What’s Going On With Amazon Reviews?

Getting one reblog in, before I’m likely to lose power. Might have to shut down ahead of the storm. This is a very good post on a tricky issue, and I plan to use the phrasing Nicholas suggests in the future. It makes sense to me.

Nicholas C. Rossis

Amazon | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books Image: dailyfinance.com

Yesterday, I received a deluge of emails from worried friends. The reason? This update on Amazon reviews, posted on Amazon’s blog by Chee Chew, VP of Customer Experience. It announced how so-called ‘incentivized reviews‘ – i.e. reviews in exchange for free stuff – are now prohibited:

“Our community guidelines have always prohibited compensation for reviews, with an exception – reviewers could post a review in exchange for a free or discounted product as long as they disclosed that fact. These so-called ‘incentivized reviews’ make up only a tiny fraction of the tens of millions of reviews on Amazon, and when done carefully, they can be helpful to customers by providing a foundation of reviews for new or less well-known products.

Today, we updated the community guidelines to prohibit incentivized reviews unless they are facilitated through the Amazon Vine program.

Mercifully, it turns out that…

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7 thoughts on “What’s Going On With Amazon Reviews?

  1. I always add, “I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.” Nicholas is right: It pays to be safe on Amazon. Thanks for sharing, Marcia.

    Liked by 1 person

    • But it’s the “in exchange” part he recommends leaving off, so it doesn’t sound like the review was how they “paid” for the book. He’s saying it should indicate the gift of the book didn’t hinge on them giving a review. I like his suggestion of “I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader’s Copy of this book” It sounds less like a tit for tat thing.

      We do have to be very careful with Amazon, and I’m definitely going to ask the very few folks I give a free copy to, to use that wording, IF they decide to review the book.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes! Now we have to change what used to be “acceptable phrasing” for Amazon. Nicholas’ exact suggestions for wording are:

        “I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader’s Copy of this book.”
        “I was provided a pre-publication copy of this book by the publisher for review purposes.”

        I wonder if it will change again? Should I amend past reviews I gave books?


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