November 12, 2012

Amazon deleting reviews

The indie author community is up in arms over Amazon's recent removal of book reviews without any apparent rhyme or reason. There's a thread on the Kindle Boards about it, some articles about the practice, Joe Konrath weighed in on the topic., and there's a good post by author Renee Pawlish about the issue.

I recently lost reviews for my books from Amazon. Since I didn't have many reviews to start with, it hurt. And the reviews that were deleted were all 5-star reviews. Double ouch!

I sent Amazon an email asking why they deleted the reviews for my books, and I received the same standard response that a lot of authors got.


I'm really sorry for the inconvenience caused. I can tell you that reviews are removed from the website for three reasons:

1. The review conflicted with the posted guidelines, found here: 
2. The review was removed at the request of the customer who submitted the review
3. We discovered that multiple items were linked together on our website incorrectly. Reviews that were posted on those pages were removed when the items were separated on the site

I sent a followup message asking for more explanation but haven't heard back.

Whatever the reasons were that prompted Amazon to scrutinize the reviews posted on their site, I hope they now examine the alleged cure. They're cutting off their noses to spite their faces, upsetting authors who contribute to their book sales and also customers who find their legitimate reviews suddenly gone without explanation. I don't expect that Amazon will ever restore the reviews I've lost, but I can hope that they don't delete the few reviews I still have or the future ones I'll get. If so, it may be time to move my books to another platform.

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