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Jack of all trades
May 14th, 2018, 03:06 AM
I just posted this in a writing discussion and thought I should also post it here.



I just read yesterday that Amazon has been deleting reviews that have been determined to be by family, friends or have been bought.

Now there's some controversy about how Amazon is making the determination.

Facebook friends, even if they are actually just fans of your book(s) count as friends. Some believe Amazon is even checking Twitter activity.

All of this is a backlash after Amazon learned that one man made lots of sales after buying good book reviews.

Even Hillary Clinton had more than half the reviews of her book deleted because they weren't verified purchases.

There's some blogs/articles out there about the situation.

andrewclunn
May 14th, 2018, 04:22 AM
Basically, unless you buy it through amazon, no review for you on amazon.

Jack of all trades
May 14th, 2018, 06:08 AM
Basically, unless you buy it through amazon, no review for you on amazon.

There's a bit more to it.

Even for verified (bought through Amazon) purchases, the review will be deleted if :

The reviewer is a facebook friend of the author.

The author gave anything to the reviewer at any time in the past that Amazon finds out about. (Amazon considers such payment for a good review.)

Rumor has it that Amazon is even checking Twitter to see if the author and reviewer are friends.


Steps suggested to bypass the Amazon deletions :

Have a public Facebook page for your books and don't friend any fans on your personal page.

Don't giveaway Amazon gift cards to fans.

You can give a copy of the book to be reviewed, but the reviewer should be upfront about it and say that the book was given in exchange for an honest review. (Currently those are not being deleted.)

Google "Amazon book reviews deleted" to learn more.

Bayview
May 14th, 2018, 12:14 PM
There's a lot of frenzy about this - I honestly don't know if we have the full story, yet.

One of the frustrating things about Amazon is how opaque their decision-making process is. People are coming up with loads of speculation and concerns, but I don't think we've seen a definitive statement from Amazon.

andrewclunn
May 14th, 2018, 02:26 PM
As somebody without a facebook or twitter, who reads on my kindle, I await my millions in paid reviews. No, no, please not all at once.

Carly Berg
May 14th, 2018, 03:29 PM
In my experience, sometimes they do get it wrong. You'll have legitimate reviews removed and you don't have any recourse. It's also possible that whatever tripped the Amazon triggers came from the reviewers' end, not yours. I can see why they don't divulge their methods though, because then people would know how to get around them. But it would be interesting to know for sure.

Jack of all trades
May 14th, 2018, 07:02 PM
I started this thread because I have seen a couple members commenting on deleted reviews. I did not look up those threads and post there. Instead I simply shared what I learned in case it answers questions that others have.

Jack of all trades
May 14th, 2018, 07:04 PM
As somebody without a facebook or twitter, who reads on my kindle, I await my millions in paid reviews. No, no, please not all at once.

Get in line!:D

Pete_C
May 15th, 2018, 12:50 PM
I think the big issue here is that many people try to 'play' the Amazon reviews. For example, one of the people here on the forum complaining about this pointed out in another post that their genuine unbiased and honest reviews were gained through a paid-for review service. There are numerous blogs and podcasts about how to 'play' reviews to raise profiles. Too many writers do it and then go on to claim that a paid for and solicited review is genuine.

Forget writers; the readers who use reviews deserve clarity and Amazon is trying to give them that. Yes, some people might lose honest reviews but the issue has been created by writers trying to pull a fast one, not the retailers. Their actions might be heavy-handed but maybe if writers kicked off more about those cheating the system than Amazon, they might be treated more sympathetically.

Of course, you don't have to use Amazon.

It might not be a popular view but that's how I feel.

ETA: And there's this too, which I applaud!
https://justpublishingadvice.com/amazon-kindle-crackdown-on-ebook-quality/?utm_source=ReviveOldPost&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=ReviveOldPost

moderan
May 15th, 2018, 05:17 PM
In a nutshell. Well-said. Some things don't lend themselves well to review -- I was crestfallen to discover that my work falls in that category. Very few reviews, but positive. The work sells though. I would never, could never, pay a service for reviews. I also rarely send out review copies as 90% of those don't happen and I don't want to give out free stuff without a reason to.
Otoh, I'd review my own anthologies if allowed. So...fuzzy line.

