Thursday, July 25, 2013

The other side of reviews

This evening I received a surprising email from Amazon. They told me that one of my reviews had helped someone in making a decision about the lovely e-book written by Jo Carroll Bombs and Butterflies. I've never had an email like this before, but I rather liked it. It made me feel good. Amazon also told me that of the fifteen reviews I've written, five have helped other people with their decisions.

I don't know why I've just got this email now. Maybe it's something new to encourage people to write them, but I must say it works for me. I've never had one before, but it will definitely encourage me to write more reviews in future. Mostly, I write reviews for all the books I manage to finish. It generally means I've enjoyed them, so it's nice to write a review. If I don't finish them, that tells its own story -either I haven't liked the book and have abandoned it, or it's an e-book. These take me much longer as I battle to read off a screen. Sometimes I just don't have the will to finish them, so I guess if I write a review for an e-book, it must be something special. That's not to say my reviews mean anything at all, but e-books start with a disadvantage  - a sort of handicap - when it comes to my reading.

I'm very happy I've helped someone reach a decision about Bombs and Butterflies. I loved it and will definitely read it again. Jo, please will you think about putting it together with Hidden Tiger as a paperback on Lulu? I'd so love to have them both as a real book!

And just to give a bit of visual interest to this post, here's a totally irrelevant photo of the canal trip we took yesterday. Absconding from duty I was.

11 comments:

  1. Thanks for such kind comments, Val. I have a secret plan - when I get back from Cuba I might write that up and put all three together on Lulu as a print book - Hidden Tiger and Bombs together are still less than 60,000 words, yet I'd have to charge about £7.99 for it to make any money at all - and I feel people need more value for that sort of money.

    But Amazon sending you thank-you emails - forgive my cynicism, but I suspect they are just stroking their reviewers to keep them sweet! Does this mean they're telling fibs ... would it be the first time ...

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  2. O Jo, maybe you're right and I'm being naïve. It just took me by surprise and my reaction was to feel a bit pleased. I'm guessing if others feel the same then they are probably succeeding in their mission. I like your idea about combining the three trips into one paperback! I'll look forward to that. You can put me down for one already! Sorry if I'm nagging you about it though X

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  3. Val , just five minutes ago I received the exact same email from Amazon about the review I gave for Jo's book. I have never had an e mail like that before but it also asked me to review other books I have bought from them. Strange!

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  4. Anne, that's amazing! We've both had one almost at the same time! It must be a special marketing drive then. That's a pity. I must say I'm getting a lot of requests to write reviews from companies I buy things online from. Maybe it's their way of dealing with the crisis!

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  5. Just to add - whatever games Amazon may be playing, your reviews matter to me. I've no idea if they've helped to sell books, but your kind words - and the fact that the book got under both your skins, Val and Anne - that matters more.

    So - thank you, again.

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  6. I loved it, Jo, and now I'm looking forward to Cuba!

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  7. Hmm .... I review on amazon, have for some time and they're certainly not sending me emails!! Maybe its an ebook thing - I only review books. I like reviewing - it makes me read the book in a more ''what's under the bonnet'' sort of way, but boy, have I read some rubbish reviews!!! You can always tell when it's FOA (Friend of author!! or EOA (Enemy of author). Or when the reviewer is someone who has a similar book out!I like writing my review and then reading what other people have to say and seeing if they've picked up on the same things!I REALLY like it when I get sent books to review coz they are so expensive I can't afford to buy them! Currently reviewing 2 American crime novels that were Fedexed over!!! FREE BOOKS!!!

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  8. That's great, Carol! Lovely to receive books free and for gratis. Boy, you're right about the price though. They are very expensive, but I still spend money on them. It's a kind of addiction. Terrible. I've always had a thing about books - the feel, smell and look of a new paperback have enthralled me since I was a child. As for the reviews, I don't write very long or in-depth reviews, but as and when I write them, it's always because I've enjoyed the books. The only upside about buying them yourself is there's no obligation to review them if you don't feel you've got anything positive to say…haha. I'm not sure I'd want to write a negative review. I'm a wimp like that. I'd rather not say anything at all.

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  9. I feel incredibly selfish now. I often read book reviews to decide whether to buy a book or not, but I never give a review myself. In future I will do, because it never occurred to me before that the author needs them for sales and it is nice to be able to make someone feel good xxx

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  10. Val - on a lighter note, check out the reviews on Amazon for Veet hair removal gel for men (especially the 2nd one) my sides are still aching from laughter! Xxx

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  11. I receive those emails every now and again, I supposed it was because there is a place where a person can check that the review helped them...etc. I only review books I like, whether a friend (I have a lot of friend authors) or not, I just don't have time to review writing I don't like. I review what I like in hopes that my review will one day help another person looking at purchasing a book.

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