Gaming the Amazon Review System

As a writer and a reader, I find authors who "game" the Amazon review system to be terribly dishonest.

Everyone Is Not Going to Like Your Story

There's a discussion over on the Dear Author blog about yet another romance epublisher having problems (Highland Press). At the end of that particular post, Jane says:
As a reader, I am far more disturbed about the last item which appears that MacGillivray is using her position to game the Amazon review system. I’m sure that there are dozens of authors who would like negative reviews to be removed. Other fans and authors find this practice disturbing as well.

When you or I write a book, it's expected that not everyone is going to fall in love with it (at least, not as much as the writer has). This follows through from agent to publisher. It's just something an author has to live with: Some people are going to love your book, some are going to be lukewarm about it, others are going to hate it.

To do this writing thing, you have to have a thick skin, or you'll end up in therapy for quite some time.

Bad Reviews Removed

So a romance author/illustrator has her groupies (or whatever you wish to call them) go around on Amazon "reporting abuse" on all the negative reviews on her books.

Shame on her.

Look, I understand wanting to get paid. I understand you have bills to pay, mortgages and whatnot. Believe me, I've got oodles of friggin' credit card debt.

But negative reviews = not getting paid? Didja ever consider that maybe your published book might - just might - be a craptacular book to a certain portion of the reading public?

I'm sorry, but having minions abuse the system is just low.

Live with the bad reviews. LIVE WITH THE DAMNED BAD REVIEWS!

Bestselling authors have to deal with it, so why can't you?

In Summary
  • Gain a thick skin.
  • Write another book.
  • Stop having other people - and stop yourself! - from removing bad reviews.
  • Write another book
'nough said? Thanks to Jane at Dear Author for the interesting post.

~Nancy Beck


Serena Joy said...

I've heard of that practice and I, too, find it repugnant. Apparently, they don't understand that reviews are written for the benefit of readers, not authors.

Ing said...

Cheaters are everywhere, I guess.

Reminds me of an Amazon abuse that happened to somebody I know--only this one involved a cheater and some cronies posting bad reviews (some of them apparently just personal attacks, not even actual reviews) systematically on his books, while giving their crony's poorly written POD offering equally bogus good reviews. Luckily my acquaintance knew which of Amazon's buttons to push, and that little cabal got slapped down hard. Plus he runs a very good blog that reaches a lot of writers, and they got exposed there, too. Still, it must have been a huge annoyance to deal with.

I wonder what Amazon would do if people started complaining about this particular cheater's tactics? Or maybe it's already being done.