By Indie Authors for Indie Authors.

Tag: books reviews

Why Amazon Continues to Delete Book Reviews

Amazon Deletes Reviews

 

After seeing friend and fellow author @AdamDreece run into the same problem that seems to forever plague Indie Authors—reviews being mysteriously deleted by Amazon, or worse yet, entire books being deleted—I thought it was time to visit this issue once again.

@AdamDreece, author of a number of thrillers including Yellow Hoods, found out that Amazon had deleted some of his books. The explanation Amazon gave, which wasn’t much of one at all, was that “systematically generated accounts accessed” his books. Essentially, bots accessed Dreece’s books (not Dreece’s bots), which then positively affected different metrics Amazon uses to rank KDP Authors. Since they noticed the automated bots, they deleted the books.

If you recall, I had a similar experience this summer where Amazon deleted most all of my reviews. As a self published author, those reviews can mean everything. As a full-time author and public speaker, removing Dreece’s books is a huge threat to his livelihood. As much as Amazon has done for the Indie Author community ensuring that publishing is more accessible to the masses, they also wield incredible power being the largest player in the game.

Setting the what aside for a moment, I want to take a closer look at the why.

Amazon deletes reviews and always has. They have an obligation to their customers to provide useful and honest product feedback. Individuals are always trying to outsmart Amazon by getting a manufactured boost in positive reviews. (It happens on most consumer sales platforms. Ever seen someone on Ebay selling hundreds of random items for $0.01? That’s so they can get their user score up very quickly.)

Despite the fact that Amazon has always deleted reviews, it seems to be happening more regularly over the last year. Amazon continues to insist that it allows book reviews in many forms. They’ve publicly stated, “We will continue to allow the age-old practice of providing advance review copies of books.”

Privately they have insisted that they are not deleting honest reviews as well. They informed a CretivIndie friend: “Book authors and publishers may continue to provide free or discounted copies of their books to readers, as long the author or publisher does not require a review in exchange or attempt to influence the review.”

So if you are providing your book to reviewers or blogs for their honest review, it should still be allowed by Amazon’s own admissions. However, you should probably make sure the reader knows that a review is not required in return for the free book. Maybe even ask them not to use phrases such as “in exchange” in their review, which is a phrase you will commonly see from book reviewers. (As in, “I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.”)

This still leaves a lot of gray area and leaves us authors in an extremely vulnerable position. Amazon has stated that reviews from family and friends are not allowed, but in today’s social media age, what constitutes a friend to them? How is an Indie Author going to get a book review without at least first befriending a connection on Twitter or Facebook? This is an issue that Amazon has not adequately addressed in my opinion.

I don’t see this issue changing to the extent that we’d like, at least not while Amazon continues to be by far the largest player in the ebook market. We will likely continue to see authors miserably threatened with deleted reviews and books. So make sure you continue to take precautions.

 

Precautions to Avoid Deleted Amazon Reviews

 

  • Don’t require a review in return for a free book.
  • Ask reviewers not to use potentially trigger phrasing like “in exchange” or “in return”.
  • Copy and paste all the current reviews you have today. Periodically update your document so you have all reviews saved somewhere in case you run into an issue.
  • When you share your book with people, use the direct link (the one that ends immediately after the ASIN number), otherwise there is likely tracking info included in the link and Amazon will be able to track that the link was provided from you.
  • If you find yourself losing reviews, ask Amazon to reinstate your book and ask your Indie Author community to help you out as well.

 

The last item is what Adam Dreece is currently doing. He actually created enough buzz about this issue that he had a VP from Kobo reached out to him and purchased two of his books to show support. You can view Dreece’s latest video on what has happened below. Help him out!

And protect yourselves, friends! Take precautions where you can. Help others in need when they’re in this situation.

What suggestions do you have for other authors? What have you found to work? What has failed?

 

https://twitter.com/AdamDreece/status/821434377125011456

 

 

 

Find more writing and publishing tips at Nothing Any Good.

