View Full Version : Amazon Review Policy

01-11-2019, 04:09 AM
Forgive me, but I have no idea where to pose this question. Mods can move it so needed.

I must have had my head buried in the sand, along with a lingering illness, to discover that Amazon review policy has changed, or I sure the heck didn't pick up on the new policy; which states that to review a book a person must have spent $50.00 in the last 12 months in order to post a book review. Apparently a reader/purchaser doesn't have to buy the book, since they can get a free review copy. But then it goes on to say that you must have a legit debit or credit card and create an account. I swear, since my last release, some three years ago, I cannot remember any such policy.

Can anyone tell me when this account and minimum purchase requirement came into being. Was this sometime in 2016? Has anyone had any trouble getting reviews of their newly released titles? This might be old news, but this sounds like a horrible lock-in to me. I have the credit cards and all that, but apparently, my readers must be at poverty level and can't afford an Amazon purchase. I'm wondering if this somehow cuts down on the riff-raff fake reviews that Amazon has waged a war against.

Any help with this answer would be appreciated.

01-11-2019, 05:02 AM
I think it came in some time last year. And as with any Amazon rule, it is what is. Nothing we can do about it.

01-11-2019, 05:22 AM
Yet another reason to keep my reviews on my own site/blog... (Yeah, nobody knows they're there, but at least I don't have to jump through hoops and buy my way to reviewing rights.)

01-11-2019, 09:02 AM
This happened last year because of all the review shenanigans. And yes, it's harder getting reviews now.

01-11-2019, 01:03 PM
I have a separate account under my author name to post reviews of ARCs, which I don't want linked to my normal account. I can no longer use it. The simple solution would be to make my purchases on that account until I reach the 40 threshold, but I'm trying not to use Amazon (whole other thread). I can't see how this new policy wouldn't affect the number of reviews.

My December release has 16 reviews on Goodreads and 6 on Amazon. It's my first, so I don't know if that kind of ratio was usual before the policy change.

01-11-2019, 08:36 PM
Thank you for those helpful answers. My gawd, I thought I was losing my mind. Just wasn't paying attention, I guess. I read the new policy clauses and it's just loaded with all kinds of restrictions--no doubt the result of people trying to game the system and waves of complaints. They even mention family, relatives and friends being eliminated or investigated from reviewing the author's books. I mean, REALLY? How many authors have friends who buy their books? What about out-of-state relatives? Those are crazy restrictions. What kind of algorithms or patterns would tip them off to whose reader is a friend or not of the author?

Over a period of years my reviews have landed between three and 15. Nothing spectacular, but at least a show.

But, veinglory is right, there isn't anything we can do about this. We inherit just anything Amazon has a mind of changing.

01-11-2019, 09:18 PM
I've heard they're cracking down on accounts with too many ARC reviews as well, which is why I no longer review on Amazon unless I've purchased the book there or gotten it through KU. Unfortunately this means anything I read through the library no longer gets a Zon review. I do post a review of everything I read to GR and Twitter. My book I just self-pubbed has more reviews on GR. I would assume it's a similar issue for many.

01-11-2019, 10:01 PM
They even mention family, relatives and friends being eliminated or investigated from reviewing the author's books. I mean, REALLY? How many authors have friends who buy their books?

That's where the majority of most self-publishers' sales will come from. I know I learned to spot friend & family reviews when I was a Kindle newbie and hadn't learned what the deal was with all those 99p eBooks with ten 5* reviews and ten comma splices per page. :D

01-13-2019, 04:15 PM
Yep, it's a huge pain. A lot of the book bloggers who get ARCs for YA tours used to cross-post their reviews straight to Amazon, but as most of them are teens without credit cards, now they can't.