First, before we get to the topic at hand, my client Jennifer Hubbard is hosting an awesome blog event around the Internet: lots of participating blogs are making per-comment donations to local libraries and all you have to do is stop by and leave a comment. The master list of participants is on Jennifer’s blog – it’s a great way to generate money for a great cause!
Meanwhile, you may have heard that Michael Lewis, author of The Blind Side and Moneyball, just published a new book on the financial crisis called The Big Short. The book has received good reviews, but a funny thing started happening on Amazon: lots and lots of 1 star reviews, leading to an overall ranking of 2 and 1/2 stars. Why? People leaving 1 star reviews solely because there is no Kindle edition available.
The actions of these consumers prompted TechCrunch to write a rather direct article on the controversy: Amazon: You Need to Change Your Idiotic Customer Reviews Policy Right Now. But TechCrunch, tell us how you really feel!
Noting that these one star non-reviews mainly just hurt the author, who by the way doesn’t have control over the publisher’s publication plans, Paul Carr’s suggestion is that reviews should be limited to people who have actually bought the book from Amazon – this way people with an outside agenda can’t drag down a book’s rating without even having read it, whether their beef be political or gender-related or Kindle-centric.
What do you think of this controversy? Are the Amazon reviewers just flexing consumer muscle or are they out of line? Do companies have an obligation to address libelous/spurious/treasonous/blank-ous reviews?