Amazon Deletes Book Reviews by Authors
I (J.C.) won’t go into much detail on the recent press release from Amazon for two reasons: it has been covered elsewhere (see the links below) and very little was said at all by the company. Most times I don’t do personalized articles for NobleDead.org, but this topic does relate to the industry I’m linked into. You pure readers might not be interested… or maybe you would…
What this is really about is the (supposed) growing trend of authors reviewing other authors’ works in order to pump (in collusion) or slam those works on Amazon. There are ethical failings on all sides of this issue, but then, this is the USA, where in business sometimes ethics seem to have no function anymore other than as a P.R. and advertising hook.
I think it is sad that Amazon has done this. If someone buys a product they should be able to review / rate it, no matter who they are or what they do for a living. If that were the simple case, I would denounce this move by them in…
- removing authors’ reviews of other authors’ works and
- essentially banning anyone with a (e)book for sale on the site from ever being able to review any (e)book… even one not in the author’s own genre of premise or topic.
I mean, really, when and if I get time to review a web-code manual, an esoteric / metaphysical text, or some rare Chen-shi Taijiquan manual recently discovered/translated, why should I be banned because I write fiction? I would denounce Amazon openly for this, but…
Apparently there is a growing problem in this area since the advent of e-self-publishing. So, unfortunately I am forced by sense to agree with this move… grudgingly… bitterly. Especially since I have followed online conversations in the last 24 hours where authors have railed about some 10, 20, 50 of their book reviews in the last year (?!?!?) being removed from Amazon. Now how many of us really do that many reviews in just the (e)books section?
These nepotistic or defamatory reviews between desperate authors don’t have the kind of impact that they or anyone else think. It is a very small way of thinking, and all it really does is produce glut. When I’ve looked up some of the names of the loudest railers, none were selling that well (or at all); a telling detail. None of the professional / successful authors in such discussions were screaming about this, though some like me were shaking their heads with a disgusted sigh… both for Amazon and those who caused that company to take this excessive and (by the press release wording) dictatorial action.
A good book lasts and sells, a bad book doesn’t. The only thing that really sells a book worth reading is when a real reader who an author never meets (and never will) finishes a purchased work, turns to someone else the author will never meet, and says…
And now, you can read more on this as follows, though you won’t learn much more if you do.
- “Authors Cannot Review Authors on Amazon” —Salon.com
- “Amazon Removes Reviews by Fellow Authors” —The Guardian