Where Have all the Reviews Gone? Amazon Picked Them Every One…

Written By: Jackie Weger - Jul• 07•18

WHAT IS THE PROBLEM WITH REVIEWS? REALLY.

Authors and reviewers can visit any forum and if the topic is reviews, you will see a thread of dozens upon dozens of comments, all of which will dis Amazon for removing reviews.  Mercy, if it is a Five Star review that got removed, the vitriol flow could compete with the Styx River. Before we go any further here’s where you can find the guideline that causes the most distress for authors: Anti-Manipulation Policy for Customer Reviews.

We most often get those notices that tells us Amazon has detected author or review behavior that is against their guidelines, along with a scary threat that Amazon can and will seize our royalties, remove our books and shut down our accounts if we continue to manipulate reviews or Terms of Service. That is a SOP notice.  Amazon is NEVER going to tell us the who, what, or where it discovered the offence.

This book has 585 organic reviews on .com and 104 organic reviews on .uk ranked 4.6/5.0. Julie has the suggested gentle review plea in back-of-book matter. It works. Audible edition: $7.49. eBook Free with Kindle Unlimited.

What to do if you get a notice of any sort from Amazon: Always respond to the email ASAP, blind copy yourself. Say “Thank you for alerting me. I follow Amazon guidelines to the letter. I will try to run this troubling occurrence down.” I always ask for my response to be bumped up to a second tier responder, where I can explain that I have Amazon guidelines and TOS in hand and I don’t have a clue who or what may be manipulating my reviews or whatever the problem may be.  Courtesy counts.

This book at 390 organic reviews on .com. Meme and Cover by Alexa Dare. Read FREE with Kindle Unlimited. Also available on Audible

Losing reviews often has nothing whatsoever to do with the author. If an author has an ARC team, the members of that team may also be reviewing for more than a dozen authors. If any member of an ARC team has ever received a gift from an author and Amazon discovers that, all of the reviewer’s reviews  may be removed from whatever product, books or otherwise.  A reviewer may not monetize a review blog and post those reviews on Amazon. Top 1000 Amazon and Goodreads reviewers keep their blogs ‘pure’. They don’t have affiliate accounts. Read THIS by Julie Whiteley, a TOP 1000 Amazon Reviewer.  Julie tells you straight.

The best advice I got from a colleague when starting my indie author career is: Don’t review books on Amazon. So I don’t.  I may blog about a book that touched me. I often Tweet and comment on colleague’s books. I buy their books. I rate them on Goodreads and Bookbub. Nor do I trade reviews. Another suggestion: I encourage every author to know who you’re talking to, listening to, or Friending on the Internet. Be cautious.

You can mess up your book life in a nanosecond by making a decision based on a post in a forum, only to discover weeks later the post was rumor or facts were skewed.  Remember, everybody has an agenda. Do your homework.

Indie authors have total control over back-of-book matter.  If you put a gentle plea for a review at The End of your story, you won’t need an ARC team. We’ve learned Amazon bots grab your reader once The End is on the page, sending them on to sponsored books. Alexa Dare, a member of eNovel suggests instead of writing THE END, use a swisher or text separator so you reader isn’t co-opted by Amazon before engaging your back-of book matter such as a note from the author, or an excerpt of another book. I like this text separator.  It needs to be larger than chapter separators.

Thank you for taking time to read [title]. If you enjoyed it, please consider telling your friends or posting a short review.  Word of mouth is an author’s best friend and much appreciated.  Thank you again, (author name).

NOTE: If your fan or reviewer complains that she can’t get her review posted, all is not lost. Ask to have the review emailed to you. YOU can post it in Editorial via Author Central on your book page. You can use it in Tweets and on your blog and web page. You can use it in back-of-book matter under a header: What readers are saying about [title].

@2018 I’m Jackie Weger, romance author, mother, grandmother and great grandmother. That means I’m O.L.D. Also, I’m the Founder of eNovel Authors at Work~A Resource for Indie Authors. We’re a group of like-minded writers who support one another. We got together because we all needed help to learn how to market our books. Some sell books every day of the year. Some of us sell when we promote a unit.  You can find all of our members and books HERE.  Check us out. We’re an eclectic group writing across the spectrum of genres.

P.S.  Visit our Useful Links page to find list of reviewers. 

Comments Welcome. Be nice. If you can’t be nice, be articulate.  We’d love to hear your thoughts. 

 

 

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17 Comments

  1. Mary D. Brooks says:

    As always, valuable advice. I have to wonder why Amazon doesn’t remove the “reviews” such as “I haven’t read this book yet” – why in the hell are you reviewing a book you haven’t read?!

    • Jackie Weger says:

      Mary D. Brooks. Only the Fairies have an answer to that. At the very least, we know the reader downloaded the book, so that’s a plus. A good reader survey question, though.

  2. laurieboris says:

    Thank you for sharing the info, Jackie. I’ve never gotten a notice—the reviews just get pulled. We keep rolling on, though.

    • Jackie Weger says:

      Laurie, I’ve never had a review notice either, but I have on other topics, like prove I own my rights, etc. I wouldn’t have a clue if any of my reviews were pulled unless they all disappeared in a glitch. I haven’t done a scientific study, but I have been taking notes and most of the authors getting notices have ARC teams. In a separate issue, some of the authors are under contract by on-line publishers, which tells me they have a learning curve when it comes to Amazon’s guidelines and ehow to market their books.

  3. Brilliant advice as ever Jackie, the ‘The End’ thing is a new one on me, thanks so much.

  4. Julie Frayn says:

    I have lost a few reviews, one or two, here and there, from every title. I have no idea why, and luckily I’ve not received one of those emails… And BTW – thanks for the Mazie shout out! 🙂 <3
    Julie Frayn
    Author of Mazie Baby

  5. Alexa Dare says:

    Thanks for sharing, Jackie! Much appreciated!

  6. flaxroots says:

    Thank you, Jackie – good sound advice as always.

  7. Thanks for the sensible advice.

  8. Linda Lee says:

    Another great post, Jackie, which I’m all too happy to share. Thanks!

  9. Many thanks for the great post, tips, and links. I’m also saving the text separator!

  10. Traci Hall says:

    I love the way you look at things Jackie–thank you for sharing your expertise

  11. Didn’t know about “The End” and the bot snatchers. Good Info. Thanks.

  12. Does your brain just run differently? It never occurred to me to use a review that got pulled in the Author Editorial section. (Maybe b/c I’ve never–to my knowledge–had a review pulled. Going forward (vs going backward), I intend to use the swisher! Thanks to A. Dare for the idea and to you for letting us know.

  13. Great advice re putting a great review thru your author page. Ive done that but for a terrific one that is not “allowed” its perfect!

  14. Great advice, Jackie, thank you. Love the tip about using reviews that can’t be posted. I use review excerpts in some of the places you mentioned and also on my Facebook posts 🙂

  15. Robyn M Ryan says:

    Jackie, good insight on a controversial topic these days. If a review disappears for an unknown reason, it may be posted on Goodreads…and increasingly on BookBub or Books + Main. I try to copy each review in my files for editorial quotes or promos—especially in case a review disappears.

    The idea of the swisher is brilliant at the end of the book! As is the low-key request for a reader to leave a review. It does generate organic reviews.

    Thank you for sharing your wisdom.

    ~ Robyn

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