Friday, May 20, 2011

Please Go To Amazon and Write a Review!

Aloha! Clink and I are still in Hawaii on opposite ends of the same island. Gorgeous here, and oh,how I love vacation! I am having some technical difficulties posting from an iPad, and maybe Roy could add a photo for me.

You're used to hearing us say on our podcast, "Please go to iTunes and write a review!"

Now, I'd like to ask, if you've read our new book, Shrink Rap: Three Psychiatrists Explain Their Work,
Please go to Amazon and write a review!

Thank you so much, and I am going back to my vacation now. See you next week. Roy, hold down the blog-- you're doing a great job.


Sarebear said...

It seems as though your blog has attracted a troll.

Anonymous said...

When is paul maurice gg to pop in for a podcast! LOL!

Why don't you shrinks post a video showing your face!s, as otherwise you cause little people to start seeing over it! rainbows!.

the little mission is over agent 99! LOL!

Anonymous said...

I haven't reads the book so cannot review it. That said, I have noted that there used to be two reviews on Amazon and one was not favorable. That one has been removed. Perhaps the reviewer had a change of heart. Pehhaps it was removed because it was not favorable. The issue of censorship, if it has taken place is disturbing. Your book will recieve all kinds of reviews and some may come from your friend or neighbor who has never read the book but gives it a great review because they want to see you do well and you might mow their lawn in return, who knows? Amazon has a requirement, as far as I know, that reviewers sign in with their Amazon accounts in order to post a review.That means that any review is from someone with a purchase history at Amazon and someone they could identify, although many reviewers use nicknames so the general pubic does not who wrote the review, good or bad.

Roy said...

Anon #2, thank you for noticing the Amazon reviews. The first one, which the poster took down, was indeed a negative review making general negative comments about our field and not about the book. Clink asked the commenter to take it down if they had not in fact read the book, and it later was removed.

As far as I know, there is no mechanism for authors to remove negative reviews from Amazon (nor should there be). Regular readers have applauded us in the past for only removing comments which are defamatory, slanderous, profane, or ad hominem attacks (or spam), while leaving all other comments that are critical or negative. We try to take the good with the bad, as it is hard to have a discussion that with only one side.

For the record, I will NOT mow any lawns for good reviews. Just so we're clear.

ClinkShrink said...

I didn't ask anyone to take down a review. The reviewer took it down himself when Dinah pointed out he couldn't have possibly read it.

Maggie said...

So Amazon doesn't have any process at all for removing reviews by people who obviously haven't read the book/bought the product? I always find that infuriating when I'm browsing on Amazon and come across products with fake reviews, and that's just as a customer!
If someone has not read the book/used the product, it is not a review. If someone is complaining about a particular seller, it is not a review of the product. The purpose of a review is for people who have read the book/used the product to convey information and opinions about that product. "I didn't like it" would be a valid review that shouldn't be removed just because it isn't favorable. But "I think it looks like it will be a bad book" is not remotely useful to anybody and "this took too long to ship" is something that should go in a review of a seller, not in a review of a product. If I wanted a judgement of a book based on the cover, I wouldn't be checking the reviews! There certainly should be some process of getting rid of "reviews" if they're not, in fact, reviews.
[end rant]
Wow. I spend too much time browsing Amazon!

Roy said...

Clink, I stand corrected.

Anonymous said...

I read your book and was really disappointed by it. I like your blog, so would feel bad posting a review on amazon. However, I was very disappointed. I found it quite superficial in a broad sense. It did not cover any material a person even slightly familiar (even from a consumer perspective) would not have already been aware of. The case studies were also superficial as well as predictable. Your blog is often thought provoking and interesting, but this book was a huge let down. I wish I hadn't spent the money.

Anonymous said...

Private Eye.

"Down on the FishFarm"


Anonymous said...

I know authors who have had their spouses post glowing reviews. Another coerced empolyees to write favorable reviews. This happens all the time. I don't bother to pay attention to Amazon reviews because the reviewer who tells the world a book is the best ever on the subject and has read no more than two books on the subject( and maybe a total of 4 in his lifetime on any subject) is not going to provide me useful guidance. I don't rely on the dustjacket or back cover reviews from "experts" or famous people because I know that most of the time these reviews come from friends/close contacts of the author.Having received a few "will you write a blurb for the back of my book?" requests, I know how this works.

