A firestorm is erupting in the author world and it all has to do with reviews. Personally, I have wrestled with this issue for more than a month as my reviews are disappearing faster than a magician can say abracadabra. In my exchanges with those handling the issue, I received nothing more than a nondescript answer ending with instruction that the customer would need to file the complaint. Due to the nature of reviews, I didn’t actually know the people that had left them, therefore my hands were tied.
Yesterday, a fellow author shared an article from the L.A. Times http://lat.ms/RdIdAC. This article suggests that according to Amazon there is a widespread problem with authors leaving reviews for other authors and Amazon is in the process of removing author reviews as it is a conflict of interest in light of the competitive nature of the business.
At first, I was terribly upset about my reviews and those of other authors being removed, but after a while, my emotions switched positions. REALLY? Is this such a widespread problem that Amazon is compelled to address the issue with these drastic measures? Would Stephen King say something bad about a book by James Rollins? Of course not, he wouldn't say anything at all if he didn't like it.
The cruelty of the concept is mind-boggling The evidence suggests that authors are creating pseudonyms and leaving negative reviews for their fellow authors. Seriously, this is an outrage.
In my own little world, I am more than mildly appalled as I enjoy reading books and reviewing the ones I can say something nice about. My experience finds authors are very appreciative of kind yet, honest reviews. In fact the more successful the author is the more appreciative and helpful they seem to be… In the recent past this has shocked me and boosted my opportunities in innumerable ways.
Having reviewed several highly successful authors’ books and after attending a conference I have also learned the more successful an author is…the more he/she reads and their reading choices go far beyond the NYT BESTSELLER LIST!
I hope authors will join me and take a stand against this type of abuse, in an attempt to keep the competition fair. Perhaps, we can also convince Amazon into reconsidering this harsh decision. Please leave a comment if you are on-board!