Amazon’s New Review Policy


Very recently Amazon has removed all my book reviews from their website and I was confused as I could not fathom why would they do such a thing. A friend did some researching and forwarded the following link to me.

Amazon’s New Review Policy

I went through it and it still does not make sense because according to the link:

  • A review cannot be posted on Amazon is the author if part of a paid blog tour, and the tour organizer reviews the book.

Yes, I am a blogger but I never hold book tours. The only reviews that I put on my blog are of the books that I completely adore or completely abhor.

  • If you receive a gift card in exchange for a review – not allowed.

 I have never received any such thing. The only time I remember getting a GC was when I won it in a contest and even that I gave to someone else.

  • Reviews written in exchange for a review – not allowed.

Are you kidding me? You expect that a person who is still in the process of completing the manuscript expects a best selling author to read their work this way? Would I not lose all credibility? Showing that I have no confidence in the words I have penned!

  • A review written in expectation of a free book. A review copy must be given before the review is written or the book will be seen as payment for the review.

Maybe I am a bit slow but how do you review something you have not read? And how can you read something you don’t have? If you already have a book that you have read, why would you want another anyways? It is not as if the words are going to change themselves!

  • If you ‘know’ a person online via Twitter, Facebook, or other social media outlet, Amazon assumes your review will be biased and will not be allowed.

The only reason I have the authors whose work I read on my Facebook is because talking about characters is something I particularly enjoy. Assuming that they, in fact, are real living and breathing people. Seeing that we readers do not personally know these authors, social media is the platform where we connect. And of course the reason why other authors are not on my Facebook Friends list is because I do not read them. What would I even talk to them about? And furthermore, I would really like to know how they are finding out if I am Facebook Friends with the author or follow them on Twitter as none were ever linked with my Amazon account!

___________

After reading that article, I went on to read Customer Reviews Guidelines Frequently Asked Questions from Authors on Amazon’s website. It has the following pointers for me.

Are authors allowed to review other authors’ books?
Yes. Authors are welcome to submit Customer Reviews, unless the reviewing author has a personal relationship with the author of the book being reviewed, or was involved in the book’s creation process (i.e. as a co-author, editor, illustrator, etc.). If so, that author isn’t eligible to write a Customer Review for that book.

As I am a Goodreads Author I thought I’d answer this one. I have never written a book with someone. And a review for review? Though I have not done that but still it would be an honest opinion if ever I did that so what exactly is wrong in it?

Can I ask my family to write a Customer Review for my book?
We don’t allow individuals who share a household with the author or close friends to write Customer Reviews for that author’s book. Customer Reviews provide unbiased product feedback from fellow shoppers and aren’t to be used as a promotional tool. Please refer to our Help Page for more details. Your family and friends are welcome to share their enthusiasm for your book through our Customer Discussions feature.

Well, I am family to no one who has ever published anything.

But seeing that I one day want to publish my work and I have a huge family, my point is, if they buy the book from Amazon, they have a right to leave a review – irrespective of their inclination or bias-ness. They paid for it, did they not?

Can I pay for someone to write a Customer Review for my book?
No. We don’t allow any form of compensation for a Customer Review other than a free copy of the book provided upfront. If you offer a free advanced copy, it must be clear that you welcome all feedback, both positive and negative. If we detect that a customer was paid to write a review, we’ll remove it.

I have never been paid to write a review.

What do you mean by compensation?
Offering payment or any other incentive for a Customer Review is considered compensation. This includes giving someone money or a gift certificate to purchase your book. We consider incentives to be any type of reward that is given in return for a Customer Review, including but not limited to bonus content, entry to a contest or sweepstakes, discounts on future purchases, and other gifts.

As mentioned earlier, nothing of the sort happening.

Can I post a Customer Review on behalf of someone else?
No. Customer Reviews are meant to provide customers with feedback from fellow shoppers. For this reason, you should use the Editorial Reviews section of your book’s detail page to share content that is posted on other sites or from individuals who do not have an Amazon account.

I am posting my own reviews so…

I am not sure if this post will reach the people at Amazon, therefore I am also writing to them. Hoping that they do reply. In fact here is what I am writing to them.

Hi,

I see that you have removed all my reviews from Amazon and I was not informed of the same. After searching for some while, I found out that you are removing reviews of people who are Facebook friends with the authors whose books they are reading.

First of all, my Facebook is not linked in here so I won’t know where you are getting your information.

Secondly, is it not natural to have some sort of an interaction with someone whose work you enjoy? It is sort of a privilege and I do not get what is wrong with it. A review, after all, is nothing but an opinion. Just because I added some author on Facebook does not mean that I will be biased towards their work. Neither does not being Facebook Friends mean that I cannot e biased and leave a mean spirited review because I had a score to settle.

I will appreciate if you could look into your policy again.

Thank you.

Hoping something comes of it.

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6 thoughts on “Amazon’s New Review Policy

  1. Well said Hina I think it is about time that Amazon sits back and has a good honest look at their policy fingers crossed they wake up to themselves

    Have Fun
    Helen

  2. Keep us updated Hina, would love to know what they reply with. Last i was on amazon I took a note of how many reviews I have done and will go back to see if the number has decreased. The group they should be focusing on is the 1 stars who clearly havent read the book in the first place!!!

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