Sarebear said...

I am finding it quite good, in fact, and illuminating of some stuff I didn't know! I'm only a couple chapters in, though, but I am enjoying it!

Anonymous said...

Can you do a post on "when the signs tell you to stop therapy". I am sure my pdoc will see me every thursday afternoon for the rest of his working life or mine, which ever comes first. By the way he has helped me enormously and I have been super stable on my current meds for about 2 years. SHould I stop or is it ago to go knowing that there is maybe someone else now who needs my appt slot.

Confused on the etiquette here.


Anonymous said...

Sarebear: Thank you for your support!

Fishfarm person: I liked Agent 86 better than 99.

Roy cutting the lawn: Oh, please don't let Roy cut your lawn. I don't know how this would go. First he'd say he'd do it, and he would, probably every day with some new technique or new bit of technology (is there an iPhone app to cut the lawn???) and then he'd lose interest and he'd say he's going to cut the lawn and he wouldn't and it would grow and grow, and then the neighbors would be standing over him and so he'd cut the lawn, but there would be an issue with each blade of grass, and the edging would take hours...I can't imagine.

Anon who didn't like the book, Thank your for Not posting a review on Amazon. Everyone's entitled to their opinion.

Paperdoll, I don't give suggestions on clinical issues, but I will tell you that when my patients start to feel they need less therapy, they say, "You know, I'm doing better, I'd like to come every other week." If I feel strongly that this is not a good idea, I tell them why, otherwise, I go with what they want.

Other Anon and anyone who is interested: I ordered a copy of our book on Amazon months ago, just so I'd know when it was available through them. My copy showed up on May 3rd. That day, Roy and I were on Talk of the Nation at 3pm. On the way home from the interview, we heard there was already a one star review up---someone wrote in saying we sounded like more pharma. At first, I didn't care, but as I thought about it, knowing that a) we really didn't talk about medicines/pharma, and b) the book only arrived hours before and this had to have to have been one very fast reader with early mail delivery, it started to irk me. How many listeners heard us, went on Amazon, saw the book had a one-star review and said, "never mind." It seemed terribly mean-spirited, and remember, many people are not familiar with the idea that some people don't like psychiatrists just because and would like to zing one, just to do it. I went into the comments on the review (there were already several in our defense, one pointing out that it was mean to do this on a new book) and I simply said, "If you haven't read our book, please take this down." It was gone the next day.

ATraveller said...

I'd happily review your book, if you send me a copy :P

Anonymous said...

"Anon who didn't like the book, Thank your for Not posting a review on Amazon. Everyone's entitled to their opinion."

So you are saying that you do only want people to post a review if they liked the book and to people who did not like the book, while they are entitled to an "opinion" they shouldn't post it? Is a bad review an opinion and a good review a factual statement about the book that is based on soemthing other than opinion?

Anonymous said...

I think people should be fair and read the book before they post a review, but I also think any press can be beneficial to you in terms of sales. I don't know if any of you have followed the Rob Bell controversy, but the more people flipped out and called him a heretic, the more books he sold, even now he's like 30 something on the Amazon best seller list which is pretty good for a book on religion. He seems to get either 1 star or 4-5 stars, very rarely does someone rank him in the middle. The majority of people writing negative reviews most likely didn't read his book, either.


Anonymous said...

Leslie is right on the money--no such thing as bad press.

Lisa said...

I thought the book was pretty lousy. I have followed the blog for quite some time and was excited when a book would be released. I expected new information. Instead it was all basically the same stuff that has already been written on this blog. It was also poorly written and read more like blog posts than a well-reasoned book. I wish I hadn't bought the kindle version because I'd like my money back.

I wasn't planning on leaving a review as my review would be unfavorable, but now that you've written that poor reviews are not valid, I'll definitely be leaving my thoughts on Amazon.

Dinah said...

I never said that bad reviews weren't valid. All I said was "Everyone is entitled to their opinion." How that was turned into the idea that I think anyone's views are not valid is beyond me!

The reality of writing and sales is that there is no author out there who wants people who don't like their book to write bad reviews on Amazon. It has nothing to do with whether one's opinion is valid or not.

