This affects every author and publisher

Amazon has two policies that impact on readers’ ability to post reviews. And reviews sell books.

First, the various national Amazon sites are fractured. Posting a review on your home Amazon will not make it visible on any other. So, if you’re an American, your voice will not influence British or Indian or Japanese potential buyers. Incidentally, India is a huge market for English-language writing.

If you attempt to purchase anything from Amazon on a site other than your national site, you’ll be redirected. Being Australian, I am told to buy from amazon.com.au.

In any case, it would be more expensive, and take longer for delivery, to buy from anywhere else.

So, if I want to have my review be of service to, say, American potential readers, I need to post it on amazon.com.

But… second, Amazon has a relatively new policy. You can only post a review on any of their sites if you have spent $50 within the past 12 months, ON THAT SITE.

So, wherever you live, you can only post a review on your country’s Amazon.

This disadvantages the writer and publisher of that book, it disadvantages people considering buying a book — and it disadvantages Amazon, because reviews sell books.

This policy is based on greed: trying to force people to buy on Amazon. It is stupid, with the implications not worked out.

My reaction is that if I can possibly buy anything elsewhere I will NOT BUY IT AT AMAZON. I don’t like being pushed. I hope your reaction will be the same.

But also, everyone in the book trade, from the huge publishers to occasional readers, should protest to Amazon, by any means available, and get them to change their method of operation.

They should remove this money-spending requirement, which is actually hurtful to them.

And they should have a review posted on any Amazon site automatically appear on all other pages for that product, everywhere.

Please support me in this, because it affects us all.
Bob Rich

PS
Amazon make complaints as difficult as they can. You need to click on “Help” at the bottom of a page.

Work your way to “Contact Amazon.”
This is the link I tracked down.

Use “Click here if your issue is not related to an order.”

Choose “2. tell us more about your issue.”

Ignore the offered options, and click “More non-order questions.”

Each time I do this, the exact details are different, but I keep choosing “more non-order questions.”

Then at last, choose “email or chat.”

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About Dr Bob Rich

I am a professional grandfather. My main motivation is to transform society to create a sustainable world in which my grandchildren and their grandchildren in perpetuity can have a life, and a life worth living. This means reversing environmental idiocy that's now threatening us with extinction, and replacing culture of greed and conflict with one of compassion and cooperation.
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15 Responses to This affects every author and publisher

  1. Many ARC services require reviews on the ‘Zon….Book Reviews 4 You doesn’t…we accept them from any blogger or reviewer as long as they are posted anywhere – blog, Goodreads, ‘Zon, iTunes, B&N, etc.

    On a side note, ‘Zon is the devil and banned me personally (and wiped 4 years of reviews) from my personal Amazon account…after that I said ‘bite me’ and moved on to there platforms.

    Like

    • Dr Bob Rich says:

      Thank you for the honour of visiting, and leaving a comment. I don’t just accept whatever a giant does, but do my best to bite it in the big toe. So, I am asking people to pester Amazon to improve its policy.
      I approve of keeping fake reviews out, but give the sophistication of IA, it should be easy to combine multiple filters without requiring people to spend money in every country where they want to post.

      Like

  2. Ant Richards says:

    Greetings Bob,
    I just read your post about this absurd Amazon review policy and as a writer, and reviewer, I couldn’t agree more with your observations. It’s pure and abject greed, not to mention a short-sighted view – unless of course, there is a more sinister and hidden agenda behind it. I simply cannot see the logic behind this new policy.
    I hope common sense orevails eventually. I won’t say business sense, as unfortunately, Amazon will find ways of compensating the potential loss in book sales elsewhere.

    Like

    • Dr Bob Rich says:

      Thank you for visiting, Ant.
      Their problem is to filter out fake reviews. A number of publishers use “bots” and employees who write boilerplate 5 star reviews in order to raise a book’s visibility.
      I am all for doing something about that. This current policy is their latest attempt, but they haven’t thought it through.
      Please complain, and spread the word. I believe that if enough people make a fuss, they’ll change the policy.
      🙂
      Bob

      Like

  3. Peace Paul says:

    Aloha Bob,
    Amazon can be a beast. There are other online book sellers such as Kobo, iBooks, Nook, etc and I suggest you look into them. My wife, an Indie Author, distributes her books on multiple platforms with good success. More platforms means more work. It also takes time, years, to build up readership on multiple platforms. However, going wide creates a buffer against the vagaries of the Amazon monolith.

    Like

    • Dr Bob Rich says:

      Thank you, Paul.
      You are right. Only my Guardian Angel is restricted to Amazon, and I intend to terminate the KDP agreement.
      My concern, though, is as a reviewer. I want to be able to post reviews wherever my opinion will be of benefit, and Amazon has made this impossible. Also, why should a British reader be unable to review my book on the American site, etc.?

      Like

  4. Karen says:

    Bob,
    I whole-heartedly agree. It is difficult enough to find reviewers; now their reviews are ‘banned’ from Amazon, unless they buy stuff. As a writer I consider this a catastrophe, as a reviewer I pity the writers. I used to publish my reviews on my blog, Goodreads, Amazon.co.uk, and Amazon.com – reaching lots of potential buyers with my reviews.
    Let us hope that a certain fractured company come to their senses.

    Like

  5. Margaret Goodman says:

    Bob,

    I totally agree with you about Amazon’s short sighted greed. When possible, I purchase my books directly from the author or from an independent bookseller. Which reminds me. How do I, in the United States, buy from you your books about Maraglindi and your mother?

    Surviving in Trumpistan,
    Margaret Goodman

    Like

    • Dr Bob Rich says:

      Margaret my dear,
      Guardian Angel only exists in electronic form. It is published under KDP, so I am not allowed to sell it privately. I am considering terminating that arrangement.
      Aniko is either an e-book or paperback. Shipping costs would make the paperback from Australia expensive. E-book version is available at B&N, or I can email you a copy.
      I’ll email you privately.

      Like

  6. pendantry says:

    I’ve boycotted Amazon for the last three years, mainly in protest against the way they treat their employees. For the little good it does…

    Like

  7. Dr Bob Rich says:

    Thank you, Florence. Exactly my reaction. It is short term greed, not thought through.
    🙂
    Bob

    Like

  8. Florence Weinberg says:

    Bob, I’ve spent the last half hour trying to get WordPress to recognize and admit me. I have a username and password which it will not accept, nor will it accept any of the substitutes I’ve devised. I’m tired of trying. So here is my comment on your post, and you may, of course, post it in my name! This new idiocy of Amazon makes me furious!!! Here’s my comment:

    I am baffled by Amazon’s new policy. Surely, a world-wide monopoly would want to sell its goods throughout the world simply because of the increased market that implies. Their new restriction means that English speakers in different countries are isolated from each other. As an author of reviews, I want my review of any work to be read everywhere, be it in Siberia or the Seychelles. Amazon is hurting its own bottom line, not to mention the authors whose books it markets. I will protest this harmful and ill-thought-out new policy immediately..

    On Sat, Apr 28, 2018 at 8:47 PM, Bobbing Around wrote:

    > Dr Bob Rich posted: “Amazon has two policies that impact on readers’ > ability to post reviews. And reviews sell books. First, the various > national Amazon sites are fractured. Posting a review on your home Amazon > will not make it visible on any other. So, if you’re an American” >

    Liked by 1 person

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