Calling all fellow book lovers who buy from Amazon! I’d like to ask for your assistance.
Maybe you’ve noticed. Maybe you haven’t. But Amazon has removed the ability to view how many reviews a reader has contributed by deleting the “?” button next to the reviewer’s name. What this valuable little button used to let us do, was to see at a glance (simply by hovering over the arrow, without having to leave the page) how many reviews each reader had written. This was an important tool in helping us determine how many of any given author’s friends were asked to stuff the ballot box, so to speak.
For example, if a book only had all 5-star reviews (usually too good to be true), you could quickly scan the down-arrows of each reviewer to see how many had only written 1 review each, with that 1 review being for said book. Safe to say, all those one-time reviewers would be likely friends of the author, and therefore not particularly helpful in aiding us with an unbiased evaluation of the book in question.
For example, take this book, Less Blah Blah, More Ah Ha by Ken Brand. I came across it while researching a topic for another blog that I write for. Now maybe this is a great book. But I’m not going to find that out by reading the reviews.
Why? Let me break it out for you.
Out of the fourteen 5-star reviews for this book (as of today), NINE of them are written by people who’ve only contributed this one review for this one book. Two reviewers had contributed a total of two reviews. One reviewer: 3 reviews. Another reviewer: 4 reviews. And finally one reviewer had contributed 3,236 reviews.
Even though this book might indeed be so spectacular as to have caused several people who’ve never written reviews before, to take the time to do so, as far as I’m concerned, there is only 1 of the 14 reviewers that I’d take seriously to help me make a decision about the possible value of this book. Yep, the lone reviewer who has more than a few reviews under his belt. But the likelihood that the author has had friends stuff the ballot box makes me a little leery. (Yes, many authors do it just to help get the review ball rolling, but I personally don’t do it, and I don’t endorse it. The whole value of reviews to me is that they should be readers’ unbiased and honest feedback about the book. And let me apologize in advance if, in fact, this author has no relationship with any of his reviewers — I just needed an example of a book with mostly 1-review reviewers for demonstration purposes.)
So, yes, I can still see how many reviews each reader has contributed. BUT, I had to click on the “See All My Reviews” link for each of the 14 reviews, which took me to a new page each time, which took a total of 28 separate page views to accomplish. Talk about an unnecessary time suck!
So, I’d like to ask you all to join me in my plea to Amazon.com. If you agree that by removing the down-arrow that showed the number of reviews without having to leave the page, they’ve removed a valuable service to their customers, please send them an email saying so.
Go to www.amazon.com.
1. On the far top right side of the screen, click on the help link.
2. Click on the Contact Us button.
3. Re-Sign in to their secure server.
4. Fill out the Customer Service form with the selections I show in the screen snapshot below.
5. Request that Amazon re-institute the Down-arrows after reviewer names for reviews at a glance.
6. Then please share this post with all your reader friends and ask them to express their displeasure with this change. Let’s get our voices heard!
AMAZON! BRING BACK THE “DOWN-ARROW” NEXT TO REVIEWER NAMES!