Book reviews are vitally important in order to be ranked well on AMAZON.com –
You may have a great book with outstanding content, but without reviews, it will not be ranked well on AMAZON. Being highly ranked increases your book sales. Because it increases your visibility on AMAZON. Which Self-Published Authors desperately need. There are guidelines for leaving a review, and before leaving a review you should read their guidelines. Click here for AMAZON GUIDELINES.
Now that being said as the opening for this discussion I want to address some of the problems that Authors are being faced with. Because there are some things happening that are not exactly legitimate.
From AMAZON.com: “Book authors and publishers may continue to provide free or discounted copies of their books to readers, as long as the author or publisher does not require a review in exchange or attempt to influence the review.”
One can actually lose all of their priveledges to leave any review on any product they purchased and also no longer be able to participate in AMAZON Discussions if they violate the guidelines.
Here are a few examples of reviews that AMAZON does not allow:
- A product brand posts a review of their own product
- A customer posts a review in exchange for cash, a free or discounted product, a gift certificate, or a discount off a future purchase provided by a third party
- A customer posts a review in exchange for entry into a contest or sweepstakes or membership in a program
- A customer posts a review of a game in exchange for bonus in-game content or credits
- A relative, close friend, business associate, or employee of the product creator posts a review to help boost sales
- A customer posts a review of the product after being promised a refund in exchange for the review
- A seller posts negative reviews about a competitor’s product
- An author posts a positive review about a peer’s book in exchange for receiving a positive review from the peer
What is interesting and frustrating about reviews and people who leave negative reviews is that an Author will attack another Author and cream them about their book and AMAZON will not take the review down. But, if someone leaves a positive review and AMAZON private eye detectives (I’m really not joking with that comment) find that you have ever left a review for someone they feel you are associated with, they will say you are biased and take down the review and not allow you to leave any reviews on any product or book you have purchased on their site.
What’s going on?
From my research and experience with AMAZON and reviews, it seems that they will use your log-in email to see if you have any association with the seller. This is not a good thing. Many people have a G-mail account, this is a Google email, and Google, being the huge monster they are, connects all of your activity on Google with Social Media sites such as Facebook and Pinterest. Not to mention anyone in your circles on Gmail.
Let me give you an example as to what is happening.
Anne Rice is a famous Author, she uses all the social media sites to promote her books legitimately. I am a fan of Anne Rice. So she is on my “friends list” on Facebook, I have also corresponded with her on AMAZON Customer Discussion Forums, as well as left a comment on one of her videos on YouTube.
I do not have any interest in her personally but enjoy her books. However, due to the fact that I have had correspondence with Anne Rice on Social Media and she is in my Google circle, AMAZON revoked my right to leave any posts or reviews on their site for any product or book, even though all my reviews positive. I know other people who have had the same thing happen.
Now, as an AMAZON customer, I have the freedom to purchase from them but do not have the right to leave a review.
AMAZON is trying to take over the market, in my opinion creating a monopoly. And using tactics that are less than professional. Furthermore, they are making it almost impossible for a self-published Author to get the reviews they need and deserve. Because Self-Published authors use Social Media such as Facebook and other multi-media sources to promote their books. Being that I am an Author representative I cannot leave a review for one of my Authors, but, AMAZON has revoked my right to leave a review on a pair of pantyhose that I purchased from them, or the dress I bought or any other product that I am clearly not associated with the seller.
I would have no problem with AMAZON policies if they were fair. Obviously, it would be wrong for me to leave a favorable review for one of my Authors I represent, or for me to leave an unfavorable review for another Author. But, to not allow me to leave any review on any product I purchase from them is simply, being a bully.
Yes, AMAZON.com is a bully. They are using their power to abuse both sellers and buyers, all the while they will take your money in a heartbeat, and could care less if the product you purchased was faulty or subpar, and will leave you, the buyer, unable to express your concern about a product, or warn others before they buy it, all because they (AMAZON) “thinks” that you are biased because an Author is a Facebook friend, or you may have repinned a pin of their book on Pinterest. Do you see the ludicrousness in this?
My hope is that they can work out the bugs in their so-called “Fair Review System” that they say they want to maintain.
Written by Francesca M.B – Author Rep