I can honestly say that I've never posted a review out of friendship. I can also attest honestly to the fact that I've never paid or pressed anyone for a good review. Why? For me, that does nothing. Reviews are a way for authors to learn what they've done right or wrong. Despite the delight, there is no satisfaction in having every review be a five...but there is a way to leave a constructive review that gets one's feelings across without being nasty and vile. It seems that Amazon's own program has brought out the nastiness and competitive edge that has resulted in more unfavorable than favorable reviews...at least in my opinion, and since this is my blog I can base the facts on that. I use the following as examples: The first is a summary of what's been on Twitter and other social media:
Amazon is reported to be saying that it is a violation of their policy to have
people who know the author write a review. It's also violations for "insiders"
(read that as other authors) to write reviews because the reviews might be
biased or might be being done because there might be a review exchange going on:
you give me a good review and I'll give you a good review or because the
reviewer might have been paid to write the review.
A) Almost all writers are readers as well.
B) If you declare your connections, such as the author (or a representative of
the author sent you a copy for review), or you know the person, or you're
related to the person, that's the kind of comment the algorithm looks for to
pick reviews for removal. If you don't declare your connection, you are
automatic in violation.
C) The reviews flagged for pulling are identified by an algorithmic formula, not
by human beings.
D) This has never been an issue before, even though friends and relatives have
been doing reviews for ages.
What they seem to be aiming for is a 100% population of disinterested (that is,
not connected to the author) reviewers because these are perceived as being more
It's a tad disheartening that reviews have become looked upon as dishonest summaries posted to advantage one's self. I wish Amazon would take into consideration the personal attacks that have been left recently on a lot of author's book pages. In most cases, there is nothing helpful to the author or a perspective buyer except for pure nastiness and spite.
I don't know of one author who feels obligated to lie on behalf of another, and I'm wondering how this will affect legitimate review sites who are comprised mostly of authors who most certainly read the work of other authors known to them. Here's the blog headline and link to a second post so you can read for yourself. Feel free to share your sentiments here.