Here’s the basic situation: a few jerky authors were glowingly reviewing their own works as well as reviewing other authors negatively. In reaction, Amazon is removing reviews by all authors, which sucks because most writers aren’t, well, cheaters, and they’re also often prolific readers and reviewers. People are seeing dozens of their reviews being taken down because they happen to have their own books for sale. They haven’t done anything wrong, but they’re still being punished.
This is causing more than a little upset among the writing community. Most of us like supporting other writers and reviews are one of the ways we do so. We can still post our own reviews on our blogs and GoodReads, but come on. Amazon is one of the biggest sellers period. Casual readers are a lot more likely to read an Amazon review before clicking that “Add to Cart” button than they are to check out a completely different site.
In short, lame. One star review a book you haven’t read and attack the writer? That’s okay. Review one of your fellow authors? Nope! And they’re probably not going to change that. Actually checking to make sure a review is fair and accurate would take time and manpower, whereas it’s easy to set up a computer system that eliminates a review where the writer’s Amazon account also lists them as an author.
Unfortunately, I’m guessing that this is going to be just another thing we have to get used to. The alternative is not using Amazon for either buying or selling, and I have to doubt that any readers or writers would follow through with that. It would be even worse for them than not being allowed to review. So I will accept it. And if I ever see any of those writers who can’t act like adults when it comes to book reviews, I’m punching them in the throat.