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Has Amazon gone way overboard with its new review policy?

See on Scoop.itWriting and reading fiction

When the ‘scandal’ over paid-for / sock-puppet reviews hit Amazon earlier this year, the company was left with two options. Option One was to make a concerted effort to root out and del…


I am an author, but I was a reader first. I am a person who can exercise free speech except, perhaps, on Amazon (if they actually go through with enforcing the “Authors can’t review Authors” policy.) As a person very concerned with free speech, I hope this new policy is changed. It’s insulting that they think I would use a review to hurt a fellow author or that I can’t be an honest reviewer because I’m an author. Two of my new books are writing guides. Who else would review my books but authors? Once aspiring writers who read my books become published, would they really be disqualified?


This is like trying to tinker with tiny watch cogs and gears while wearing oven mitts. ~ Chazz

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Filed under: publishing

7 Responses

  1. Amazon has lost it’s fucking mind (sorry, hope your comments allow gloriously foul language). Readers don’t LEAVE reviews. I mean, sure, after you’ve sold like 9 million copies the 1% (if that) of pure readers who take the time to leave reviews will amount to something. Then you have sites who won’t even advertise your book if it doesn’t have 20 or 25 reviews.

    Why not simply start with the one and two star reviews? I’m not for crushing free speech but if it’s authors hurting other authors then what you’ve effectively done is give those prick authors THE WAR. Now new writers won’t have any honest reviews and will be shunned (nice work, prick authors).

    Honestly, I think ONCE I have had an author nail me for personal reasons (i.e. try to hurt me with a dishonest review—he trashed me on my blog and an hour later there was a shit review from an anonymous reviewer that quoted something in my blog that he harped on in the actual review. The king of crime this douche was not. But overall? I don’t see this thrashing everyone seems to be complaining about. Honestly Amazon’s whole review system is hosed anyway. I never even look at them anymore as a consumer unless it’s a trend, like 1,086 one-star reviews or something. For books, I read the sample. In a few sentences I know if the writer is worth my nickel and in a few paragraphs I know i the story is.

  2. […] ← Has Amazon gone way overboard with its new review policy? 11/05/2012 · 8:41 PM ↓ Jump to Comments […]

  3. Viv says:

    It’s mad. It takes a lot of reading to become a writer, and I read a lot. Will they refuse the review I am intending to write of Rider Haggard’s She, because I’m a writer. Mind you, he’s never going to review me, now, is he?
    Writer reviews are usually better, more revealing of the novel/book. Many reviews are simply book reports, school-style, and often just detail the plot, without spoiler warnings, and I find those annoying to read.
    I hope it will blow over soon.

  4. katyasozaeva says:

    This is outrageous, and I’m speaking as a reader and reviewer, NOT an author BUT they’re also hitting people like me who receive review copies. If they’re not happy with my “disclosure” then BAM away goes the review. They have NO RIGHT to stop authors from leaving reviews – they already have a policy in place for bogus reviews (and yes, Rob, they DO happen – I’ve seen it first-hand, but it seems to focus in the YA genre, so that’s probably why you haven’t seen it), they just need to make sure it is enforced and otherwise keep their noses clear. They enforce these things to their own benefit anyway, anyone who’s paying attention can tell that. GRRRRR…

    • Chazz says:

      I don’t doubt you, though if you’re right, I wonder why they’d focus on YA? As I argue in the next blog post, this policy hurts Amazon itself more than it helps them.

      Very strange choices are being made that I just don’t understand. Please add your names to the Change.org petition.

      For anyone interested, I noticed Masquerade Crew is looking for people who have experienced lost reviews. From the Masquerade Crew blog:

      “Regardless, I have no doubt that many legitimate reviews are taken down in the name of review integrity. The question is, has Amazon taken it too far? Should they fight fake reviews another way?

      I’d love to hear your thoughts about that, and if you have lost reviews from Amazon, either from your own books or your reviews of other books, I want to hear from you. Leave a comment below or send me an email. I may post some of the comments in an upcoming post, depending on this topic’s popularity.”


      They ask that you email them at MSL_007@LIVE.COM

      • katyasozaeva says:

        I have no idea – I can’t explain why it’s worse in the YA community, and especially with the female authors, but that’s where most of the nastiness, bullying and hate is isolated. I see it all the time, no matter how hard I try to stay out of it, because I occasionally read and review YA fiction for Amazon Vine or just because an interesting-sounding book comes my way and I grab it. I usually see those sorts of things when I go to read the other reviews and see flame wars, cyber-bullying, and general nastiness all over the place – Goodreads, the Amazon fora, etc. *shudders* I’ve had to block several people to just get them out of my feed.

        Thanks for the point-out to the petition. I am not aware of any of my own reviews being lost, but there are close to 1200 of them on Amazon alone; it would take me ages to comb through them, and likely I would forget some of what I’d done anyway, but am happy to do what I can to support change on this issue.

  5. […] Has Amazon gone way overboard with its new review policy? (chazzwrites.com) […]

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