I’ll make this a short post. I mean, who wants to read too much bitching from a Indie Writer? But damn, I’m pissed.

As I’ve mentioned rather obnoxiously in the past, reader reviews are critical to a book launch of any kind, traditionally published or Indie published. For indie books it’s super hard to get reviews from professional reviewers. In fact, if I were a conspiracy theory kind of guy, I’d suggest the big publishers are paying book reviewers to review their books, and specifically NOT to review indie books.

The concept of money brings me to this week’s rant. I received an email from a reader of mine who tried to review my book, A Family Garden, on Amazon recently. This reader bought my book on Amazon, so she had made a “Verified Purchase,” which is an Amazon requirement. However, when she tried to post the review she’d written, Amazon blocked her review with the following message:

She investigated the “Community Guidelines” statement, and learned she had not spent enough money on Amazon purchases to be eligible to review. That’s pretty outrageous!! I mean, come on, isn’t Bezos rich enough already? Isn’t Amazon already dominating just about every retail purchase on the planet? Yes, they fu$king are! Now you must buy not only the book, but more stuff before you can review it! What crap!!

To add salt to the wound of my poor indie-writer heart…if your book is listed on Amazon for a certain period of time without sufficient reviews, the book loses its “search power” and is presented to the Amazon user less and less often until it is figuratively pushed to the very back of the virtual bookshelf. When I called the indie publishing arm of Amazon, the phone person could not or would not define how long a “certain time period,” was nor what constituted “sufficient reviews.”

So, yes, I’m disheartened by the way Amazon is controlling indie authors and their reviews. I wonder, sure I do, just how many reviewers have been blocked from reviewing A Family Garden?  Ten, ten thousand (he-he)? Seriously, though, blocking a single reviewer because he/she did not spend enough money buying your other products when they bought the damn book is really shameful.

Have any of you reading this blog been blocked from reviewing my book? Please let me know. Then give me your login credentials and I’ll spend your account way, way up and thenyou can review my book. Okay?

Just kidding, of course, though I am looking for a new wardrobe for spring or a new barbecue for summer, or…or…or…


8 Responses to Big Money For Book Reviews!

  1. Elyce says:

    This really is outrageous.

  2. dave says:

    i bought from the US store but couldn’t review it there. luckily i have a UK amazon account and did meet the criteria so a review has been posted!

    It’s a great read (listen actually – audio books are great for commuting on wobbly buses 🙂 )

  3. Your book deserves an audience, Frank. Please let us know what you find out.
    Sending you good luck !!

  4. Graham says:

    That’s nuts!! We’ve built a system that defeats us before we can even start. Strange indeed!!

  5. Your post hit home. I, too have been banished from reviewing books even though Amazon carries both my books, Ashes and Hope. I plan to look into it a little closer and will report back to you. Here’s to reviewers of A Family Garden!!

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