Tag Archives: reviews

Amazon is blocking book reviews if it thinks you know the author

In a Guardian article posted this afternoon, it is revealed that Amazon’s attempt to clamp down on fake and inaccurate reviews has taken a creepy turn. An author called Lori L Otto posted on her blog some weeks ago about a fan who was blocked from posting a review of her latest book on Amazon, because, to quote the Amazon email she received:

We cannot post your Customer Review for “Olivia (Choisie Book 2)” to the Amazon website because your account activity indicates that you know the author.

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How to ask for reviews of your self-published novel on forums

Congratulations, you’ve published your novel! Well done, that’s a point many people don’t reach. Now you just need to sell it. And that’s harder than it looks. Statistics published in The Guardian reveal that half of all self-published authors earned less than $500 in 2011. When you consider that hundreds of thousands of books are self published annually (319,000 in 2012), you’ve got a lot of competition.

It is widely acknowledged that having reviews helps sell your novel. On Amazon Kindle, readers can browse by review rating – and any book that’s never been reviewed is cut right out. Reviews help wavering potential readers make up their minds whether or not to buy. Readers might even discover that your book exists by reading a review of it on a book blog they follow. So reviews are an important component of marketing your book.

So how do you get reviews?

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6 month review

So I’ve been doing this blog for six months as of today. And I’ve enjoyed it immensely. I’ve learned a lot from it, about structure and marketing myself and all sorts. So here are a few things I’ve pulled out of my experiences:

What I’ve enjoyed the most

The posts I’ve enjoyed the most are those where I’ve had the opportunity to analyse a topic and bring in my experiences and observations. If you look at my Archives page, I’ve listed three poss as “Promoted” – the three I am most happy with, that I like the best. They are Inspiration, Archaeology and the One Ring, Building Worlds Alongside Stories and What’s With all the Kings and Queens in Fantasy? Overall, the posts I’m most happy with are those that I felt driven to produce; the more generic posts like the Best Fantasy Films posts, and the posts where I was wondering what I would post next, didn’t come out so well, I think.

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Amazon’s approach to book reviews

Writerly types and those with interest in publishing (or even just reading) may have come across a tweet that was posted yesterday by author and TV producer Daisy Goodwin, reading:

‘We don’t require people to have read the product before reviewing’ amazon spokesperson #sockpuppets

This quote was published in the Guardian, in an article called Why Amazon Just Can’t Win yesterday morning and refers also, with the #sockpuppet hashtag, to the events of last September, when author R J Ellroy was found using a sockpuppet account to give other authors bad reviews and his own books good reviews. In response to this Amazon deleted thousands of reviews on books simply because they were written by other authors – widely condemned as an overreaction.

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