Seeing Stars on Amazon


I was piddling around between editing bouts last evening reading and commenting on a few blogs I follow. One of my blogger friends and I got into a discussion about my book, “Red Clay and Roses”, which she just read.

It thrills me to no end when someone thinks deeply over the issues presented in the book and engages me in discussion, and we moved from comments to email.

After our discussion, I clicked on a link in her comments to discover that it took me to my paperback page. Now this blogger is one of two people who have bought the paperback online. (Yeah, that’s right, two. I have sold a couple of dozen paperbacks to Central Florida independent bookstores but only two online. And the paperback has special features the digital copy doesn’t have.)

I’ve sold hundreds of digital copies. (Was hoping to hit a thousand by year’s end, but that may not happen with only one more promo planned for this year. Anyway, I digress.)

Amazon defaults to my digital page. I never even visit my own paperback page. I just don’t go there.

But while I was there I noticed it shows not only my written reviews, but also star ratings left when a review wasn’t posted. My digital page doesn’t show those. It just shows the number of written reviews.

Does anybody know why? Most of my sales are on my digital page, so it would be really cool for me if these star ratings showed up there also. Do you have to special request it?

On my digital page reviews show as follows:

24 – 5 star

5 – 4 star

4 – 3 star

1 -2 star

0 – 1 star

On my paperback page it shows:

31 – 5 star

7 – 4 star

6 – 3 star

1 – 2 star

0 – 1 star

I jumped for joy over this. That’s 7 more 5 stars, 2 more 4 stars, and 2 more 3 stars. So, see, it would be in my best interest, I think, to have the starred reviews appear in addition to the written reviews. But I don’t know if it’s just select pages that Amazon posts these stars on or if mine was just overlooked. Should I email them or is this how it is for everybody? I can’t tell by looking at other people’s pages. Some people don’t have paperback books. Is this just a trial thing Amazon is testing on certain pages? Are they looking to see if this helps sell more paperbacks?

Just curious. Drop me a comment if you know anything at all about this. And readers…do write those reviews…even if it’s just a few words. There is no word limit now. (It used to be twenty.)

We authors live and breathe for reviews. We check our pages ten times a day. Maybe you posted something between breakfast and lunch, or lunch and snack. Perhaps you dropped a few lines after dinner, or just before bedtime.

A great review carries us through weeks, even months, of hearing nothing at all. It reinforces our strengths. We smile for hours after reading…like a Cheshire cat…really we do. We even cry happy tears of joy.

And even a critical review gives us a reason for a good cathartic cry. It helps us understand our weaknesses. Also, we can blame you for our bad day, for pulling out our hair, or for our writer’s block and lack of confidence. Justify our need for additional medication.

UPDATE: Well this sucks. I just checked it again and it’s gone. 😦

40 thoughts on “Seeing Stars on Amazon

      1. Most of my review love has come from other bloggers and I try to pay it forward. It takes time though and my reading time is limited.

        I have some reviews from total strangers and that always excites me also…that somebody out there in this big wide world thought enough about what I write to let me know 😀


    1. 😀 I understand in this fast paced world many don’t have the time to write out words. Hitting a star on the iPad or Kindle is so much easier and I’m glad to know they enjoyed it. But the feedback is where we really digest our strengths and weaknesses.


      1. It is… more important than sales really for a writer… though they are undoubtedly nice too! People don’t even realise, I think, that you don’t have to buy a book from Amazon to leave a review there… you can get it elsewhere and still review it.


  1. I don’t see a difference between my pages, but that’s probably because I’ve never sold a paperback outside of family. At least not to my knowledge. There’s some explanation about Facebook activity being included in the paperback page reviews, but I can’t make any sense out of that.


    1. When I hover over the word “reviews” on my paperback page a screen pops up showing all the stars. It’s not on the digital page. I tried to use the snipping tool to get a screen shot, but it disappears unless you’re hovered over it.


    1. That used to be the case, but I saw a post a while back on Chris McMullin’s blog indicating that they would be trying out star only reviews. I did not know they had implemented it though. I found it had been implemented on my paperback page quite by accident. I just wish it was on my digital page also. In a way. Yet part of me wonders if more people who would have otherwise written a review with feedback might forego that now. And that’s a shame. Even with negative reviews we get critical feedback that can help us grow…and, of course, we love to hear how our books touched people and what they most enjoyed about it. All feedback is valuable.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Don’t be too concerned if you fall victim to them – if I see such actions, I check the reviewer out to see if they’re genuine – if they appear not, I report them to Amazon / Goodreads 🙂


      2. I have fallen victim on Goodreads. People who read 22,000 books a year have left nasties. I pay them no mind. That place just seems to be a hornets nest for psychos. I don’t put put a lot of faith in Goodreads. I know others (non-writers) who have lost interest in them as a respectable review source.


      3. I’ve seen that happen too, but I stay in Goodreads in order to continue cataloguing books I’ve read over the years, as well as leaving ratings and reviews there (in addition to Amazon, Smashwords and Barnes & Noble).


  2. I did hear that Amazon was experimenting with showing star ratings without a review, but I never noticed anything for my book so I forgot about it. I just checked my paperback and ebook pages, but I don’t notice anything similar. Maybe they’re just trying it with a few books?


    1. Interesting. Like I told Charles, it only showed it in a pop up box (not that readers would think to look there, I sure didn’t…found it by accident) when I hovered over the total number of ratings shown at the top of the page. Now I am curiouser and curiouser.


      1. I just updated my post. I checked my paperback page just now and it’s gone. Must have been some sort of test. Don’t know if it’s a good thing or a bad thing. Nice to hear from folk who might have otherwise posted nothing, but might also pave the way for trolls. Hummmmm.


  3. I noticed this in May. At the time, Amazon was showing ratings in addition to reviews on paperbacks only. This lasted a few weeks, then went away. I noticed it again yesterday.

    After you buy a paperback, in your account from Amazon’s home page, it is indeed possible to rate it without reviewing it.


      1. I’m guessing most of these come from that little deal that shows up at the end of a Kindle copy with stars asking you to rate the book or write a review. People have it in hand at that moment and just touch a star and they are done.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s