Amazon Refines Customer Review Process With New Ratings Options

Amazon Refines Customer Review Process With New Ratings Options Amazon Reviews It's always been easy to post a review on Amazon; simply jot down a few sentences, select a star rating, and you're done. It's so easy to post a review, in fact, that it's also easy to miss important details.

That doesn't help readers, and it doesn't help Amazon, which is why Amazon has added more options. In addition to the star rating, Amazon has added extra dropdown menus which invite reviewers to describe the quality of the writing, the amount of sex and violence in the book, and other details.

click to embiggen

 

The new review system was first noticed by Self Publishing Review, which notes that:

At the bottom of the page it says: “Write your reviews using the traditional review authoring page” so this is a beta system. Time will tell if this will be helpful and/or abused. It could potentially lead to a more reviews, as it caters to people who might have trouble articulating themselves. Perhaps it will lessen the number of reviews saying “Loved it” or “Hated it” as the total review. Or, worse, those people who write reviews like, “This arrived to me undamaged.”

The new description options are optional if you want to simply leave a star rating or a text review, but I don't think Amazon has worked out all the bugs.

I tried to leave a review, and after I rated the writing quality and then decided not to rate, I was stuck with no option but to use that rating (or start over). I couldn't finish the review without selecting an option from each of the dropdown menus.

Luckily I was able to get around that issue by resetting the page and simply starting over.

All in all, this is a good move on the part of Amazon.  I'm sure I'm not the only reader who has put down a book in frustration with the writing style, tone, or amount of extraneous sex or violence. By offering specific prompts for these areas of concern, Amazon is helping readers make more informed decisions.

That said, I would hope that Amazon's next move will be to make it easier to start a review. Currently you have to navigate to a book's listing, then open the "all reviews" page, and finally click a button so you can write a review.

It would be nice if I didn't have to dig so deep; perhaps Amazon could include a link in the sales email, or perhaps a button on the book's listing page.

Edit: Scott Lewis pointed out in the comments that there is a link on the book's listing page; it's just way the heck down at the bottom of the page (that's why I had never seen it).

SPR

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: He's here to chew bubble gum and fix broken websites, and he is all out of bubble gum. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills at the drop of a hat. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.

26 Comments

  1. Will Entrekin23 March, 2015

    Wow. This could be really, really cool.

    I wonder if part of that digging is that Amazon wants to encourage people to review from within the book; every time I’ve finished a book that wasn’t a personal document lately, the app has asked me if I’d like to review it. And I think I did a couple of times.

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder23 March, 2015

      Some of us also buy paper books 😉 .

      Reply
      1. Will Entrekin23 March, 2015

        They’re printing ebooks now? Whatever will they think of next?

        😉

        Reply
        1. Nate Hoffelder23 March, 2015

          I’ve heard rumors that someone is thinking about turning ebooks into movies!

          Reply
          1. puzzled23 March, 2015

            Gee, I wish there was a place that me and my friends could go to watch these ebook inspired movies, with very large screens, food & drink and other stuff to do afterwards (or before)…

          2. Nate Hoffelder24 March, 2015

            That sounds like a great new idea for a business! I’m meeting with a couple VCs tomorrow, and I’ll see how much they might want to invest.

  2. Scott G. Lewis23 March, 2015

    Are you specifically referring to the new beta review page, or that in general you wish it were easier to submit reviews?

    For me, there are two easy ways to get to a review:

    1) On the product information page itself, under the few reviews it shows, right below the link to “See all XXX customer reviews” there’s a button “write a customer review”.

    2) On the “Your Order” summary in your account, each order has a “Write a product review” button.

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder23 March, 2015

      I don’t see that first one. Strange.

      Edit: No, it’s there; I just never scrolled far enough. Thanks!

      Reply
  3. Cassie23 March, 2015

    I just go to my account and there’s a link to review my purchases. I don’t have to navigate to the actual book page unless it’s something I bought elsewhere or was given to me by the author for free.
    This is a great idea. I hate seeing people leave reviews about the delivery, whether or not the book arrived in pristine condition, or ordering experience rather than saying something about the contents of the book.

    Reply
  4. […] Amazon has refined its system for customer reviews, as Jennifer Becton describes in her latest post: […]

    Reply
  5. Doug23 March, 2015

    B&N once had “detailed ratings” with 16 different categories in their user reviews. Not that it helped their user reviews be any more useful. As far as I know, they don’t do that any more. I don’t think they even show the detailed ratings that were entered back when.

    Reply
  6. Garrison L.23 March, 2015

    This seems like a helpful service. I always found Amazon to be somewhat poor as a book discovery service (in terms of random browsing to find something that appeals), so if they could leverage this into better discovery, I think it would be a win all-around. Not sure if that’s their endgame with this though.

    Reply
  7. R23 March, 2015

    Should add “any religious content” there. Not everyone wants to read books that constantly talks about “God’s love” or it is “God’s will” that happens. I try to avoid books that contains “God” but it often fails.

