You might remember that story from a while back, where Amazon customers were using tags to express their frustration over the ebook price of J.K. Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy. Well, now that the book is available, it looks like the problem is evolving: at the time of writing the book has 18 Amazon reviews, averaging 3.5, and 13 of those reviews mention the price. It’s become a polarising issue that is totally distorting the book’s reviews.
As the book continues to sell and more people actually finish The Casual Vacancy and can express an opinion, this problem will probably become less evident. But for now, the reviews section for the book has basically become a message board in which many customers either give one star for the high price (and a rumoured font problem that
I’m not sure is real I can’t replicate but which has been verified by others), or give five stars because they want to counter what they see as unfair one star reviews. Only 3 of the reviews actually comment on the quality of the book.
I’m sure that most of these reviews will end up being deleted, because they don’t count as genuine reviews at all. But it’s still interesting to see how this issue seems to be causing annoyance for a small but vocal group of readers. I doubt there’ll be any dent in the book’s sales or profits, it’s clear that there are people out there who want to register their disdain for high ebook prices by doing more than simply not buying a copy.