Okay, so I started noticing this about a month ago, but Amazon has started letting people leave 'ratings' without leaving reviews.
And it sucks.
Wish in One Hand now has two single star ratings that drag down the overall star average without any explanation or user ID or anything. No clue as to why they left a bad rating. No clue if they even bought the damn book. (Which I suspect they might not have since I hadn't sold any copies of WIOH this year prior to last week, and the rating came before the sales.) No reasons, just slammed with shitty stars.
Goodreads, of course, has been doing this all along. It sucks there, too. I suspect, though, that people don't pay as much attention to the rating average on Goodreads when buying a book. On Amazon, stars are critical to sales. You see all five little yellow stars filled or partially filled and you're more likely to click through. You see only four stars and the fourth star isn't even filled in, and you might just move on to something with more star power.
I mean, let's face it - people are lazy. You have to grab them immediately and encourage them to put forth the effort to click through and read the blurb. Stars do that. More stars = more click-throughs = more chances to make a sale. And the reverse of that is also true.
Gah, as if selling books wasn't hard enough.
And it's not like people won't abuse that rating thing. Noooooo. At least when someone had a bone to pick with you before, you could maybe contest the bad review they left. This? I'm not sure how anyone does anything about a random anonymous bad rating.
Not sure what the fuck Amazon thinks it's doing there. I just hopes it goes away before it does too much more damage.