    Reply
    1. Scott G. Lewis23 March, 2015

      Or basket weaving. I read a lot of religious books, but I try to avoid books about baskets. Or weaving. Or worse: basket weaving.

      I mean, since we are singling out book categories here and all.

      Reply
    2. Moriah Jovan23 March, 2015

      Also, dogs. I hate dogs. Especially dogs that get their own POV as if it’s cute. It’s not. I don’t want to read that.

      Reply
      1. Nate Hoffelder23 March, 2015

        Damned chihuahuas …

        Reply
        1. Moriah Jovan23 March, 2015

          Yippy-yappy dogs. The worst.

          Reply
    3. hhd24 March, 2015

      I agree about the religious content; nothing wrong with sex though. Whether god exists or not makes no difference … I just don’t want to read about it.

      Reply
      1. Jeremiah Zeiset24 March, 2015

        …without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him (Hebrews 11:6)

        Reply
        1. Nate Hoffelder24 March, 2015

          Can we all just agree to disagree, please?

          Reply
  8. Michele R24 March, 2015

    Hopefully it will stop the negative reviews that are about other reviews. This skews the rating for the actual item/author which is not only unfortunate, but should not be allowed.

    Reply
  9. […] Amazon Adds Book Review Tools (Ink, Bits & Pixels) Amazon fleshes out the range of options at readers’ disposal for how they share feedback with other potential readers, including information on book’s predominant mood and how much violence it contains. Related: In Ebook Discovery, Who Gives the Best Recommendations? […]

    Reply
  10. […] einem und fünf Sternen vergeben werden, wird es meistens nicht. Deshalb will Amazon jetzt das System verfeinern und zukünftig Standard-Felder ausfüllen lassen. Dadurch bekommt die verehrte Kundschaft etwas […]

    Reply
  11. […] “Amazon Refines Customer Review Process With New Ratings Options” by Nate Hoffelder at Ink, Bits & Pixels – March 23, 2015. […]

    Reply
  12. Symantha Reagor12 April, 2015

    Registration is Now Open!
    Featured speakers for the June 25 – 28, 2015 workshop include:
    Claire Eddy, Senior Editor, Tor/Forge Books
    Stephen Saffel, Senior Acquisitions Editor, Titan Books
    Suzie Townsend, New Leaf Literary and Media
    Click here to register
    Early Bird Special Weekend Registration lasts until May 1.
     
     Workshop Approvals
    If you submitted a workshop proposal for this year’s IYWM workshop, keep on eye on your email because we will be sending out approvals very soon!
     
     Industry NewsAmazon Refines Customer Review Process With New Ratings Options (the-digital-reader.com/)
    BuzzFeed Launches Emerging Writers Fellowship (ElectricLiterature.com)
     
    Free Fantasy Writing Contest in honor of Terry Pratchett 
    Echo of Another World
    April 7 – May 5
    Found this interesting contest the other week and wanted to share it with the IYWM community. They are accepting fiction in the sci-fi/fantasy genre, up to 15,000 words. Novel excerpts are encouraged. Authors will collect community votes, and the first, second, and third winners will be chosen by the Inkitt staff from the top 10% of entries.
    ** 1st Place – 5 printed-and-bound copies of story with cover created by Inkitt’s designer; $40 Amazon gift card
    ** 2nd Place – $30 Amazon gift card
    ** 3rd Place – $20 Amazon gift card
     
    For Fun!Book Art Is Awesome: Large-Scale Installations (BookRiot.com)
     
    Craft Tips and Tricks
    “Remember: when people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong.” ? Neil Gaiman
    How NOT to Sell Books: Top 10 Social Media Marketing No-Nos for Authors  (AnneAllen.blogspot.com)
    24 Thoughts on Sexism, Feminism, YA, Reading, and The Publishing Industry (stackedbooks.org)
    Self-Published Authors: 10 Tips on How to Email an Illustrator  (kmcmorris.blogspot.com)
     
    Alumni Publications
    Victoria Thompson, Murder on Amsterdam Avenue (Gaslight Mystery Book 17)
    Frank and Sarah put their family business on hold to investigate the death of an old family friend. As they unravel secrets that reach back to the War Between the States, they also discover that they are in the company of a very present danger…
    Aubrey Gross, Between the Seams<br /> ”>Chase Roberts is the quintessential Good Guy. Attractive, intelligent and successful, he’s the man any woman would love to take home to Mama. Except there’s one small problem: Chase never got over his former best friend—and first love—Jolene Westwood, who broke his heart as a teen. All grown up with two thriving businesses, Chase has enough to worry about. But when Jo comes home to help take care of her grandmother, Chase finds that the heart doesn’t care one bit about timing.
     
     Featured Blog Post
    This could be your time to shine!
    Submit your blog or become a guest blogger on the IYWM blog.
    Just email [email protected](dot)com

    Reply
  13. Valerie Shaw26 July, 2016

    Not sure if I am in the right place but need a little help, I like to read customer book reviews and if I clicked on a reviewers name it brought up all the books they had reviewed but I can’t seem to do this now, when I click on a name nothing happens

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to top
%d bloggers like this: