Friday, July 31, 2015

"Social" Media and Reviews Don't Mix ????

 (Picture is from Funny reviews by Accoutrements Horse Head Mask) 

It’s only been a few weeks since I wrote an article on Indies Unlimited titled Amazon Steps in as Big Brother  chronicling how Amazon has decided who can leave customers reviews and who can not. My disappointment started when the company began removing reviews for some of the books I bought and read. I felt so bad about not being able to leave my customer review because I believed the author deserved the praise. I was told via email since there is not phone support for this department that I could not leave my review because I knew the author.

That was odd to me because I didn’t know this author anymore than the other nearly 700 authors I left reviews for before this. This didn’t sit well with me and I wrote them only to get the same computer generated response, and I quote, “We are unable to post your review because your account activity indicates that you know the author. We encourage family and friends to share their enthusiasm for the book through our Customer Discussions feature or Editorial Reviews feature.”

Even though I tried to state my case I failed miserably to get through to them as was pretty much dismissed. I knew I had to share this story because I believed this was just the first chip of the iceberg. And surely it was.

Since I wrote my original story things have gotten worse for me, just last week I received a new message from Amazon stating, “We are writing to inform you that we have removed your review privileges and suppressed all of your reviews. Any new reviews written will automatically be suppressed. We took this action because you have failed to comply with our review guidelines and manipulated product reviews. For detailed information on the guidelines, please visit:” This was exactly the same message Christoph Fischer received from Amazon months earlier. I knew my reviewing days had come to an end. It was a big disappointment to me because not only did I spent a lot of money on all these books I read but I had also invested a great deal of my time as well. As an Indie author I have wanted to support others in my position and this was one way to help. Now this was all for not.

It was bound to happen but when it did I was flooded with feelings of disillusionment , anger, resentment, loss and messages from other authors on Facebook concerned why my reviews for their books were no longer on Amazon. Some took it personal thinking I had a reason for removing my reviews. That goes to show you how important these reviews are to us. They are one of the few rewards we receive as Indie authors because certainly most of us are not getting rich and famous. Well, maybe some of us are. ;-)

If you haven’t, would you please sign the petition author Jas T. Ward started to get Amazon to Change the “You Know This Author” Policy. It now has 13,685 supporters and it needs 1,315 to reach 15,000.

Brenda Perlin On Facebook