stara.jpgAn interesting Reuters article yesterday about an author, Yves Smith, who wrote a non-fiction book that was published by an imprint of Macmillan. Since his book price has been increased he has been getting more one star reviews on the basis of pricing alone. He says:

You know my base skews heavily toward the type that buys on Amazon, and to top that off, as you would imagine, my book promotion is going to be more than usually web oriented, so that will maintain that skew.

I don’t know about you, but the vast majority of the time, if I see a book with an Amazon rating of fewer than four stars, I won’t buy it. And it does not take many one stars to drag an average down.

Felix Salmon, author of the article, sympathizes with the author and Amazon here, but doesn’t think that the reviews matter a great deal. Read here for more.

Thanks to Aaron Pressman for the heads up.


  1. I’ve left a couple of one star reviews, based upon the “new and improved” Kindle Store pricing. However, there are a couple of caveots I include as part of the review.

    First, I leave a review stating why it’s a one star review. Clicking the one star button without bothering to explain why is grossly unfair to the author.

    Second, the review (and rating) is a place holder. Unless I die within a couple of months of leaving the review, I will be replacing the review and rating with a real review. I just have to get around to borrowing the book from a library before I can read and review it. (Sorry about the lack of royalties to the author. Blame your publisher for your lower earnings.)

    I did this recently for two of the six current Nebula Award nominees. The other four are either $9.99 or less at the Kindle store, or available from a different eBook publisher. I plan on reading the books and have placed a reservation for the two over-priced books at my local library. I also bought and am currently reading one of the other books, a surprising book called The Love We Share Without Knowing.

    As an aside, it’s interesting that one of the two one star reviews I’ve left has gathered a bunch of negative votes and comments. The other one star review has only one negative vote and comment. It appears that the first author has much more rabid fans than the second. Curious. I wonder if the enthusiasm of the fans matches the quality of the books.

  2. Interesting to see how MacMillan shoots itself in the foot.

    Yves is a woman, btw, as indicated in the opening of the cited article: “Yves Smith, of Naked Capitalism, has sent me a note to tell me how unhappy she is about the kindle pricing of her new book”

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