…as an Author, a coupla things that baffle me about Amazon’s book reviews system…

 

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…sharp as a billiard ball me, sum’times… no question, what’s left of my wee grey cells frequently have difficulty in getting together for a blether… however, I don’t feel I’m entirely bereft of the capacity for logical thinking… which leaves me currently scratching my head as an Author… there’s a coupla things that baffle me about Amazon’s book reviews system… from all accounts, there appears to have been some purging and scorched earth policy in-house recently at the Great God Kindle eBook source regarding reviews from ‘friends’ of authors… how draconian is that, Mabel?… most writers are also readers, and may I posit the suggestion that p’raps authors themselves are usually better equipped to pass opinions and reviews sensibly than those who don’t scribble for a living?… of course, tons of non-quill-scrapers are highly intelligent readers who post superb reviews, but my point remains… an Author is more likely to notice the LUVLY quirks in a narrative, such as plot flow, character arcs, and all the good things that go into the ‘business’ of writing… of course, we all understand the desire NOT to have ‘puppet-socking’, false or over-generous reviews, which I frankly believe harm, more than help, a title… let’s focus for a moment on Amazon itself… it’s a business… a channel for sales… a commercial distributor enterprise… it’s in existence to make money… proper reviews help to sell product… so why are they shooting themselves in the foot by wiping out bona fide reviews merely because they come from ‘friends’?… defeats this daft ol’ Scottish Jurassic scribbler’s logic…

 

 

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…next issue is this… why do the Amazon pages for different jurisdictions, (Amazon.co.uk; Amazon.com; Amazon.ca; Amazon.com.au; Amazon.everywhere) not automatically pick up reviews from one jurisdiction to another for the same title?… surely again, Amazon should be seeking to generate more interest and surely sales = profits… or am I missing sum’thing?… if Amazon’s incredible computer systems cannot link their own country review pages, why not?… answers please along with a five-star review for this blog piece on a ten-dollar bill to the usual address… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

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46 Comments

Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

46 responses to “…as an Author, a coupla things that baffle me about Amazon’s book reviews system…

  1. John Holt

    As always my friend you hit the nail fair and squarely on the head. Amazon’s policy re: reviews is a mystery. It worrys about reviews from friends, yet is quite content to allow a one word meaningless review.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. It seems to get more baffling every few months. I remember there being a purge of reviews last year and the year before that. The target seems to always be ‘friends and family’ of authors. It inevitably gets some ‘innocent bystanders’ caught in the crossfire. Really makes it hard to gather reviews too. Especially this time because they’re locking down on paid for reviews, which includes free giveaways, contests, and beta readers.

    Liked by 2 people

    • ..I agree with the ‘keeping it honest’ policy, but as you say, Charles, probably thousands of bona fide reviews are being tossed, and these are priceless to any author 😦

      Liked by 1 person

      • And the big uproar makes other people not want to review. The media ran with the changes this time, so a lot of my non-author friends asked what was going on. They thought Amazon was making it so that only certain people could leave a review. I imagine those who don’t know an author will continue to believe that.

        Liked by 3 people

  3. The irony being that this appies to Indie writers and not to Big Publishers, who use their own ‘sources’ to review…and also have the benefit of coverage in the media.Nook..here we come

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    Seumas Gallacher on the great book god Amazon shooting itself in the bottom…. line! And of course Seumas a big Five Star review for your article as long as WP does not purge as it is from a friend!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Reblogged this on writerchristophfischer and commented:
    Seumas Gallacher does make sense sometimes

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Hm. I’m with you on this one Seumas. Particularly allowing the one word reviews – and purging those from friends… I also feel strongly about Amazon.com NOT linking reviews up with the Brit counterpart. So many times there are only a handful of reviews for a book on the Amazon uk site, whilst over on Amazon.com it runs into three figures. As you say, they are trying to sell books – why don’t they link these up?

