Amazon’s New Review Policies and What Everyone Should Know

October 17, 2016
Disappearing Amazon Reviews

Photo Credit: Bookworks.com

It is no secret that reviews have been a-disappearin’ for months now (or since last year?) and last post I mentioned that it happened to me, too, just recently. I have heard talk on social media about a few of these new policies from authors and reviewers alike, but the incident from last post just clearly makes no sense, and I will explain in a second.

So what ARE the new policies? Who is affected? Readers, reviewers, and authors are all affected.

I have rewritten them in my own words, but the source article is Goodereader.com. You can type in “disappearing reviews on Amazon” for a plethora of other articles! UPDATE: Here is a post by Anne R. Allen about more restrictions on Amazon’s reviews that narrow things even more. Be sure to check out the whole article and there are some gems in the comment section about how things are sitting with readers and reviewers first and foremost. Of course these rules apply, even if the review is 100% genuine and honest.

  1. A review by a book blogger of a paid book tour is still considered a “paid” review even if the blogger wasn’t paid and the organizer was.
  2. A review written in exchange for a gift card, even if it is the same amount as the book, is no longer allowed.
  3. Review for another review is 100% not allowed. No review trading!
  4. A review written in expectation of a free book. A review copy must be given before the review is written or the book will be seen as payment for the review. Note: this one is quoted word for word from the article to capture the completely asinine verbiage. No freaking duh! The book would have to be given to the reviewer to be read, but then Amazon has a loophole to do whatever it wants in this case.
  5. People you “know” online whether it’s from Facebook, Twitter, or what have you. Amazon “knows” somehow and it believes fans will leave “biased” reviews. Umm, okay. So we are not supposed to connect with readers? Fans are no longer allowed to support their favorite authors? Maybe it has to be done in another way.

That doesn’t really leave too many people left, does it? According to the article, the author believes that the “Verified Purchase” reviews would carry more weight and SHOULD not have to be any concern about them disappearing. Of course, in the article it says that the author and/or reviewer will not be contacted if the review is removed. It just vanishes. I just went to a webinar where they believe that verified purchase reviews “should be safe” I am laughing to myself and thinking, “NOT!”.

This article was written a year ago, and Amazon has made more changes. I included a post above that contains more of them.

If you read my last post, Verified Purchase reviews will disappear, too. Now, I don’t understand as to why 2 out of 3 of my missing reviews (one was later restored after the reviewer disputed it with Amazon) were Verified Purchase reviews. Amazon wants people to buy and review, right? So, if that is the case, then why did they take down reviews that were purchased by a reader and then they left a review? Isn’t that what they want people to do and hence to all the stifling rules and regulations? There is no rhyme or reason for this nonsense. If the terms in the article weren’t shameful enough, then this incident I’ve gone through or the possibility that Verified Purchase Reviews could go away too pretty much eliminates everybody, and I don’t know what cockamamie reason they have for taking those Verified Purchase reviews is; I can’t find one anywhere. In all actuality, every review is in danger of being removed. So what do readers and reviewers do now? Good freaking question. I’m not sure how authors are supposed to connect with readers after this, and just what other heavy-handed nonsense will Amazon dish out next?

I never met these reviewers that left the reviews. They don’t know me. I didn’t give them a gift card. I wasn’t on a blog tour. I didn’t do a review exchange. I didn’t do anything like what was in Ms. Allen’s post. They bought the freaking book and left a review. So what, pray tell, is their reasoning for stealing these reviews? So dear readers, if you buy the books and leave a review for your favorite author, then your review may disappear too. I don’t know how fans are supposed to support their favorite authors, but something needs to happen and pronto. Amazon is becoming too dangerous of a place for these things to happen and of readers and authors connecting. It’s hazardous to the health of reviewers too.

The third review that vanished, you ask? It was a review from the Kindle Book Review. Rule #4 comes into play. I submitted it to the site and the free copy was given to the reviewer Tom Clementson to read and I didn’t pay the site and no money was ever paid. He received it, read it, and THEN posted the review. It was still removed. So, like I said, “Loophole for Amazon to do as it pleases in this case, and there is nothing I or the KBR can do about it.” So, I put a blurb from the review in my editorial reviews so that his hard work didn’t completely go away forever.

If getting reviews and connecting with readers wasn’t already hard enough, what are authors supposed to do now? Not sure. In short, find another way AWAY from Amazon.

AK Taylor

About the Author

AK Taylor

AK Taylor is an award winning YA author who has been writing novels since age 16. Beekeeper, outdoor sportsman, avid adventurer, and animal lover. Taylor lives in the backwoods of Middle GA where she continues to write stories.

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