No Longer an Amazon Reviewer, but still an Author/Book Supporter

So, yesterday was not a banner day for me as a reviewer. I got the following short, but not so sweet email from Amazon:
Hello,

You have failed to comply with our policies by manipulating product reviews. As a result, you may no longer post reviews on Amazon.com, and your reviews have been suppressed. Any new reviews written will automatically be suppressed.

To learn more about this policy, please see our Customer Review Creation Guidelines (http://www.amazon.com/review-guidelines).

Yep, I now have a great big fat ZERO under my reviews. Every single one wiped out. I’ll admit, I cried. I have to ask myself, why me? What did I do? I can’t concretely say, and since I’ve had a conversation with Amazon about something else that I didn’t like that they did, I knew that I wouldn’t get a single answer from them, so I didn’t bother.

But I was still upset, who wouldn’t be? Let’s face it. I was called a liar and a cheat, and I am neither of those things (as my close friends will tell you). However, I did something that many others before me have done. In fact, I believe that this is going to get worse, not better.  We are going to see more and more of this, until likely only verified purchases will be allowed on Amazon. I tripped the Amazon Bully Algorithm, and got squashed like the bug that I am. (In fact, for those that this will happen to later, I think I know what triggered it. I had had reviews that were suppressed previously for an author friend. Somehow they knew we were friends [still not sure exactly how they know that] and they kept rejecting my reviews for “content” when posting them. Since then I had not attempted another review for that friend. Now a year later, I attempted to post a review, and several days later I get the email.) So, yes, I cried. I put “FUCK YOU AMAZON! FUCK YOU!” on my personal FB account, and cried on my good friends shoulder (another author friend who picks me up when I am down, and vice versa). And she told me to buck up, and we’d figure out what to do.candy-cookie-main

So here I am, doing something. I’m mad as hell, and I really can’t do much about it right? I can’t control the beheamoth that is Amazon. But I can control me and how I react. So, I will continue to support the author’s through my blog (which fortunately has reviewers who CAN post to Amazon), and post my reviews to place I wouldn’t have normally, like GR, BN, ARe and DSP. And I will continue to post their Amazon links, and throw more ARe and DSP links out there. I’ll do the blog tours, and the cover reveals, and the interviews, and the release day reviews. I’ll be part of a blog tour company that will help reinforce what I believe, that authors work hard, and getting their books out there makes people happy.

What Amazon’s words CANNOT take away from me is my reputation. Because let’s face it, their own reputation is not the best, so trying to destroy mine won’t get them too far. I know that I am respected in the MM book community, by authors, bloggers and readers. I know that my reputation is honest, reliable, supportive and caring. Amazon can’t take that away from me, even if they want to. If anything they have strengthened my position.

Moving forward will feel a little tough, but if we are going to fight back against Amazon for their arbitrary and hurtful decisions, then we have to hit them where it hurts, their income statement. So, although I will continue to be an affiliate, and am appreciative of it, I will also be more willing and able to yell the benefits of purchasing at other e-tailers, when the opportunity is there. Because they are the ones that feel the pinch, much more so than me. Supporting them can help the authors keep their product available to more people.

In the meantime, I hope that the authors and bloggers I have supported over the last several years know that my support will not waiver. I will just be doing it beyond the iron curtain of Amazon.

Denise

This post may contain affiliate links. Advanced Reader Copies are accepted by Two Chicks Obsessed in exchange for an honest review without additional compensation.

Comments

  1. Barbara Elsborg says:

    Good grief. I’m speechless!!!

  2. I hate that this has happened to you. We NEED honest reviews and Amazon has squashed the idea of letting readers and authors see all sides of the bloggers/reviewers perspective. As an author, I enjoy reading reviews because they help me develop my writing to better suit what the readers are wanting. We can all use a little critique from time to time and also a little pick me up when a kind review is written. I appreciate the time you’ve taken to leave reviews and share your wisdom with other readers and writers. The LBGTQ community needs support and books are a part of that big picture. This genre has grown huge and I for one am PROUD TO WRITE GAY ROMANCE!!!! Please leave reviews on ARe. I love that site. The support I’ve received there as an author has been wonderful. They are top notch. Again, keep up the great work and hold your head high. You are a vital part of this genre and review process. Thank you first and foremost for being a reader. Have a great day and smile! 🙂

  3. I’m sorry. I can only imagine what it would be like to lose all your reviews in one fell swoop. So unfair and frankly, random. A blogger friend of mine, along with her colleague, are no longer able to post reviews on Amazon either. It seems counterproductive to me, this new policy. The more difficult they make it for bloggers to promote the books, the more likely they are to lose sales. Silly, right? I wonder if the big brains have considered how imperative blog promotion is in this industry.
    Posting reviews on the other points of sale seems to be the route to go. Both from a perspective of being able to get your voice out there, but also in terms of leading readers on to options other than the almighty Zon. Of course, it might feel a little like sweet revenge, and there nothing wrong with that!

  4. How can I put this delicately? Um…oh, yes. BULLSHIT! How dare Amazon say this crap. They have NO idea what the hell they’re doing.

  5. Did you disconnect your FB and Amazon accounts?

  6. I’m so sorry this has happened! <3

  7. Patricia Logan says:

    This is such crap. Why don’t they allow authors to review other author’s books anyway? That’s a completely effed up policy. I was a reader and a fan long befor I ever became an author. Just hateful. Amazon and Good Reads are now the same company and GR allows the most vicious trolling to go on over there. I don’t even look anymore. I left all their groups and decided I value myself much more than what it would take for me to read one more 1 or 2 star review that rips my heart out. They allow that but an honest review of a friend’s book is squashed? Horrifying and unfair. I’m so very sorry this happened to you 😢

  8. Sorry this happened to you. The problem is most likely the affiliate links. If you include an affiliate link in your review, then in Amazon’s eyes, you’re getting paid for the review.

  9. Your friend or you linked your facebook account to your Amazon account.

  10. Monopolizing companies make bizarre rules that will end up ruining them. In the meantime, there are many other sites which welcome readers/authors/ supporters – your own site included. Be sure to reach out to other creative avenues to get your opinion about a book out and show your support for authors and friends.

    Thanks for venting/sharing and reading,

    Sarah Butland
    author of Being Grateful, Being Thankful