 

 

 

 

Promoting Your Book Through Book Reviewers

How to Promote Your Book with Book Reviews&Why Patience is Key

It’s obvious the internet and social media are huge aspects of the majority lifestyle. This is great news for book blogs, as their popularity is in turn growing. People love their technology but it doesn’t mean they have forgotten their love for books. Having your book reviewed by a reputable and growing book blogger can put the word out there and get people finding and reading your book.

 

Here is how it goes:

You find the book blogger you want to review your book. You shoot them an email with a personal reach out, blurb or overview about the book, and ask them to read and review for you.

Then, you wait. You wait days, maybe weeks, and sometimes over a month to get a response back and you feel discouraged, and possibly bitter? DON’T!

Insider Tip: Adding personalization is KEY in getting a yes response. Show the blogger you ACTUALLY took the time to check out their blog and who they are. It’s sure to get your book on one of their lists because you actually cared to take the time to personalize.

 

A look into the other side:

A book blogger typically has another full time job for income, and just LOVES books so much they dedicate their hobby time to book reading and reviewing (un-paid, well.. paid in books 😉 ).

Once the book review blog takes off, they get hundreds of requests monthly, which is GREAT and EXCITING! They want to read them ALL, but there is just not the time in the day to keep up with them all unfortunately.

So they bring on another book reviewer when they can find one. They check the emails as quickly as they are able, flag books to come back to, and email authors back letting them know they would love to read their book. The thing is, they see that request with that book that sounds amazing, and they really are SUPER EXCITED to read it and review it, BUT there are 5+ books in line on their list ahead they have already agreed to and are just as excited about. (In our case, we try not to respond to too many emails at once or get each reviewers list fuller than approximately 5 books at a time so that the author isn’t waiting TOOO long once accepted, but there will be a waiting period nonetheless.)

Once again, they want to read them all and they want to read them all NOW, but there is just not that time in the day. Not to mention they are going to be reviewing these books, so they don’t want to just speed read through them. They really want to take their time and get into the book and catch all the details the authors worked so hard to incorporate.

 

Is it worth the wait?

Absolutely! Most book bloggers with a name for themselves have a great following on social media, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any other number of sites. People follow them and add books to their read list based on their reviews and their posts about them.

They commonly get asked “What are you reading now?” or “What’s on your docket that you’re super excited for?” or “What have you read lately that you recommend?”

And guess what, as curious beings that love referrals, book readers then look for those books! Book bloggers also are active and followed on websites such as Goodreads where a vast amount of book readers go when looking for what to read next. They also post their reviews on Amazon where many people choose their next books BASED on the reviews.

So YES it is 100% worth the wait, but patience is key.

 

Find more writing and publishing tips at Nothing Any Good.

 

Megan Verwey is contributing editor for the well regarded Young Adult Fiction book blog GirlPlusBook. Megan  is a animal lover extreme. She has 2 dogs, a Boxer named Jax, a technically “niece” Pitbull named Payon, and a “kitten little”, named Donald Driver because she is also a Packer Fan! She is a website and marketing sales woman and also works in Copywriting and SEO on a contractual basis. She is known to binge watch TV shows – binge read book series – and binge eat taco dip. Nothing Any Good has forgiven her failure of being a lowly Packers fan, since it is assumed this failure was inherited. Megan also loved Pieces Like Pottery and gave it a glowing review, so she knows quality when she sees it. Check out their wonderful book blog!

 

Buy Indie, Leave a Review

book review

Image Courtesy of Blindogg Books

 

How Discovering Indie Authors Changed How I Read Books.

 

by Rainne Atkins

 

I got my first kindle in 2012 and as I read a few books from Amazon’s “Top 100 Free” I guess at least some of them were by indie authors, I just didn’t know it. I also joined Goodreads at around the same time, but the only reviews I left were for books I’d won in Goodreads giveaways.

Last May, I started blogging. Continue reading

© 2020 Nothing Any Good

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑

Become the Best Writer You Can Be

Discover why Hundreds of Authors subscribe to Dan's newsletter.

Subscribe to learn how he became a #1 Bestselling Author and immediately boost your success as a writer.