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Monday, October 29, 2012

Amazon: Stop Arbitrarily Removing Customer Reviews From Indie Author Books - sign a petition


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There's an outcry in the Indie world. Up until today I haven't personally seen evidence myself, but I don't doubt something weird is going on. Reviews on Amazon are being taken off in Amazon's attempt to improve the quality of their reviews.

It's possible a few of our reviews have had a similar fate. I show 94 "posted" reviews on this site, but Amazon only has 92 of our reviews. It's possible that I missed posting one or two, or some other legit reason the review is no longer there.

I think we all agree that review quality needs to be improved. Reviews are a lifeline for many authors.

Author Renée Pawlish posted about this subject. Check it out HERE. I think it fits in well with this post.

The debate about paid reviews is at the heart of this. It's against Amazon review policies to post a paid review.

Reviews written for any form of compensation other than a free copy of the product. This includes reviews that are a part of a paid publicity package.

The next question is this: is there a Big Six conspiracy? Are the big publishers complaining to Amazon about the conduct of some Indie authors, those that game the system? It's possible. I've seen the chatter. Of course, you won't get either Amazon or any big publisher to admit to it.

Of course, there's a prevalent opinion that the Big Six pay for their reviews (at least some of them) and that the conduct which they are accusing Indie authors of is common practice for them. I can't say if this is true or not, but it makes a reviewer like me wonder.

I came across this subject from a link on Twitter, which is where I get most of my book news. Anyway, the link sent me to a petition. Here's the wording of the petition.

Stop Arbitrarily Removing Customer Reviews From Indie Author Books

Amazon has been able to build a monopoly in the world of selling books. They have employed the fundamental principles of capitalism to achieve that position. With that monopoly, Amazon is now exerting its power against its most vulnerable sellers, independently published authors.

Amazon is currently removing customer reviews from books published by indie authors without any notice, and without any explanation. This petition demands that Amazon explain for every author that loses a review (good or bad) why that review was removed, and set forth clear guidelines as to what will and will not be removed in the future.

Check out the petition HERE.

Don't know if it will do any good, but I signed the petition. I'm a small voice for the Indie author, but sometimes small voices put together make a much bigger voice.

What do you think about this situation?

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