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There have been a lot of changes with Amazon’s reviews lately. I understand the need to give readers better and more trustworthy reviews but it also needs to be balanced against how difficult it is to get reviews by writers. Indies Unlimited has the scoop on the latest changes.
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Way, way back in September of 2013 I wrote an article about verified reviews. In the world of Indie publishing, especially where anything directly related to Amazon is concerned, three-and-a-half years is a lifetime. Much of what I wrote then is either no longer true or suspect. In this article, I’m going to talk about some of the changes and why you, I, or a random reader might care. (Or maybe not.)
At the time I suggested that the only reason someone might care about whether a review was verified was if they thought the review seemed questionable. Then the “verified” flag would indicate the reviewer had actually bought the book or other item from Amazon. For someone looking at reviews and trying to decide on a purchase, the verified flag might still not be that useful. I suspect some people who are more attuned to happenings regarding Amazon might be concerned about fake or paid reviews, and pay a little more attention. But if they’re aware of these issues, they’re probably aware that reviewers who were willing to write a glowing review for a price have options to make sure those reviews showed as verified purchase reviews anyway.
However, authors who are trying to get selected to run promotions using Bookbub and other hard-to-get-selected advertising options want not just good reviews, but they’d prefer a lot of them with that verified flag.