We are receiving increasing numbers of complaints from authors about Amazon rejecting legitimate reviews for their books. Amazon seems to have found a way to determine if someone reviewing your book is your friend, neighbor, or even a previous co-worker.
One author in particular released a new book, and ran ads on social media. Of course, everyone on his social media accounts knew him. Some of them purchased his book, and then submitted reviews to Amazon. He reported that almost all of the reviews were rejected by Amazon.
Have you ever talked to someone about a certain topic, with your phone in your pocket, and later noticed an ad in your browser or a social media site that’s related to the item you were discussing? That has happened to me on numerous occasions. And, yes, your smartphone really is listening.
Amazon doesn’t like it when authors’ relatives submit book reviews for an author’s book because, of course, they assume it’s biased. But, it seems Amazon’s book review police have gone overboard in rejecting book reviews. We’re not sure how Amazon might know that a particular buyer is your relative, a neighbor, an old co-worker, or a friend of a friend who saw a Facebook post. Perhaps they are monitoring your social media accounts. Perhaps they know which reader reviews were submitted by someone who lives near you, or someone you previously shipped an Amazon gift to? We really have no idea. Regardless, there is a way around this.
When you submit your book’s description to your publisher, you can include reader reviews under the description itself. Your publisher then submits that description to Ingram, the largest book distributor.
Ingram’s system also allows you to post reader reviews separately in their system, which should then show up on your book’s page on Amazon, as well as other sites. To be safe, though, I recommend adding them under your book’s description. Amazon is unlikely to alter a book’s description.
You can also submit a revised description that includes reader reviews after your book has been published as well! Ingram simply sends an updated metadata feed for your book to their retail partners, including Amazon, BarnesandNoble.com, and many other sites across the globe. Contact your publisher directly if you want them to submit metadata changes to Ingram.
Your publisher might charge you a nominal fee to do this on a previously published book but, at BookLocker.com, we add book reviews for our authors for free. 🙂
As a comparison, for like services:
$895 (WritersWeekly readers get $150 off using this discount code: WritersWeeklyReader)
Infinity Publishing: $997
Balboa Press: $1,174
Lulu: $1,738 (D.I.Y. program available for less.)
Westbow Press: $2,070
Dog Ear Publishing: $2,099
Mill City Press: $2,744
Xulon Press: $2,846
Outskirts Press: $3,095
CreateSpace/Amazon KDP: N/A – No longer offers formatting/design/editing services to authors.
Llumina Press – out of business
Tate Publishing – out of business
Publish America – out of business
- BookLocker’s Publishing Packages and Prices
- Throwing Away Your Money on Review Copies?
- “Free” Review Copies and Other Headaches for New Authors By Gilbert Lawrence
- KARMA! Man Who Sold Book Reviews Is Shamed Online By Angela Hoy
- THIS MAKES ME SICK! Company Admits Buying 5-Star Book Reviews!!
- Book Reviewing Authors Furious With Amazon – But I’m Not By Angela Hoy
Got questions about Print On Demand and Self-publishing? Ask Angela Hoy.
About The Author
Angela Hoy is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, the author of 19 books, and the co-owner of BookLocker.com (one of the original POD publishers that still gets books to market in less than a month), PubPreppers.com (print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish), and Abuzz Press (the publishing co-op that charges no setup fees).
Angela has lived and traveled across the U.S. with her kids in an RV, settled in a river-side home in Bradenton, FL, and lived on a 52 ft Irwin sailboat. Angela now resides on a mountaintop in Northwest Georgia, where she plans to spend the rest of her days bird watching, gardening, hiking, and taking in all of the amazing sunrises.
WritersWeekly.com - the free marketing ezine for writers, which features new paying markets and freelance job listings every Wednesday.
BookLocker.com - According to attorney Mark Levine, author of The Fine Print, BookLocker is: "As close to perfection as you're going to find in the world of ebook and POD publishing. The ebook royalties are the highest I've ever seen, and the print royalties are better than average. BookLocker understands what new authors experience, and have put together a package that is the best in the business. You can't go wrong here. Plus, they're selective and won't publish any manuscript just because it's accompanied by a check. Also, the web site is well trafficked. If you can find a POD or epublisher with as much integrity and dedication to selling authors' books, but with lower POD publishing fees, please let me know."
Abuzz Press offers FAST and FREE book publication, but only accepts a small percentage of submissions, and only works with U.S. authors.
PubPreppers.com - "We Prep, You Publish!" Print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish. Offers formatting and design services only, and then provides simple instructions for authors on where to sign up to have the print and ebook editions printed/listed/sold. Cut out the middle man. Keep 100% of what bookstores pay for your book!
Angela's POD Secrets Revealed Series can be found HERE.
Have a POD Book with another publisher? See if BookLocker can give you a better deal. (BookLocker offers "disgruntled author discounts" to those who want to move from other POD services.)
See BookLocker's publishing packages HERE.
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Mystery solved. Zuckerberg gave Amazon access to Facebook users’ private messages.
It surprises me that so many people are unaware of how extensive the invasion of privacy by technology is and those who are aware don’t seem to care. As George Orwell predicted, “Big brother is watching.” Who is watching big brother?
Great information. Thank you for always taking care of authors. Best wishes! Tweeted!
Is there no privacy these days? Thank you, Angela, for keeping writers informed about the ins and outs of everything related to writing and publishing. I think you are writer’s Guardian Angel. Keep up your good work. Happy New Year!
Amazon is taking the time to compile lists of your family, neighbors and even distant friends? Spooky, really spooky.
If Amazon’s bots, human and digital, had a heart they’d at least approve reviews that include a mention of the relationship. What’s wrong with a mother reviewing her daughter’s book anyway? It’s far more honest that many of the blurbs that major publishers manufacture for their books.