Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wednesday random thoughts

The other day I was at (where, if I won the lottery, I would probably spend most of my money) and I was looking up some book or other and noticed that the book had a lot of 1-star ratings. I go take a look at why this was the case, and discovered that it was due to a large amount of Kindle owners who were dissatisfied a) with price or b) unhappy because the Kindle release of that book wasn't going to happen for a while. So their answer was to give a 1-star rating to the book. Then I got to looking around, and following some thread links over there, and discovered that this is happening with quite a number of books.  I commented on one of the 1-star reviews (which had nothing whatsoever to do with a book review but rather a dissatisfied Kindle customer), something along the lines of "I'm sure you have every right to be unhappy, but your one-star rating isn't fair either to a potential reader or to the author of the book."

From what I can tell over there, some Kindle users are really unhappy that their book price isn't locked in at $9.99, which is what initial Kindle offerings were when Kindle first came out. For some reason, buying a physical copy of a book doesn't seem to be an option for these people, and somewhere they got it in their heads that all books, at any time, will always be sold for $9.99.  When I got my Kindle (a Christmas present from my husband Larry),  I bought quite a few Kindle books, but never gave up on the kind you hold in your hand.  I tend to use Kindle for books I probably will not keep in my library; not based on price. A lot of people went off about how they'd just go to Costco to buy books or wait for the book to come up on a bookswap site rather than buy them on Amazon, but wait a second.  First of all, Costco doesn't always have the greatest selection of brand-new books, and b) brand new books at a bookswap site tend to have rather lengthy waiting lists. So I'm all for making one's disappointment be heard, but these people are  hurting themselves, authors and other readers with their one-star reviews.

I love my Kindle, and tend to use it more when I'm traveling (and I travel A LOT), so that my suitcase isn't weighted down with all the books I'd have to bring (for example) on my 2-week trips to Seattle every two months.  But I'm not venomous or nasty (which, phew, reading the forums I saw a lot of ugliness) when I see a Kindle edition book I want priced at $14; even if I was, I certainly don't believe I'd skew the book's stats so much to express my disappointment. I'm not an author, but I would think that this would tend to rather piss off someone whose book is getting 1-star ratings when it may be a great book.

well, on to happier things and starting my day. 


  1. I don't understand leaving a 1-star rating for an eBook because of dissatisfaction with price/availability either. I would think that needs to be addressed directly to Amazon. I don't have a Kindle but I can sure see the convenience of one and why they're popular. Especially if you're traveling alot.

  2. I think if I were an author, I'd be a little torqued. No, make that a LOT torqued!

  3. You're so welcome. Every time I run across one of those I a) report it as abuse to Amazon, and b) write a comment on the "review."

    I think as time goes on people are less tolerant of Kindle users using the space to vent about their problems with the cost of a book so I'm seeing many more comments than previously. I consider that a good thing. People are more than entitled to rant, but there are better venues to do so.

    Don't let it scare you off. And my thinking is if these people don't want to pay the $14, then buy books that are cheaper.


Say what you will, but at least try to be nice about it.