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Reblogged this on Brainfluff and commented:
    On this wet, windy Monday morning I thought I’d reblog these concerns Seumas Gallacher raises about Amazon’s current review policy. Does anyone else feel there isn’t a lot of joined-up thinking going on here?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I panicked at the thought of losing my precious handful of reviews for my babies and I had to go check they are still there! Of course, the ridiculous thing about this is, that, in many cases we often only ‘get to know’ another author after reading something he or she has written. While I’d love to say that I really do know you, Seumas, I know that I don’t know you; I’ve never met you and I only know what you care to show us on your blogs etc. The same goes for most of the other authors I ‘know’. You are right when you talk about the over-zealous praise writers can get by their own engineering but how often does that actually happen? And, a genuine reader will soon pick up if a book is rubbish and hopefully give a review to say so! I think we are all being penalised (yet again) for something the minority do.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Hi Seumas. It’s a head-scratcher, trying to figure out something that makes no sense at all.
    I love my author friends, so don’t misunderstand… Most people would tell me that other authors are my competition. So why would Amazon decide they are my friends?
    A good review from your “competition” is high praise indeed.
    Now if they were taking down those same reviews for being negative, that would make sense…
    Hugs to you Seumas. 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  10. I wonder if the morons at Amazon know the difference between genuine peer reviews and those written by anyone else Seumas? Instead of removing perfectly legitimate reviews by other authors, Amazon should be concentrating on the one star variety, often written by someone with an axe to grind.

    Liked by 4 people

  11. Rosa Ave Fénix.

    I don’t follow or read the reviwes… sure many of them are “greased the palm”. don’t bother you..ol’ Scottish Jurassic… you are great!!!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Reblogged this on Have We Had Help? and commented:
    Seumas raises a valid point of view. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Agree. And why do they let some reviews go through and others never appear. I have several people who said they left reviews (and I believe them) and they never showed up on Amazon. I don’t understand Amazon’s filtering system at all.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Well, Seumas, I guess it’s getting to be for authors like the famous charge written about by Tennyson, “Their’s not to reason why…” 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  15. A splendid blog, Seumas. This topic is very. frustrating. I believe Amazon are deliberately confusing for legal reasons. They refuse to engage with individuals, even the ones they’ve crushed, for the same reasons.
    Remember, Amazon don’t have book review guidelines; they have “product” review guidelines which covers everything they sell. But they don’t stick to the guidelines unless it suits them. They say a review should consist of at least twenty words about the product, then they allow a single word review to pass muster. They crushed Cristophe Fischer, but didn’t lay a finger on John Locke who blatantly bought faked reviews.
    Another crazy thing is you can only post a review in the jurisdiction you bought it in. A book review should be posted world wide in all dot jurisdictions. If Amazon take your money you should be free to write a review even if your the author’s mother. Amazon being a monopoly have lost all business sense.

    Liked by 3 people

  16. Once again a good thing going very bad.
    Another reason why I don’t pay attention to Amazon reviews – who know which ones they allow in and why they keep others out….of course it all comes down to profit, business, and influence. Tied in there somehow without a doubt

    Liked by 1 person

  17. We might never know . I’ve raised the issue of the reviews across different stores and was told they were looking into it but that was months ago. I think in UK the .com appear but that does not apply to the rest and I don’t think it’s the rule everywhere. I know a Mexican writer who had a number of reviews for her books in .com but when they opened the store in Mexico, of course, they did not appear in the new store. With regards to the other issue… It’s true they don’t follow their own rules. They’ll say reviews by friends and family can be included in editorial reviews, but the problem is knowing whom they’ll decide is friends or family. It is possible to upload your review in other stores (I do it regularly as I read book in Spanish and I share also in .es) but of course they will not appear as linked to a purchase. But, as an article I was reading yesterday pointed out, people have to get to the page first before they can even get to the point of reading the review so…

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Your brain cells aren’t all that scrambled, Seumas. Another thoughtful piece. Thanks. Mac

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Amazon playing God… Seems they’ve gotten a little full of themselves.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Reblogged this on Anita & Jaye Dawes and commented:
    You are so right, Seumas, on several counts. Makes no sense to me either…

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Amazon, WP Reader sounds like persecution..bring back Pigeon Post 🙂 bejesus please don’t change Twitter I’m only just getting to grips with it! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Reblogged this on and commented:
    You’d think a conglomerate like Amazon would realize that if it keeps cutting off its toes, it’s going to be hard to walk 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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