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citymouse
04-11-2009, 04:23 AM
Has anyone heard of amazon.com removing or threatening to remove book reviews made by authors who sign off as "author of XYZ"?
I hear that amz's position is that it is inappropriate for authors to promote their own works via reviews.
I've been absent from the forums lately so if this can has been kicked down the street already, I sorry to bring it up again.
C

Sirion
04-11-2009, 04:45 AM
Has anyone heard of amazon.com removing or threatening to remove book reviews made by authors who sign off as "author of XYZ"?
I hear that amz's position is that it is inappropriate for authors to promote their own works via reviews.
I've been absent from the forums lately so if this can has been kicked down the street already, I sorry to bring it up again.
C

I haven't heard of this until just now. I do agree with the premise that authors should not write reviews on Amazon for their own work, but I don't see it as a big enough deal to require any effort to combat it on Amazon. It seems like an unnecessary policy.

-Travis

Matera the Mad
04-11-2009, 04:59 AM
Wouldn't do much good, since it would only affect the honest ones.

citymouse
04-11-2009, 05:02 AM
TTC, I agree. However, I see no reason why an author can't review a book and sign off as: Name, author of Title.
It seems amz is picking an unnecessary fight unless someone got a bad review from another author and complained that the review cost sales. If substantiated, that would get amz's attention real fast!
C

rugcat
04-11-2009, 05:37 AM
TTC, I agree. However, I see no reason why an author can't review a book and sign off as: Name, author of Title. I don't either, unless there's promotion in the body of the review, such as, "the ideas in this book are simplistic -- if you want to see how this theme should be handled, try my book, Death Stalks The Walrus.

citymouse
04-11-2009, 05:44 AM
As I understand it, it is the signature that amz is targeting. No mention of the review's content has, as yet, been cited as a trip point.
C

maestrowork
04-11-2009, 07:43 AM
That seems babysitting. Certainly people can make judgment on their own when they see an author trying to promote their own works in reviews.

Ray, author of the Pacific Between

Clair Dickson
04-11-2009, 08:00 AM
I thought I heard some speculation somewhere that it may have something to do with authors circling the wagons and posting only good reviews for other authors they know. A fear of nepotism thing, perhaps? Sorry, I don't remember if this was real concern or a fake one.

I can see some groups of self-pubbed authors might do this sort of thing, or perhaps posting worthless reviews of books they've never read to increase visibility. In the latter case, I would really think that it should come down to content, not whether or not you have your book in your sig.

Either way, I don't see that these author sig lines should be something that Amazon should be worried about.

blacbird
04-11-2009, 08:53 AM
Anybody who regards Amazon reviews as a good guide to books is already stupid enough to be beyond needing such protection.

caw

SPMiller
04-11-2009, 09:13 AM
Well, it is self-promotion, but I'm having a hard time seeing why it's necessarily a bad thing.

Also, I've seen very few pro writers doing this, if any. Doesn't seem to have been a problem. But then, Amazon has always overdone its policies.

Keyan
04-11-2009, 09:26 AM
Anybody who regards Amazon reviews as a good guide to books is already stupid enough to be beyond needing such protection.

caw

Actually, I find that if I read a bunch of reviews, I get a pretty good feel for the book. They highlight the good and the bad. I always read them before buying, unless the book is so new that it has very few reviews.

SPMiller
04-11-2009, 12:06 PM
I assumed what Amazon meant was "Customer Reviews". However, after looking over the site, I'm not so sure. If you consult the "Editorial Reviews" sections for most books, you'll find that many blurbs have attributions with the following form: "--X, author of Y". Could these be what they intend to remove?

Somehow, I doubt it. Some linkage on this rumor would be nice.

spike
04-11-2009, 02:04 PM
I've seen reviews (of course I can't find them now) that were one line, then the sig with reviewers book.

Maybe Amazon doesn't want its reviews to become a self promotion party?

I agree that Amazon reviews are usually worthless.

CaoPaux
04-11-2009, 06:00 PM
I expect this is the kerfuffle in question: http://writetype.blogspot.com/2009/04/amazon-reinstates-authors-reviews-after.html

citymouse
04-12-2009, 12:09 AM
Thanks CP. Looks like amz got hold of themselves and reversed course.
C


I expect this is the kerfuffle in question: http://writetype.blogspot.com/2009/04/amazon-reinstates-authors-reviews-after.html

veinglory
04-12-2009, 12:20 AM
Yes, I have had several emails from people saying their reviews were removed if they contained reference to their books at the bottom.

jamiehall
04-12-2009, 03:12 AM
As far as I've seen, when authors write reviews of their own books on amazon.com AND identify themselves (as opposed to fake sockpuppet reviews - a different thing altogether) they aren't actually writing a review, they are replying to other reviews or reader questions about the book.

I don't see that so much anymore, since amazon.com now includes ways for authors to send messages to their readers through amazon.com in ways other than writing a "review" for their own books.

BlueLucario
04-13-2009, 08:54 PM
I agree that Amazon reviews are usually worthless.
I'm curious to know how anyone finds them worthless.

RandomNotes
04-13-2009, 09:15 PM
I find Amazon reviews very helpful, often right on the money!

As for the original point; yes I think leaving a "Author zzz - creator of book yyy" is a little tacky, but then most self promotion is tacky in one sense or another. I've done a lot of self promotion for my various computer books and usually I feel as though I am helping people, but sometimes I feel like a pimp.

Sirion
04-13-2009, 10:28 PM
I don't think the reviews are 'worthless' in large numbers. If enough people (say, more than 50% with a few dozen to a few hundred reviews) give it a 1 star, it's probably a very poor book.

1 review is probably worthless though.

brainstorm77
04-13-2009, 10:32 PM
I personally don't pay attention to reviews on amazon.

maestrowork
04-13-2009, 10:35 PM
It's very rare that I read Amazon reviews, and it's even rarer that I'd base a purchase decision on them. Once in a while, though, I like to read the reviews just to get a sense of what people are saying... just to be amused. My conclusion is that some of these reviewers don't really have a clue, actually.

brainstorm77
04-13-2009, 10:37 PM
It's just others opinions and I would prefer to just read the book in question and form my own.