Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Cross-posting reviews to Amazon

Cross-posting my reviews to Amazon.  It's a thing I do fairly regularly and it doesn't take much to do.  Really just copying and pasting my original review from one place to another, choosing a star rating and picking out a title.  But I hate doing it.

It's not even that it's a time-consuming job.  If I cross-post my reviews to Amazon once a month (which is often when I do it) it only takes 10 or 15 minutes to do.  It's nice when I remember and I feel all accomplished.  

But the reason I hate doing it is very simple. Right at this moment I have 202 helpful votes on my reviews. 202 out of 238.  Which means that 36 anonymous people out there have read my reviews and they've decided to click that 'No' button under my review in response to the question, 'Was this review helpful to you?' 

That's happened 36 times and every time that I do notice that this count has gone up in anyway, I have a major bout of doubt and my confidence drops and I'll go back to that review and I'll think 'what is it about this review that isn't helpful? and I'll feel really sorry for myself.

And usually, I'll read that review again and I don't find anything wrong with it. I don't write spoilers for the books I'm reviewing, if it's a book in a series I'll usually post a spoiler warning before the events of previous books are spoilt.  Some books are difficult to discuss without giving away too many spoilers so they can reviews in which I talk more generally about the book but in a relevant way. Some reviews are overly positive, some are more negative but I always try to balance both the good and the bad. None of my reviews are the same, certain stories have different aspects that appeal to me more than others: the characters, the relationships, the setting and I'll write about those aspects in more detail.  

All I can think when I'm reading these reviews in which somebody answered 'No' to 'Was this review helpful to you?' is that they just don't agree with my opinions. I can't think why else they might find them unhelpful.  And I have to be honest, I find it really hurtful that 36 anonymous people have dismissed the time and effort that I have put into reading and reviewing these books.  

Now, let me tell you why I continue to cross-post my reviews to Amazon. 

It's helpful for authors.

No, that's the only reason.  But I do sometimes have to remind myself of this fact.  In fact, I usually repeat 'it's helpful to authors' during my monthly cross-posting sessions. 'It's helpful for authors, it's helpful for authors, it's helpful for authors.' 

Having more ratings and reviews on places like Amazon is helpful to authors.  I know quite a few people who rely on reading Amazon reviews to purchase books including my local book club members. An author on Twitter recently compared Amazon reviews to gold dust and while I thought that was extreme at the time, more authors agreed with her. I think this is especially true of debut authors and any author that's not already a household name and who continually tops the bestseller charts and even then it's still helpful to those authors. 

So I guess while it does hurt my heart to do sometimes, I will still always do my best to cross-post my reviews to large retail sites like Amazon.  It's nice to spread the word. And while it's easy for me to focus on those 36 unhelpful reviews, I also shouldn't forget about those other 202 votes.  Maybe 202 times I've helped someone to find a new favourite book or was the deciding factor on buying a book they were unsure about. I sure hope so.  

Do you cross-post your reviews to Amazon?


  1. Hi Michelle, I was discussing this very topic with some other authors on Twitter a few days ago! I can't tell you how much I appreciate it as an author when a reviewer cross posts to Amazon. I understand how unpleasant it is when people press the "no" button on whether the review was helpful or not because I feel that sadness and dent to my confidence when I get a negative review or when I get no reviews at all for something I've worked hard on. It does hurt, and yet you are taking on that hurt for other people, and please know, it is noticed and appreciated. Thank you. xxx

  2. Hi Michelle. Take no notice of unhelpful votes. There's nothing wrong with your reviews and it's usually down to other reviewers trying to get their reviews of the same thing to the top spot ESPECIALLY if the book you're reviewing has been issued over Amazon Vine. I'm in Vine and it's a massive problem and well debated in the Amazon forums. I seriously doubt the general public have time to bother with votes in the main. My guess is, they skim Amazon reviews to get an overall idea of the book. It used to bug me, but now I don't even bother to look at them. Your reviews arethe most helpful I can think of! I'd like Amazon to do away with the neg vote and just have the Helpful button...that way the really helpful reviews get recognised and there's no abuse.

    1. That's really interesting to hear, about the Vine thing. I keep telling myself not to take as much notice but I'm too sensitive :( I will continue to cross-post, no matter what though :)

  3. I do the same thing and I agree! I think my rating is at 82%. Every time the rating goes down because someone rated it unhelpful, it drives me crazy. I really do think it's a matter of opinion. I have noticed that I get more unhelpful votes for negative reviews. I guess if someone liked it and I didn't, then they mark my review as unhelpful. Kind of ridiculous, but whatever.

    1. It is pretty ridiculous. My rating, I think is at 85% and I think you're right about the differing opinions but it still grates on my very last nerve...

  4. Don't take it to heart at all. There can be a lot of hate in the Internet. I think this is one of the reasons why Facebook has never got a thumbs down button. Ignore those random 36 people and concentrate on the 202 people who thought your review was really helpful :)

  5. I also cross post reviews to Amazon. What bothers me is when I get comments on the review slamming me because I didn't like a book. It's my opinion. It doesn't do anyone any good to soften a review if you aren't thrilled with the product.
    When I buy anything I check the Anazon reviews first to see what others think, to see if their reviews touch on issues I should consider before purchasing.
    I do not click on "review was not helpful" to anyone over their opinion. That's not right, in my opinion. Looked at your reviews and they look great to me - an honest evaluation.
    Don't let them bother you, keep up your reviews!


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