I promise that after I write this, I am going to let it go! 🙂
Just to reiterate, Amazon decided that I wrote a biased review for a book I recently read! (House Of The Hanging Jade, by Amy M. Reade). Well, my friends, you are probably thinking that since I know Amy, I probably did write a biased review! You would be right!!! After all, what does bias mean? According to webster:
- a tendency to believe that some people, ideas, etc., are better than others that usually results in treating some people unfairly
a strong interest in something or ability to do something
Although I don’t believe that I would treat anyone unfairly, I will not give a 5-star rating to an author who doesn’t deserve it. So now you are probably thinking; Well geez Sharon, every review we see you post on your blog is a 5-star rating. My answer to that is yes, they are because these are the books/authors that I promote. After all, why would I promote a 2 or 3-star book/author? And believe me, when I give a low rating I dwell on it for a long time. I hate doing it, but sometimes it just needs to be said, and hopefully I do it with grace! And I review 99% of the books I read. It is a rare occasion when the book is so bad, I can’t finish it.
I contacted Amazon to ask them why they removed my review. Although they eluded to the fact that it was biased, the reason they stated was that I did not follow their guidelines. Apparently I am not allowed to promote an author. Hello!! When you review a product, that is exactly what you are doing. Promoting a Product!!! In this case a book and an author! So I wrote to them a second time to explain my review. This time, they answered with the same canned letter saying that I didn’t follow their guidelines. And this time, they told me that they would not answer any more emails on this subject. How Rude! I was tempted to write them once more just to tell them off and it would not have needed a reply. However, I was raised not to be rude, and two wrongs don’t make a right!
One of the things I like to do when I write a review is to discuss why I liked the book from a personal perspective. Why do people read anyway? I personally like to escape reality and throw myself into the world of the protagonist. And sometimes I actually want the bad guy to get away, shhh… don’t tell anybody. That’s why I read fiction. If I want to read real life stuff, which I sometimes do, then I read non-fiction.
Unfortunately, Amazon doesn’t like personal reviews. In my opinion, that is a loss for all the readers. I would like to read more reviews with a personal take and less with a synopsis. Don’t give away the story.
So now I find myself hesitant when writing a review and going back to Amazon for three or four days to see if my review is still there. I have written three reviews since this happened and all three are still there. However, I withheld some of my comments in the review, which was hard for me to do, and I think unfair to the prospective readers.
I now write all of my 5-star reviews on my blog first. That way at least the author gets to see how I really feel from a personal point of view. I then strip the personal stuff out and send it off to Amazon. HaHa Amazon, where there is a will, there is a way. And by the way, it is my understanding that an author gets the same credit whether they get a good review or a bad one. If I am wrong about that, please correct me.
At any rate, my rant is over and as I said at the start, I am going to move on!
Have a wonderful week and weekend everyone!
And As Always, Live, Love, Laugh and by all means READ!
May 25, 2016 at 6:56 PM
Why can I only “like” this post? Why isn’t there a “LOVE” button? I think you’ve put very succinctly what a lot of reviewers have complained about recently, Sharon. Just because a reviewer knows an author doesn’t mean that reviewer is biased. But Amazon owns the world of reviews, so I guess we have to follow their rules. I think your solution of putting a review on your blog first and then tweaking it a bit to make it acceptable to Amazon is a great one. That way the author knows how you feel and Amazon finds it palatable. Thanks for addressing this topic. I personally think the post should go viral.
LikeLiked by 3 people
May 25, 2016 at 7:02 PM
Thank you Amy, I wish it would go viral. Amazon is Rude in oh so many ways!
LikeLiked by 1 person
June 15, 2016 at 8:51 AM
Reblogged this on Frank Parker's author site and commented:
The vexed question of Amazon’s attitude to reviews and their refusal to respond to suggestions for improvement.
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July 17, 2016 at 5:41 PM
I didn’t know all this!!! Thanks for educating us about the ‘proper’ way to review a book for Amazon. I only write a review when I finish a book if I like it. I don’t believe in ‘dissing’ a book (just as you explain here), so I don’t give out 2 or 3 star reviews – I just don’t review that book on Amazon. To be told that we can’t give a 5 star review because we personally know the author is disingenuous. But I like the way you’re going around the ruling. Good job! And I’m hoping to meet Amy next month when I’m traveling near her town. Yippee!!
LikeLiked by 1 person
July 18, 2016 at 10:43 AM
Thank you! You will love Amy for sure! Thanks for stopping by!