As the Vine Grows…amazon, goodreads, reviews, uh say what?

Amazon invites customers to become Vine Voices based on their reviewer rank, which is a reflection of the quality and helpfulness of their reviews as judged by other Amazon customers. Amazon provides Vine members with free products thathave been submitted to the program by participating vendors.

That is word for word what Amazon posted about their Vine, and yes that was how whoever typed it, and yes I realize that there are words run together, but I didn’t post it like that so letting it stand, as it’s exactly what amazon posts out on the internet on various sites/places.

What’s my point with all this? Amazon has ‘verified’ reviews, and ‘non verified’ reviews. Is one type better in some way than the other, barring amazon’s grouping? Well they post verified reviews, and they post the non verified ones too, but they only let you see the non verified ones if you click ‘see all reviews’. What’s the difference? Well, I assume that reviewers, all of them, have actually read the book, and have taken the time to leave a review. The ‘stars’ matter, IF the reviewer actually has an idea of what each star means, and uses it that way. To some reviewers, no matter how good a particular book is, if is is not as good {in their opinion} as book X then they will never rate it as a 5, no matter what the ratings actually mean. In other words, in my never humble opinion, these reviews are rubbish.  The amazon rating stars mean {hover over a star and it will confirm this} 5 Stars I love it 4 Stars I like it 3 Stars It’s OK 2 Stars I don’t like it 1 Star I hate it. Now what each reviewer means by that personally is also a factor and way too complicated to go in to, and I swear sometimes they actually admit that it just wasn’t their type of book or even that they were not really in to the book to read the book. Huh?

Now, to back track a bit; verified reviews mean that they bought the book, in some form, although if you bought it from somewhere other than amazon it will not show up as verified. If you are on freebie book sites, as I am, and the book is having a free day or whatever, and you get it that day {from amazon}, it will also show as bought, and will show verified. If you get it through instafreebie or a mobi or even hard copy some way, again, it will NOT show verified. If you ‘rent’ the book via kindle unlimited, which obviously amazon would know, it still does NOT count as verified, even though they verify the credit or debit card that is used, monthly, that proves it is one person and not a group or a ploy or set up. Now, what’s the big difference? Well, a while back amazon had issues with people for various reasons trashing other writer’s books, not their own, trying to skew the ratings with 1 star ratings and so on, so they started a purge of non verified reviews, and no they don’t tell you they just delete what and when they want. If you notice {usually writers seeing the total number of their reviews lessen of even plummet} and write them to find out why, etcetera, you will get the standard canned response and then if you ever get a personal one it will will tell you nothing.  You could actually post a review of a book you haven’t even read, but that’s cheating, and supposedly what amazon was trying to cut down on, although doing it badly. It also has to say such things as I received this book for free for review from {insert details}. Obviously anyone who knows me knows I put this, although in my own words/way, and also know it doesn’t matter to me how I got the book, but whether the book was good, within the 5 star frame. I get gifted books {shows up as bought though amazon} as well as winning hard copies {paperbacks} from from amazon and goodreads, which do NOT show up as verified.

Oh, the Vine reviews. Please do notice that those reviewers are considered verified, and get free products, some not books, and yet are not required to state all that that regular real reviewers have to state, because it’s amazon doing it, and it’s an amazon site. Also, if you actually do have verified review, for whatever reason, and decide to post it over to a non US amazon, it may or may not post as it’s SUPPOSED to and it may or may not show verified. Yes, amazon claims it cross posts to the other amazons, but this is very rarely the actual case. {In the past, I have posted on amazon, uk, ca, au fr, and possibly more, in addition to goodreads and bookbub, and now refuse to post on itunes as no copy/paste then takes 15 minutes to even come up to do so. I have also posted on google play which has gotten better, plus barnes and noble which half the time does not post correctly if at all, and kobo which is usually okay now on posting.} They do consider it spamming in some cases, to post over with copy/paste from goodreads to amazon, even though amazon owns goodreads now. Goodreads also has and will retain their own meanings for what the 5 stars mean, and I actually asked them this to verify it in an email. Their stars mean 1 Star did not like it 2 Stars it was ok 3 Stars liked it 4 Stars really liked it 5 Stars it was amazing. Quite a bit different than amazon’s meanings, and just going by the stars if you thought an amazon book as a 3 star for It’s Okay, well a 3 star on goodreads is really liked it. Starting to see the problems? Amazon TOS will not allow usage of certain words that will get ‘flagged’ for different reasons, but yet will allow fill in the blank ‘books’ that would make 50 shades of grey at least take a quick look. My main issue with these ‘books’ is just that; they’re not books, they have no plot, they acts as if the series {yes there are series of this slop} is just an excuse not to have to make up new character names {or actual plots, just switching out a location or slight happening for something else, book after book}.

Amazon VS Goodreads
5 Love it 4 Like it 3 It’s Okay 2 Don’t Like 1 Hate It
5 Amazing 4 Really Like 3 Liked 2 OK 1 Didn’t Like

See the inherent problems/issues/differences? No, I don’t expect them to have a selection that states something to the effect that for certain books you would be for book burning or something such as wished it was a physical book versus ecopy so you could have thrown it across the room, went over and picked it up to throw it again to then go over and stomp on it. I have to have something to type in to the written review box, after all, and yes, thankfully my vocabulary is full of nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs. Snarky is an art, and allows full disclosure when doing reviews, without breaking TOS.

I am legally blind; this does not mean I can’t see at all, it means I see as in rubbish vision. I used to be a computer tech, and can touch type, but even something as this site with modifications the background plays silly buggers with my eyes. Are my goodreads reviews totally copy paste from amazon? No, first because I have gotten in to the habit of posting first on goodreads as to have an actual review to be able to look at, then over to amazon from that/those. Second, the review on goodreads states if there is a difference in the rating due to star rating issues. Third, even with a set, where it is posted once as the set, again as any other subsets and then with each individual book, because why assume anyone will see all or any of the other reviews unless it’s on the individual book, and yes that is fine by the TOS they claim for now. Amazon and goodreads don’t necessarily list the same sets for various reasons, and even between one amazon and one of the non US ones can and have had different listings. Am I a professional book reviewer? Nope, just feel that I have so many opinions about so many things, and that everyone should hear them, whether they care to or not.

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