Recently, there has been renewed outrage at Amazon. I know. I know. When isn’t there outrage from some quarters about anything Amazon does? In this case, it has been centering around Amazon’s review policy. Needless to say, authors and readers have been lighting torches and marching down the narrow, winding road toward the Castle of Bezos.
This latest round of outrage actually started this summer with articles like this one from Gizmodo. The article is based on a blog post by a third party complaining that a review they had written had been rejected by Amazon because Amazon thought the reviewer “knew” the author. Oh the outrage that followed, the worry that Amazon was reaching into our social media and more to find out who we might or might not know. Worse, it meant — gasp — family and friends would no longer be able to review books by their loved ones.
At that time, both Cedar and I wrote on the issue. I can’t speak for Cedar but I have yet to have a review rejected because I know the author — and because I review very infrequently, those reviews are usually for folks I know. I have yet to be contacted by friends, either face-to-face friends or social media friends, to say they have had reviews rejected under this policy.
This past week, the controversy has been renewed. The hue and cry has been strong on Facebook as outrage built. Then Chris Meadows from Teleread took matters into his own hands and went directly to the source. He emailed Amazon and asked the very simple question, the question at the heart of the controversy: Will Amazon remove or refuse to post reviews from it “thought could be potentially biased”?
The response Chris received was simple, direct and to the point.
“Following an Author does not indicate a ‘close personal relationship’ and does not violate our review guidelines.”
So, following an author on social media will not automatically mean you can’t post a review of that author’s work. As long as you follow the guidelines Amazon has for reviews, don’t worry. Don’t decide not to review something simply because you have heard Amazon is doing something “evil”. As authors, don’t panic over something YOU READ IN SOCIAL MEDIA. If you receive notice that a review has been rejected, ask why. Be persistent because you will initially get canned results. If you continue to be unsatisfied, well, it isn’t difficult at all to find Jeff Bezos’ email address.
In other words, quit jumping on the wagon with the rest of those who react before finding out all the facts. And read the review policy because, dollars to doughnuts, if a review is rejected, it is probably not because you follow an author on social media but for some other reason.
Now for the pimpage.
Nocturnal Challenge (Nocturnal Lives Book 4) has gone live. That means those of you who pre-ordered it — and thank you so much for doing so — should have it on your devices this morning. If not, it should be delivered shortly. The funny thing is, it wasn’t supposed to go live until today and I started receiving notices that people had downloaded it last night. I’m not complaining, mind you. But I was all set to do by gleeful “It’s live!” combined with the terrified “OMG, it’s live!” this morning. So I wasn’t ready for all that last night. 😉
Any way, Challenge is the fourth book and fifth title in the Nocturnal Lives series. It is also, in all likelihood, the next to the last book in this story arc. I love these characters. So I doubt this book and the next will be the last time we see them. But the events the series has been leading up to have come to a head and the next book is when everything gets resolved — one way or the other.
But, for now, Challenge is out in the world as an ebook and the print version will follow next month. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be in the corner, biting my nails and waiting, praying that everyone loves my book baby.