Ratings and Reviews at Amazon, Suddenly?

Ratings 2

New Ratings

I noticed a new ratings number at Amazon today: http://amzn.com/1480250201 .

Look closely at the top of the page, below the author name. Between the gold stars and the 34 reviews tally, you see the number 56 (well, I suppose it’s subject to change before you read this post).

When I place my cursor over the 56, I see a gray rectangle near my cursor that says, “56 customer ratings.”

When I place my cursor over the 34 reviews link, it pulls up a chart showing all 56 customer ratings, averaging out to 4.3 stars.

Scroll down to the review section and the chart is different. That chart shows 34 reviews, averaging out to 4.4 stars.

I only see the non-review ratings on my paperback books. I don’t see any non-review ratings on my Kindle e-books at this time.

(By the way, if you click on the Kindle edition, you can see that the cover is changing. Melissa Stevens, http://theillustratedauthor.net, designed the new cover.)

Author Central is still only showing the reviews.

In case you’re wondering, I have a book that has one rating, but no reviews: http://amzn.com/1467970727.

If you have print books for sale on Amazon, I know what you’ll be doing for the next few minutes. 😉

Now we can speculate. Is this here to stay? Is Amazon just testing it out? Will it be coming for Kindle e-books, too? Time will tell.

You may be wondering how customers gave those ratings. Keep in mind, these weren’t from the end of a Kindle e-book, as the ratings are only showing on paperbacks presently. I had to go to my account at Amazon and explore to figure out how to rate books without reviewing them. I won’t be rating any books though; I much prefer giving reviews.

Has it occurred to you that ratings are anonymous? I’m not ready to think about the ramifications of that…

~ Chris McMullen ~

16 comments on “Ratings and Reviews at Amazon, Suddenly?

  1. That’s strange. Though my reviews/ratings haven’t changed in weeks. For some reason, new reviews aren’t being counted in the top rating on the page. Maybe they’re still revamping the system.

  2. I don’t see how people are just leaving ratings, since when you click on the amount of stars you want to rate it, Amazon says you’re required to write a review. If you hit submit, it won’t let it go until you write the required word amount. Someone needs to ask Amazon about this, because it’s really weird.

    • Login to Amazon. Click where it says your name and Your Account. Choose Your Orders. Find one of your orders and click Write a Product Review. It gives me a list of purchases that I can rate from 1 to 5 stars. I rated a couple of items (not books) as 5 stars to see what would happen. It expanded to show what looks like the usual review form. When I click Submit, it tells me that my review is incomplete.

      However, then I went to ___’s Amazon.com (fill in the blank with your name) which appears at the top left of Amazon’s home page. Click the Improve Your Recommendations tab. There I see a list of products that I can simply rate. The few items that I rated 5 stars are already rated here, so even though I thought I hadn’t completed the rating process, apparently I had. It looks like you can rate products from the recommendations page.

      Are these the same ratings that are presently showing up on paperbacks? Good question. It’s kind of scary, since the recommendation ratings are designed to help Amazon know what kinds of products customers are interested in and gear their ads toward those customers. When customers rate 1 star on the recommendations page, that 1 star means, “This doesn’t suit my taste.” It doesn’t mean, “That product sucked.” But we have this same issue at Goodreads…

  3. I would bet a lot of money these ratings are coming from Goodreads. Amazon has to get something out of buying Goodreads, and everyone knows books are ranked much lower at GR than they are at Amazon.

    • Perhaps Goodreads is where Amazon received the inspiration to publicize the ratings. The ratings were left on Amazon (as I have many fewer at Goodreads than can account for the difference). Amazon transferring ratings and reviews from Goodreads is a scary thought… I don’t see that happening, but you never know.

  4. I received an update today on my Kindle, telling me I now can access my lists of books from my Goodreads and link it to my Kindle. So yes, I think it may be from Goodreads.

    Hmm, mine aren’t updated yet for my paperbacks. I probably need to log into my Author Central and update things anyway.

    • Thank you for sharing this. 🙂 For me, the ratings on my books at Goodreads don’t make up the difference shown on Amazon. Yet, it would seem that Goodreads is somehow involved here. (I didn’t see any of the rating info at Author Central.)

  5. Just noticed this today. I now have 373 ratings on the paperback of my novel, FRY, when I only have 170 reviews. The number of ratings I have on Goodreads does not make up the difference. Interesting! Also, it only shows on Amazon.com, and not in the UK. If anyone figures this out, I’d love to know what’s going on!

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