The Land of 10,000 Reviews

The Land of 10,000 Reviews

We’ve probably all gotten a request from a writer to do a review.

Clearly, people believe that reviews equal sales…you know, unless they just genuinely want the criticism.😉

However, when we look at the books with the most reviews at Amazon (I figured out and reported on a way to sort search results by most reviews here: New search tip: sort by Most Reviews), you’ll find that they don’t match up with Amazon’s

USA Kindle Store E-book Bestsellers (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

The reason for that is pretty simple.

Reviews are forever.😉

Well, not quite forever….sometimes, rarely, a review is removed from a Kindle book.

Amazon may do that if they suspect a financial or other inappropriate connection between the reviewer and the publisher/author.

Amazon completely has the right to do that, of course…contrary to what you might hear, that has nothing to do with free speech.

Free speech has to do with what the government can restrict…not what a business decides to do.

A store doesn’t have to carry your book; Amazon doesn’t have to run your review.

That said, Amazon tends to be pretty unfiltered in terms of reviews, from what I’ve seen. If they were eliminating them to boost sales (getting rid of negative ones), or because of writing quality (don’t get me started), you wouldn’t see a lot of what you see now.

I do use Amazon reviews, but not necessarily at face value.

I’m getting some home automation for the first time, to get the experience of that with our

Amazon Echo (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

and a reviews said that one outlet had such a bright “ready light” that the reviewer wouldn’t put it in a bedroom. I have extra good night vision (possibly related to my color vision deficiency), and that would likely bother me, so I got something else.

That was useful.🙂

No, reviews don’t tend to be removed…so if you have over 10,000 reviews at Amazon (which is true of fewer than 100 books in the USA Kindle store), you also need longevity.

I say “also” because you need both: engagement and longevity.

So, the books in the 10,000 plus club include Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, and 50 Shades of Grey…all of which were on the bestseller list for some time, and all of which are still selling.

I’d say there are a few other factors:

  • Books with media tie-ins, especially movies, tend to have more reviews
  • Books aimed at younger readers (not children necessarily, but Millenials and younger) also get more…I think that group has more online social engagement
  • The books tend to be newer…even if you love a book you read twenty years ago, you aren’t likely to write a review at Amazon

I may add to this post later today with more specifics, but I did want to share this awareness now.🙂

Update:

These are the ten most reviewed:

Title Rating Reviews Release Days in Release Reviews per Day Most Recent Review
Gone Girl 3.9 41,448 6/5/2012 1180 36.13 8/29/2015
The Fault in Our Stars 4.7 36,553 1/10/2012 1327 28.55 8/29/2015
Fifty Shades of Grey 3.5 32,852 5/25/2011 1557 22.10 8/29/2015
The Girl on the Train 4.0 31,162 1/13/2015 228 137.68 8/29/2015
Unbroken 4.8 25,418 11/16/2010 1747 15.55 8/29/2015
The Hunger Games 4.6 24,024 2/7/2012 1299 19.49 8/28/2015
The Goldfinch 3.7 22,432 10/22/2013 676 34.18 8/29/2015
Divergent 4.5 20,939 10/21/2014 312 68.11 8/28/2015
Mockingjay 4.3 19,593 9/30/2014 333 59.84 8/29/2015
Inferno 4.0 18,554 5/14/2013 837 23.17 8/29/2015

Bestsellers:

Title Rating Reviews Release Days in Release Reviews per Day Most Recent Review
The Martian 4.6 15,161 2/11/2014 564 26.88 8/29/2015
The Girl on the Train 4.0 31,162 1/13/2015 228 137.68 8/29/2015
The Good Neighbor 3.7 1,336 8/1/2015 28 47.71 8/29/2015
The Girl from Krakow 4.1 422 8/1/2015 28 15.07 8/29/2015
The Girl in the Spider’s Web 3.3 6 8/1/2015 28 0.21 8/28/2015
About That Fling 4.2 330 8/1/2015 28 11.79 8/29/2015
City of Echoes 4.2 508 8/1/2015 28 18.14 8/29/2015
Small Wars 4.4 246 8/13/2015 16 15.38 8/29/2015
Hawk 4.3 61 8/17/2015 12 5.08 8/29/2015
Trail of Broken Wings 4.4 2,799 5/1/2015 120 23.33 8/29/2015

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* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

4 Responses to “The Land of 10,000 Reviews”

  1. Lady Galaxy Says:

    I used to think that reviews were forever, too, but the last time I checked my reviews on Amazon, I discovered that about half of them had been “hidden” and I had no idea why. They didn’t contain spoilers or bad language, and the items reviewed were still available. Because they were hidden, I couldn’t go back to reread them to see if I could find what was wrong, and Amazon would not explain why they had been hidden. At that point, I removed most of my remaining reviews and have declined to review anything since.

  2. Edward Boyhan Says:

    Of the ten most reviewed I had heard of all of them save two or three. Of the best sellers, other than the Martian, I had heard of none of them. Of the titles on both lists “inferno” is perhaps the only one I might read.

    On the best sellers list you list “Hawk”; I found several with that title — all well-reviewed — perhaps you could indicate which one you mean?

    For me, a 5 star rating system is overkill. For every 1000 books I read, I have probably given less than 25 5-stars, and a similar number have gotten 3-stars (I don’t use 1 or 2-star ratings at all — I do have a “couldn’t finish” collection that has 2 or 3 titles in it).

    It is rare to see a title with a rating higher than 4.0. When I see such, I look at the number of reviews — if that number is less than 20, then I discount the rating.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Edward!

      Hawk (A Stepbrother Romance)
      by Abigail Graham

      Hawk (A Stepbrother Romance) (at AmazonSmile*)

      Sorry, I was trying to get it to fit on the page…didn’t quite make it, but will still able to be read, I think.

      I knew all of the most reviewed, and I’d say half of the bestselling.

      In my experience, quite a few of the books are 4+. I just checked by sorting by Average Customer Review. The most results you can get are 400 pages of usually 16 titles per page (the last page may be shorter): 6,400 (roughly) results. They were all over 4.0…

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