This post, by Renee Pawlish, originally appeared on her To Become A Writer site on 7/10/12.
Many times I write posts with what I hope is helpful information for other indie authors. I try to impart things that have helped me along my journey, like marketing advice. One key thing that is critical to our marketing is Amazon reviews. And unfortunately there is something not up-and-up going on with Amazon and book reviews.
Indie Authors And Dropped Reviews
Some of you may be seeing issues with your Amazon reviews. I first saw something on a Facebook group about this topic. For those of you who haven’t heard, it would appear that Amazon is starting to remove reviews. At first I didn’t think anything of it. I see so many rumors of what might be, so I dismissed it.
Then It Happened To Me!
I’ve seen three reviews for Nephilim Genesis of Evil removed and two (oh, since I started this blog and now checked again, I’ve lost two more reviews, so make that four) from The Sallie House: Exposing the Beast Within. What??? I’ve heard a number of different reasons why this might be happening:
- the review didn’t say Amazon verified purchase
- the review didn’t say that the reviewer received a complimentary copy of the book
- the review posted links though to an outside source like Goodreads or the blog where the original review was posted
- some bloggers were plagiarizing Amazon reviews so Amazon is removing those reviews
- the reviews were paid for so Amazon doesn’t like that (don’t even ask me what I think about Amazon being in cahoots with Kirkus and their paid-for reviews)
- Amazon is targeting certain reviewers and removing all their reviews
Indie Authors And What Amazon Says
I emailed Amazon and here is the response I received:
I understand your concerns about these missing reviews. We take the removal of customer reviews very seriously.
I’m not able to tell you why these specific reviews were removed from our website. I can only discuss that with the person who wrote each review. However, I can tell you that reviews are removed from the Amazon.com website for three reasons:
1. The review conflicted with our posted guidelines http://www.amazon.com/review-guidelines/.
2. The review was removed at the request of the customer who submitted the review.
3. We discovered that multiple items were linked together on our website incorrectly. Reviews that were posted on those pages were removed when the items were separated on the site.
None of this explains what happened to the reviews of my books.
Indie Authors – What To Do?