My title doesn’t make much sense because of course you’d have to read my books in order to leave an accurate Amazon review. At least, that would be the conventional wisdom.
Yesterday I received a message from a reader that he attempted to leave a review for my #1 Bestselling novella, Knight Training, and Amazon wouldn’t post it because they believed it was a “biased review.” They claimed his prior review on For Steam And Country — a favorable review for the book and the book where he discovered my existence– violated their terms of service and posting more reviews would be biased. This was the message he received:
So because he liked my first book, now he can’t review the rest of the series including book 2, the blood of giants. It boggles my mind.
Every reader of a book 2 will have read book one first, and hopefully will have reviewed book one first. It doesn’t make sense otherwise. Amazon’s gone over the line this time in their push.
I found out this didn’t only happen to me, but happened to another reader who read the Alt-Hero comic books. She enjoyed the first one, left a review, and tried to leave a review on the second, and same thing.
I’ve not heard if this has happened to authors on the left and can’t confirm whether they’re targeting right wing authors specifically. I’d be interested to hear from other indie authors if they’ve had this experience.
Either way, this is a very troubling precedent as it makes it very hard for an indie author to get honest reviews from people who actually read the books. Not only is this a burden to other customers surfing, but it’s a burden to me as I need to see the feedback from my audience as to what they want and what they don’t so I can further hone my future books to what they’re looking for in a read. It’s going to hurt indie authors if we can’t get reviews from people who actually purchase the projects. Amazon needs to back off of these extreme measures and simply ONLY allow verified purchases to review the products. It would solve everything very quickly.
The only work around for us is services other than Amazon. I’m doing very well on indiegogo. Maybe I should start launching my actual novels there if I can’t get reviews for marketing on Amazon. Judging from my $8,000+ first day when I only made $3,000 on my first day last time, the readers seem to be loving my work. Back it now.