I can certainly see how Shrink Rap readers would be disappointed. The book was our attempt to take years of blogging and put it into a cohesive, succinct explanation of how things in our field work. Our blog commenters have done a great job of teaching us how poorly our field is understood. It isn't new material, but it is meant to be available to someone who doesn't read blogs or who doesn't want to sort through our now 1450 posts.

Sarebear said...

I've read this blog from the BEGINNING and I am not disappointed with the book at all. I'm between 1/3 and 1/2 way through it.

Yes, alot of the topics have been discussed on the blog before. I am enjoying the writing style, the way the information is presented, the vignettes, which I think present many of the issues in ways and with angles that have not been necessarily discussede on the blog, or sometimes only mentioned in passing . . . .

I am enjoying the information I'm getting, because even I can't remember every blog post after all these years.

I think the information is presented in a logical manner, and that transitions to new subjects are made well. I think the book IS well written; if it wasn't, I'd not be enjoying it. If it was the exact same as the blog, I'd probably be bored.

I'm being honest, here, and not just enthusiastic because I like the Shrink Rappers; I can separate my regard for them from the necessities of reviewing a book.

I think the book has PLENTY to offer people who know less than I about psychiatry, and even has some to offer to someone who knows some things already.

I'm reading it slowly and not as quickly as I usually read books; not because it's harder to get through but partly because I'm in the middle of a fiction book lol!


Roy said...

@Lisa: ALL reviews are valid and potentially useful. They are, of course, "valid" because they represent someone's opinion. They are more or less useful depending on the info provided. When I look at comments or review at other sites, I don't put much emphasis on the ones that say "This was great" or "This sucks." I'd rather hear "This sucks because it crashes every other time I use it, though I do like the interface because it is very intuitive." Balanced reviews (I liked this, I didn't like that) are the most useful to me because I can better tell if the reviewer's likes and dislikes are pertinent to my likes and dislikes. It's like those people who say things like "Paxil is the worst drug. My withdrawal was so bad, it should be taken off the market." There are some people who find it life-saving. As with all things, YMMV.

So, I encourage you to put whatever your review is on Amazon (or BN or other), positive or negative or some of both, because it is a valid representation of Your opinion, and because some people will probably find it to be useful. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

"Anon who didn't like the book, Thank your for Not posting a review on Amazon."

So, you changed your mind since you wrote this and it is okay if people post bad reviews if that is they did not like the book?

Dinah said...

No one needs our permission or consent to write whatever they want wherever they want (be it on Amazon or elsewhere) about our book!

But if you ask me what I "want" then I'd rather that all the reviews on Amazon said that our book is amazing and an interesting read and taught them cool things while clarifying a confusing system. Actually, I really liked what blurber Peter Early said about it.

Roy said he wants people to write their reviews on Amazon no matter what.

My next book will be called "Understanding Roy." It's not do out for a few more decades.

Roy said...

Anon does not seem to be asking permission, just understanding what we want or think is "okay."

I just don't think Dinah's wish to have all positive reviews is realistic. I don't "want" all positive reviews because that would make people not trust them. When I see nothing but positives, my radar goes up.

It's amusing that the anon poster thinks "we" changed "our" minds because Dinah thinks one way and I think another. News flash: psychiatrists are not all part of a hive mind, all thinking alike. Like a riff from moviedoc's "sporkiatry" to "borgiatry": Resistance is futile.

7 of 9 reviews being positive would be just peachy.

Maggie said...

Correct me if I'm wrong, Dinah, but it sounds like what you "want" isn't so much all positive reviews, but the theoretical situation in which everybody who reads your book has something positive to say about it. Isn't that how most authors feel?

Sure, some people write to stir up controversy, and others write just for the heck of it, without the expectation of other people wanting to read it, but for the most part, when somebody writes a book, what they want is for people to like the book! Even if their primary goal is to make money off the book, they still want people to like it enough to recommend it to others. (Except of course in the "just wrote it to stir up controversy" case, in which case they may hope for negative attention, but attention nonetheless.) And even people who write just because they enjoy it are still going to want other people to like what they write, even if they don't necessarily expect it.

As far as I know, nobody who publishes a book does so with the hope that everybody who reads it will be bored to tears! That's not even the intent of organic chemistry textbooks!