I know that some reviewers have not read the book. If I am familiar with the reviewer's tastes 5* will turn me away when I know the reviewer and I don't like the same things. Same thing goes for blurbs by authors. When it comes to audio I am more influenced by listening to sample than by reviews.
I've been given books/audios even when I let the author/publisher know it would be some time before I read them and I didn't promise positive review. Any that say they are being "given" in exchange for a review, or worse a positive review, are not a gift. That's an exchange of goods for services and should be disclosed in the review.


message 21: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 1503 comments Faith wrote: "Audiblelovers.com wrote: "In my case I listen to audiobooks because of
• past experience (I liked its last novel)
• at least 4 stars/ 5 stars

I try to listen to it before reading the reviews or wa..."


i liked the premise of Vox - but i think it was overhyped and that just didn't work - there are similar books/themes that i think carried it off better - All Rights Reserved comes to mind


message 22: by Leona (new)

Leona (mnleona) | 3 comments I like to give the amount of stars on how I like the book. I give a 5 Star if I really learn something and the author has details that add to the book. I do read reviews but rely on my taste.


message 23: by Jeanie (new)

Jeanie | 3233 comments I do read the Audible reviews but go for as wide a sample as possible. The negative reviews are often most helpful when the reviewer specifies what they didn't like... it gives a clear picture of what is in the book. Often, what others don't like are things I do like, so the low number of stars doesn't stop me.
I don't find extremely short reviews helpful. So often nowadays I find a slew of reviews that are essentially: "I liked the story and the narration was good." I'm old enough to remember American Bandstand and the short reviews remind me of the records being rated on AB: It has a nice beat and it's easy to dance to. Succinct, but not very helpful in the end.


message 24: by Robin P (new)

Robin P | 1032 comments I miss the ability to follow reviewers on Audible. I could find people whose tastes were similar to mine. I can't understand why they got rid of it.

I agree that it's helpful to read negative reviews that say why they didn't like it.


message 25: by L J (new)

L J | 270 comments Jeanie wrote: "I do read the Audible reviews but go for as wide a sample as possible. The negative reviews are often most helpful when the reviewer specifies what they didn't like... it gives a clear picture of w..."

I find books I want from negative reviews as often or more often than from positive ones.
Now that you mention it I do see the resemblance to American Bandstand reviews when it comes to generic short reviews. I usually prefer short reviews to long ones but review needs be about the book not reviewer or author. This begs for a snarky comment but I'm showing restraint.


Audiblelovers.com | 76 comments @Robin:

I didnt know that audible did stop the option to follow “listeners“, although I am sure I received an email a couple of month ago that “these listeners have reviewed these audiobooks: (...)“

I goggled:
Changes to the Listener Page:
You will begin to see the new Listener Page on April 27, 2018. ... At this time, we can no longer support the follow a reviewer functionality.

On the other hand
“To remove your Audible listener profile from showing up as a suggestion for other Audible listeners to follow, click Turn it Off next to Let me show up in suggestions to other Audible members.“
source:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/custom...

Unfortunately I cant see the follow button not anymore..


message 27: by Specs (last edited Jun 19, 2019 05:16AM) (new)

Specs Bunny (specsbunny) | 414 comments I can appreciate a lot of reviews: especially those that explain clearly why they liked or disliked the book.

I found a lot of books that way. Not because I agreed, but because I thought "thank you for telling me that, I do like/dislike that so this book may be for me even if you don't like it...

I have to plough through a lot of reviews sometimes, before I find what I was looking for, but it helps.


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