Mikeyboy_esq
May 15th, 2018, 05:51 PM
Occasionally, I've had a few Amazon reviews deleted from each one of my books and they seem to occur randomly. As far as I can tell, I don't personally know or have a social media connection with the ones that were deleted, but I could be wrong about that. As an indie author, it feels frustrating to work so hard to get reviews and then have them mysteriously deleted without warning or explanation from time to time.

Another thing that puzzles me is how Amazon calculates my average rating. I've had a handful of 5-star ratings this year (mostly verified or VINE reviews) and it didn't change my average rating at all. That seems odd to me. A true average would be more accurate in my opinion... even if it is a true avg. of verified reviews only.

ilostit
October 14th, 2018, 08:53 AM
It's better than my friend's book that he self published, witch has 0 reviews.

The two novellas he wrote or OK. But no reviews no nothing.

Cavex
November 27th, 2018, 08:40 PM
How have people been able to get reviews in the first pace? Does it many happen by luck?

Mikeyboy_esq
November 27th, 2018, 10:02 PM
Cavex,
Definitely NOT by luck! My first book has been out 2 years and I have about 40 reviews, and my 2nd book is now about 1.5 years old and it has about 25 reviews. I've found success in a few ways....

Giving away LOTS of books and asking people to consider leaving an honest review after they read it (but it is NOT a quid pro quo as that is against Amazon rules). I gave away over 100 books when I launched my first book and about 25% of them left a review over the next 3 months (I had to remind some of them a few times, but tried not to be a pest).

Another thing you can do is put a page in the book's back matter (right after the conclusion chapter) and ask for a review. I'm just now starting to add that page to my books, starting with my new book to be launched in a few days (Dec. 1st).

Another thing that works is paying for a service like Bookbub, which will tell their email subscribers about your eBook if it is discounted (at least temporarily). You are really just paying for access to their large email list, but it is common to get lots of sales and some reviews too. Other companies offer this service, including SPR (which I've used for one of my books and it works, but is not cheap).

There are other ideas out there, but these are just a few basic ones. Good luck!

Cavex
November 28th, 2018, 09:33 PM
Cavex,
Definitely NOT by luck! My first book has been out 2 years and I have about 40 reviews, and my 2nd book is now about 1.5 years old and it has about 25 reviews. I've found success in a few ways....

Giving away LOTS of books and asking people to consider leaving an honest review after they read it (but it is NOT a quid pro quo as that is against Amazon rules). I gave away over 100 books when I launched my first book and about 25% of them left a review over the next 3 months (I had to remind some of them a few times, but tried not to be a pest).

Another thing you can do is put a page in the book's back matter (right after the conclusion chapter) and ask for a review. I'm just now starting to add that page to my books, starting with my new book to be launched in a few days (Dec. 1st).

Another thing that works is paying for a service like Bookbub, which will tell their email subscribers about your eBook if it is discounted (at least temporarily). You are really just paying for access to their large email list, but it is common to get lots of sales and some reviews too. Other companies offer this service, including SPR (which I've used for one of my books and it works, but is not cheap).

There are other ideas out there, but these are just a few basic ones. Good luck!

Thanks and find that very useful.

Cavex
November 28th, 2018, 09:44 PM
Somehow posted that twice. So editing this post.

Chris Stevenson
March 1st, 2019, 03:31 PM
I'm aghast at the condition that one must have spent $50 per year minimum, register and have an active credit or debut card, for anyone to remove a book. I have no problems reviewing anyone, since I apparently qualify. But I've had countless review sources tell me they were denied by Amazon for reviewing any books. This is devastating. Amazon wants to financially lock you into their company and products by requiring an outlay. I have zero reviews for my recently released romantic suspense. This has never happened to me before. I'm sunk.