I’ve talked before about the effect that both positive and negative bias can have on reviews and given a certain indie book has received a lot of attention of late (in the UK press at least) I’ve decided to return again.
So, in case you’ve been hiding under a rock…
“Fifty Shades of Grey is a 2011 erotic novel by British author E. L. James. Set largely in Seattle, it is the first instalment in a trilogy that traces the deepening relationship between a college graduate, Anastasia Steele, and a young business magnate, Christian Grey. It is notable for its explicitly erotic scenes featuring elements of sexual practices involving bondage, discipline, sadism, and masochism (BDSM).” – Wikipedia (July 2012)
Now that the introductions are over… there will inevitably be a few people picking up ths book just to see what the fuss is about and given perhaps that it could be considered a ‘niche genre’, quite a few of those won’t be happy with what they get. The result? A LOT of disgruntled customers. This is what we expect from a ‘conflicted’ or ‘skewed’ set of reviews (as I outlined in ‘credibility of book reviews’ part 3 ) and yet when you look at Goodreads it’s skewed more towards 5 stars – does this indicate that the reviewers were better informed of their choice?
Above: Ratings pulled off of Amazon and Goodreads (~July 2012)