Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Score for Amazon! Improvements to customer ratings system.

Everyone knows the customer ratings system is flawed. You can review anything without ever buying the product or reading the book, buy reviews on tap, rate a book 1* because your Kindle stopped working, and unfortunately there's a minor industry in trolling as well. That's merely the tip of the iceberg.

So it was with great interest that I read today that Amazon is trying to introduce changes to the review system to provide a better overall experience for the customer - and hopefully, for me, as an author - by flagging up more helpful or verified reviews and controlling the ocean of trash out there.

Amazon Taps Machine-Learning System To Keep Customer Reviews In Check: Here Are The Changes : PERSONAL TECH : Tech Times

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Marking milestones as a writer

Every so often you have a lovely milestone as a writer - about an hour ago, I received my 100th review on Amazon for The Pygmy Dragon. It's entitled, "Spellbinding" and says, "I fell in love with Pip and all the other characters. Suspenseful. Anyone who loves fantasy and dragons will fall in love with this book." Thank you Patricia Wilson! You rock!

75 of the 100 reviews for The Pgymy Dragon are 5*, making it one of the 3 best-rated fantasy books in
its bestseller category on Amazon. (http://www.amazon.com/…/7006…/ref=pd_zg_hrsr_kstore_1_6_last - where Pygmy Dragon is #26) - a category that Aranya (#19), Shadow Dragon (#20) and The Girl who Sang with Whales (#79) also appear in, and where I'm privileged to share space with big-name writers like Christopher Paolini (Eragon - #2, #4), Phillip Pullman (The Golden Compass - #4, also #23 and #25) and lesser-known but excellent authors like Krista Wayment (Trusted - Dragon's Trust Book #1) and Jess E. Owen - I am reading her Song of the Summer King at the moment. It's awesome.

I love to celebrate milestones like this - because there are also milestones which are not so enjoyable, along the way. So grab the moments while you can and savour them, and thank you to all the fans who have read and enjoyed The Pygmy Dragon so far! Thanks to 100 awesome reviewers who have made this milestone possible. I hope to have the sequel out late in the summer / early autumn 2015 so look out for that one!