Just a few months ago, I told you about an author who was caught writing fake reviews on Amazon. His posts were taken down after it turned out that his reviews of other authors’ books were negative, while reviews of his own books were positive. As it turns out, he’s not the only one whose posts are being removed from Amazon.
According to L.A. Times, Amazon is now taking down any reviews writers post for other authors’ books. This was the explanation from Amazon sent to one writer via email:
We have removed your review from Karma Backlash. We do not allow reviews on behalf of a person or company with a financial interest in the product or a directly competing product. This includes authors, artists, publishers, manufacturers, or third-party merchants selling the product. As a result, we’ve removed your reviews for this title.
While some believe that removing the posts won’t harm the authors — after all, there are plenty of other people who continue to post reviews — many authors believe it’s unfair. After all, many of them don’t gain any kind of financial benefit to posting reviews for their friends or colleagues. Not to mention, many of these authors receive advance copies of their colleagues’ books to review. Since their reviews are posted before a book is even released to the public, their reviews can be particularly helpful to the average reader.
Personally, I think it’s ridiculous that authors wouldn’t be allowed to post reviews of other authors’ books. I understand that giving others public acknowledgment and publicity could lead to more success for them, but it still doesn’t seem fair not to be able to share an opinion, whether you write for a living or not.