Wednesday, 14 November 2012
Amazon’s Disappearing Book Reviews
Apparently 'persons of interest' includes authors.
Don’t authors read? And do all authors personally know every other author –is that likely? Of course not, so why are authors excluded from giving reviews?
A review I posted for ‘The Queen’s Secret’ a book by Victoria Lamb I posted in early October has been removed. I bought this book at a writer’s conference, and the only ‘reward’ I got was the author signed it for me. I enjoyed the book so wrote a review, which appeared on the site – and now it has gone.
The only reward I have ever recieved for a review is a free copy of the book, often an ‘unedited’ version with a plain cover. I have been asked to review books by readers of the Historical Novel Review Blog, and Romantic Historical Lovers Review Blog, but these I have done for free, and voluntarily and if I didn’t like the book or felt I couldn’t offer an unbiased, positive comment – I declined.
I understand why Amazon want to stop fake reviews, or prevent family and friends posting five star reviews, but it's well known that the ‘Big 6’ actually hire reviewers, which may explain why certain bestselling authors will have 50, 5 star reviews on the day their latest novel is released.
For authors like myself, this could be disastrous as some book sites won’t advertise your book without a certain number of 4-5 star reviews. Also, if reviews can only be made on books bought online from Amazon, what about books given to you as a gift, or borrowed from a library? Why would it not be acceptable to post a review?
So as an author, does this mean I can never post a book review unless I purchase them online at Amazon, and even then they may be removed as I have 'an interest'?
Here are a couple of blogs who discuss this - read them for yourself and see what you think:
To Become a Writer