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Does Amazon’s Paperback vs. Kindle Rating System Help Or Hurt Your Book?

Updated: Mar 3, 2020

So since I have a new book out in both e-book & print, Liar’s Ball, I have been monitoring its ratings on Amazon almost daily. Well what do you know?

Amazon has an additional rating system for paperback books vs. their kindle e-book versions!

Now I don’t know how long this has been going on. Maybe it’s not new and it’s just the first time I’ve noticed it. I  never noticed it when I released my first book Behind Closed Doors in 2012, but hey, maybe I just overlooked it.

Essentially, it allows people to simply rate the book without having to write a review for paperback copies if they choose not to. On the Paperback side you will see the “customer ratings” & “customer reviews” section under your book’s title, as opposed to only seeing the “customer reviews” section under your Kindle Edition titles.

Here’s an example where I have 77 customer ratings & 71 customer reviews under the Paperback version of Behind Closed Doors, but only the 71 customer reviews show under the Kindle Edition.

Liar's Ball Customer ratings

Well now THAT is new isn’t it? Now readers have the option to rate an e-book directly from their kindle or whatever device they use right after they finish reading the book if they choose.

Previously, Amazon forced you to write a review to go along with your rating, whether it was going to be 2 words or 200 words for the prolific type, it was required. Now your books can be rated with a little less hassle, but I wonder if this rating ability is going to be used for Kindle Editions soon as well. I’ve already noticed that when I read a book on my Kindle it asks me to rate it at the end. I don’t know if it automatically puts ratings for Kindle books with no reviews into the “customer ratings” section in your paperbacks or what…but I haven’t seen the differentiation on the e-book side.

This could be due to Amazon now owning and maybe they’re also using/or will be using Goodreads ratings somehow on Amazon.

1. What do you think about the customer ratings separation from the customer reviews only showing in paperback versions?

2. Do you think the ease with which readers can now rate a book without explanation will prove beneficial or to the detriment of most authors if it becomes available for Kindle versions as well?

3. Do you think this new easier way of rating will encourage more people to rate Kindle ebooks?

Let me know

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