Rabble Reads

I kicked in a few bucks for this Kickstarter project – RabbleReads , a project that aims to set up a neutral, verified aggregate book review site, combining reviews from various sources such as Goodreads and Amazon and elsewhere, but only from trusted book reviewers (their slogan is ‘death to the sock puppets’), and including both traditional and self-published books. Something like this sounds good to me and hopefully will manage to avoid such ills as goodreads-troll-gangs as well as the more common fake and fake-ish reviews. A lot will depend on their curation practices. It could be a tricky thing.

I recently came across a one-star review for my Tiddlywinks kids’ book on Amazon, a one line affair that said “not worth even free. This kind of books should not be around. Waste of time downloading and space on HD”, and when I looked into the reviewer’s Amazon review history, I found that he’d posted the exact same one star review for around 15 books that very same day. I wrote to Amazon, but it was a verified “purchase” (of a free ebook!) and seemed within their guidelines, so they wouldn’t remove it. I can understand that. Curation can be complex, and I hope the Rabble Reads people come up with some good ideas.

Something else that’s also important, and whose time is fast approaching:

Beyond reviews, Rabble will include lists of bestselling authors, regardless of how the book was published; best and worst rated titles, author interviews; and more.

“It’s the first venue where traditionally published and self-published books will be listed side by side,” Holman Edelman says. “I just really think it’s a way to help get books an introduction.”

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8 thoughts on “Rabble Reads

  1. I saw this project – I read that it is supposed to be like “rotten tomatoes” is for film. I agree with you – it’s a fantastic idea and I hope it becomes solid.
    I have to confess, I avoid good reads and amazon reviews. I read indie blog, book review blog or large reputable review sites for book reviews, because of exactly your problem here. I find the credibility of those other sites is lost for me.

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    • I’m finding that my stories get a lot more reviews on Goodreads than anywhere else, including Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble. The problem with that (for me) is that the ratings they get are much lower there than those other places! I have no idea why that is.

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      • I’m sure this is a sweeping statement and makes me sound like a snobby bitch, but it remains true for me … I don’t trust any reviews on amazon or good reads because they’re too easy to post. For 2 years I was on Facebook in a book community, and I saw people posting reviews on those sites in response to someone they liked or hated depending on whatever they wanted from the person on facebook. It has nothing to do with the book. I can’t even trust that reviewers on those sites read the book.
        There is a pretentiousness on good reads, a kind of “we’re serious” that makes people rate lower I think. Like a “I never give a perfect score” attitude – which is amateurish. I think that might be why you get lower star scores there. I haven’t been to the site for over 12 months though, so things might have changed a bit.

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  2. I guess I’m somewhere on the middle on this. I think the more reviews one has on Amazon the more reliable a decision you can make. As far as Rabble Reads being the only site in which indies and traditional stand together… there are already sites where that is happening. Amazon for one. Goodreads, Library Thing, etc.

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    • It’s true the dividing line is rapidly disappearing everywhere. I’m a bit leery of Amazon with their track record of arbitrarily and opaquely removing, restricting and redefining reviews, all actions taken with their own bottom-line in mind. Not only can the reviews be suspect but their entire system of reviews as well. Goodreads is better in that respect. I guess what I’m hoping for – and Rabble Reads is not this – is a sort of Spotify for books – universal, pub-agnostic, subscription-based and highly regarded – that will give all writers a common and respected. platform

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  3. What I would like to know is what they intend to do with the money, exactly. How did they come up with that figure, and is it intended to be startup costs, and if so what are the projected operating costs, and how do they intend to generate those?

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