Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Reviews and Comments – The Good and the Bad

Is Free Bad?

While researching how to get the most out of Amazon's Free Kindle promotion, I ran across a warning that offering free books increases the possibility for negative reviews. Why? Apparently people take the freebie only to learn it is not the type of book they like. Ergo, the book is bad.

Nearly 20,000 copies of Where Love Once Lived were downloaded during the three-day promotion so I was geared up for a few negative reviews. It still hurt when the first one came in.

My First 2-Star Rating

The day after the free period, this 2-star review was published on Amazon.

Honest Feelings but read like a bad Harlequin without the sex. I understand that the book is a Christian fiction. That said, this book was super-sweet Christian romance with a little bit of all hardships thrown in. Although all the previous reviews really like the book, they also want to save you from reading it by telling you the entire plot, lol, so I will just say this is a book that you will know how you feel by the end of the first chapter. I quite honestly put it down after that first chapter and only finished it because the reviews were so good. I should have saved myself an hour.

The 2-star rating was probably not fair, but I actually liked what the reviewer had to say. Since I had 15 5-star ratings and one 4-star rating, the 2-star one didn't change the average. But with 20,000 possible new readers, I began to worry what could happen.

Another 5-Star Rating

But it was eight days later before the second review came in from lbmollie11, who lives in Pittsburg, and it was a 5-star!

GREAT! I simply loved this book and couldn't put it down. Just when you thought you knew what was going to happen next, something else happened instead!

This brought my average back up to 4.8 for Amazon reviews.

Other Feedback From Readers

Then, yesterday I got this email from a woman in Iowa who had bought both books:

I finished your books. I read the first one earlier in the winter. It was the kind of story I like and hard to put down.

A week or so ago I started the second one, I cried through the first part, of course, then I could hardly put it down. It was exciting, but scary to read before going to bed. I finished it this morning. Great!!

Will be waiting for more books.

Isn't that nice.

You can read my notes about Amazon's Free Kindle Promotions here:


  1. I actually think a few mediocre (and even bad) reviews is a positive thing. It makes readers take you seriously - they know its not just your family and friends reading the book.

  2. IMO, it all depends on who wrote the book, and what others have said about it. I wouldn't download a free book simply because of the title. Usually, I go with if it has a good "background" to it. The blurb sure helps, too.

  3. Oh no. I don't know if my last comment made sense. Please don't bother approving it if it's truly "hogwash".