Amazon is up to it again…

Posted January 16, 2017 by Theresa DaLayne in Blog / 4 Comments

 

 

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(I’ve been writing this post for 2 hours, chicken-pecking at my keyboard because of Salwa, who wants to cuddle. Correction: Either I cuddle her or she cries. lol)

 

Amazon has recently made some pretty substantial steps to clean up false book reviews. Reviews that are posted by paid companies or individuals–which is NOT good. Getting reviews is really hard for authors, so some authors have resorted to paying “professional” reviewers to share fake reviews on seller platforms like Amazon, which often misrepresented the book, book quality, or storyline.

 

But here is the problem. This policy also encompasses friends of the author, family of the author, Facebook friends, readers who like their Facebook fan page, or anyone linked to a giveaway regarding reviews. They use complicated algorithms to determine who falls under these categories. So, if I were to offer another giveaway where one or two readers won a print book after dozens of readers enter by posting a review, then ALL of the reviews from that giveaway could be torn down on the grounds that I offered “payment” for the reviews.

 

As you can see, not all of the reviews possibly targeted by this policy are qualified to be flagged. Especially the reviews posted by Facebook friends, readers who like Facebook fan pages, and giveaways.

 

Us authors were pretty annoyed at this policy, as it sometimes prevents us from holding giveaways for you guys. And you know how much I like giving you free stuff. Between the Freeby Friday posts from Limitless Publishing, free backgrounds I’ve designed and shared, free printable recipe cards, and free books through my VIP review program, I do my best to share the love as often as I can.

 

But now, I just have to ask for a favor. My box set for The Stone Legacy Series needs reviews to rise in visibility on Amazon. It’s on preorder now, and will release in two days. I would love to have as many reviews as possible up before it releases so Amazon will share it around on their newsletter–especially since it’ll be just $0.99!

 

So if you’ve read the series and are willing to share an honest review, here’s the link to do so. 

Thank you ahead of time. i really do appreciate it!


4 Responses to “Amazon is up to it again…”

  1. Tera Comer

    As long as the person does not link their facebook to their goodreads and amazon account it should be fine. Those connections are part of their algorithms. I think that it is unfair for Amazon to tell us readers that we can not follow our favorite authors ( a way of knowing what is coming out and when). If I read a book I will put a review for it, no matter if I found it on instafreebie, free on amazon, free through a newsletter or if I bought it! Amazon has no right to tell me I am a personal friend of someone that I only know online!!!

    • That’s exactly how us authors feel, too. We feel shorted on both ends. It’s like, we want to share news to our readers. We *have* to share with our readers. That’s how we stay in touch with you guys. Now we have to be extra careful to format our links in a certain way, and then just hope the reviews that come out of all of our hard work aren’t torn down. I know Amazon is trying to clean up the fake reviews so reader feedback is genuine, but they sometimes take it too far and end up deleting legitimate reviews, which is unfair for both you and us. :/

      Thanks for commenting!

  2. Emily Endrizzi

    I think it is great that Amazon is doing this. I’m sick and tired of giveaways offering extra entries for reviews. The only way that I think this might be (more) okay is if the book is free and even then, you technically ARE paying for reviews. The payment you are offering is an increased chance to win that giveaway. Additionally, if you are asking for reviews for a book that is not free, you are technically asking entrants to purchase the book to get extra entries. This is a big giveaway no-no. Have you ever seen “no purchase necessary. A purchase will not increase your chances…blah, blah, blah…” in the terms and conditions on sweepstakes? That’s because in the US it is ILLEGAL to give extra chances to win the giveaway to entrants who buy your product. If you give extra entries to people who review your book (even if it is not mandatory) that is not free, then you are basically asking them to make a purchase from you – paying you to increase their chances to win. Truth is, many people will just write up a fake review to get around this. That’s likely where Amazon has a problem. Fake reviews make it harder for real people to find out the truth about what they are intersted in buying. It ruins it for everyone. Authors need to find another way to get reviews other than offering prizes for them. Amazon SHOULD have a problem with this and I’m glad they doing something about it. I get it that it’s hard to get reviews for your books. I see the pleas for reviews constantly in my emails from authors. I understand that, but blaming Amazon for working to uphold the integrity of the review process is not the answer.

    • Hey Emily. Thanks so much for your comments. I totally agree with you. Fake reviews or paid reviews are bad for everyone. They muddle the real feedback and make it difficult for readers to find books that are truly right for them. I’m not blaming Amazon. Blame is, I think, a misplaced word. What I am saying is that often times I have seen legitimate reviews torn down because there is some kind of link between the reviewer and the author, which can be as small as a Facebook page like. In that case, I think it becomes overbearing. As you stated, authors work hard to get reviews. So when a legit review is taken down, it’s very frustrating.

      I also never require a reader to buy a book in order to enter in a giveaway. You are right again with the moral and legal repercussions of this. I also always advocate for an honest review. So whether it’s a 5-star or a 1-star, it’s the reader’s opinion, and that’s always legitimate. Not every book is the right pair for every reader. I often compare this to dating. Sometimes you want to cut-out in the first ten minutes, and other times you don’t want the night to end. lol

      Thanks again for sharing your thoughts!

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