Book reviews are important. Consumers read reviews before buying a product. In fact, studies show that six out of ten consumers refer to online reviews before they decide what to buy. Books are not exempt. Reviews sway readers to either buy or not buy a book.
Amazon knows that reviews are important. That is why they allow reviews on their site and why they purchased Goodreads. Goodreads is all about reviewing and recommending books to other readers. Amazon knows that this drives book sales.
Additionally, Amazon has made it extremely easy to post reviews on their e-commerce site. All one has to do is 1) have purchased a product, 2) write a sentence, or two, or three about a product, and 3) select a star rating (1 to 5 stars) for the product.
It appears that Amazon is testing a new way to write reviews on books. They are beta testing a series of drop-down menu items that reviewers can complete in addition to rating the book (1-5 stars) and writing their thoughts. These drop-down menu selections include four questions from a variety that Amazon is using including:
- How is the author’s writing? Responses: poor, okay, good, great
- Is there violence? Responses: no, some, graphic
- Is there sexual content? Responses: no, some, explicit
- How would you describe the pace? Responses: slow, steady, fast
- How would you describe the characters? Responses: one-dimensional, well-developed, complex
- How is the story narrated? Responses: first, second, third, alternating, I don’t know
- How would you describe the plot of this book? Responses: predictable, some twists, full of surprises
- Which of these words best describes the mood? Responses: hopeful, dark, nostalgic, light-hearted, suspenseful, thoughtful
As of yet, it appears that Amazon is not including these ratings from the drop-down menu items in the posted review. It will be interesting to track to see if they begin aggregating this information for each book and posting it in one area in the review section or if each individual reviewer’s ratings will be shown.
What do you think about this new rating system Amazon is testing for reviews of books?