Appealing an Amazon book review (Mistake #128)

I have only once appealed an Amazon book review.

It was a brief, positive review in itself — “a good book” or something similarly mundane — but it was a one-star rating, I presume because the reviewer had misunderstood the one-to-five-star system Amazon adopts, and had given me the lowest.

The appeal was successful, and the review duly removed.

Since then? Nope.

This one was for an allergy book.

 

This one was for a book on food intolerance. 

 

The first one really stung, because I pride myself on giving practical advice on what to do under various circumstances in my health books, and the entire focus is on helping the reader improve their life. 

I like the fact that Amazon allow you right of reply — which I imagine was introduced in order to reduce the volume of appeals and complaints they received from authors. I took advantage of that in the second example, and tried to be polite, while making my point. 

 

Although now, I’m not even sure I’d do that again. Would you? 

While I like to think I wouldn’t appeal an unfairly negative review now, I must admit I’d struggle not to if there were no positive reviews already posted to counter-balance it.

On the whole, though, I’d generally recommend you take the rough, as you take the smooth. Besides, the negative reviews make the positives more believable, and had I let that one-star review stand, it would have been understood to be an error by any customer passing by. In fact, a potential reader may have given me credit for not appealing it. I do regret it. 

I am lucky to have only received positive reviews for my writing books, and that tells me not only that the writing community is incredibly supportive of its own, but also that newer writers appreciate advice that comes in different forms, from different people. 

But I have realised, in writing health books, that you may be penalised for not solving the problem the reader has — and this may apply to other non-fiction subjects. Readers expect answers. If you don’t or can’t provide them, it may not be your fault, but some readers may feel dissatisfied with you and your book. I’ve learned to be understanding and forgiving of that. 

But there is one review I am not quite ready to forgive, even three years on ….

Still, four stars. Musn’t grumble … 

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