Wednesday, November 2, 2016

IWSG Wednesday





The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Members post about their  doubts and fears, discuss struggles and triumphs, and offer words of encouragement to others who are struggling. 
Today's topic:
Review another four letter word.  
Well if you get creative: REVU.
Review rules at Amazon are tightening. Below are some of the new rules in place and some old ones too.

A reviewer must spend at least $50 on Amazon using a valid debit card or credit card.

No paid reviews. This includes reviews from book bloggers that are part of a paid book blog tour, even though the reviewer has not been paid.

No 'exchanging' reviews. (You review me, I'll review you.)

Reviews are not to be submitted by family members or close friends.
 
You can still provide advanced reader copies for review.

This one is in general, not specifically Amazon, and my understanding is that it's a legal requirement. If you receive  a free copy for review, the review should include that information. I.E. I have received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.   

If a legitimate review has been removed you can appeal it at: appeals@amazon.com.

Here's is the link for Amazon Community Guidelines referencing reviews. 

And here's a link to an extremely well-written article by Ann R. Allen that explains and simplifies the new rules and goes into much greater detail than I have.
She also talks about troll reviewers that leave poor reviews on competitors products to push theirs to the top.

What are your thoughts on the new rules, do you think it will help or hurt?

31 comments:

  1. Great post Sandra, I didn't get on with the UK Amazon in selling my books. I do know of many who did sell wonderfully.
    Yvonne.

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    1. Thanks, Yvonne. Where do you sell at?

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  2. Interesting. Anything which discourages trolls has to be a plus. And the concept of paid reviews bothers me.
    I guess it is a wait and see proposition, but hopefully it will be positive. And, for a change, Amazon isn't making changes which will only benefit them.

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    1. I'm sure in agreement with discouraging troll reviewers. Nasty is the word that comes to mind.

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  3. Considering how many authors use paid tour services, I think that rule will have the biggest effect. Who wants to pay for a service when you can't use any of the reviews it generates?

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  4. Having to include the line about receiving the review copy is going just a bit too far. Does Amazon really have the manpower to research all of this stuff?

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    1. Sorry if I worded that poorly, Diane. I don't think that's Amazon, but it's my understanding it's a legal requirement.

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  5. That sucks for the blog tours. But the $50 rule is a good one. Cuts out all those trolls with 40K amazon accounts.

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    1. It's going to be interesting about the blog tours isn't it?

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  6. Sounds complicated, but perhaps it will help to get rid of the baddies who try to twist everything. Hugs, Valerie

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    1. I'm all for getting rid of the baddies and the nasties. Though, I'm afraid some of the babies make go out with the dishwater.

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  7. Hi Sandra,

    Some of these new rules are odd, like the one against blog tours and receiving review copies. I do, however, like the idea of only allowing legitimate purchasers from Amazon to leave a review. Hopefully that will help to eliminate alot of the trolls out there who are leaving harmful reviews on books they've not read.

    Happy November,
    Jen

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    1. Hi Jen,
      It would be great to get rid of the trolls wouldn't it.

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  8. Amazon is getting annoying with their reviews. They are sure making it hard for authors. But whenever I get a copy of a book to review, I always make a note of that in my review.

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    1. It's getting interesting that's for sure.
      Good for you for the review note.
      Have a great one, Chrys.
      Hugs

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  9. I first thought it was all reviews (except Amazon Vine reviewers) and then I thought it was only non-book reviews and now I just don't know. I'm going to go check those links you provided.

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  10. Now I am getting a bit clearer on how some crappy books get coverage while great books don't. I'm not sure I understand it all so I can't say it will hinder or help but hopefully the latter

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  11. Honestly, I wish they'd just police reviews by readers/authors complaints. I get the harsher guidelines, but they're almost making it impossible for some people to get reviews at all.

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  12. I hear ya. It'll never happen, but I'd be perfectly happy to see reviews go by the wayside.

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  13. I don't agree with paying people to review your book, but in the end, a book will stand or fall on its own merits. Personally, I'm not influenced to buy a book because it has 5* reviews.

    Susan A Eames at
    Travel, Fiction and Photos

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    1. Agreed, with the exception of blog tours where you give out free copies. That seems a little overkill to not allow reviews there to my way of thinking.

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  14. It's important to make sure your social media sites aren't connected to your Amazon account under account settings. Otherwise, your FB friends will be considered "friends" and won't be able to review your books. I reviewed my mom's books...I wonder if they'll take those down.

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    1. Another good point, Steph. That one just doesn't make sense, does it?

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  15. Thanks for the updates! I wonder how this changes will ultimately play out, and if legitimate reviews will still be at risk of being removed. Seems as if there isn't much wiggle room for leaving reviews.

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  16. I think occasionally (Sorry, repeating myself.) the baby will be thrown out with the dishwater.

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  17. Very interesting!!! I think some points are good and others nope! I wish you guys all the best!! Don't tell them, I am a friend!!

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