“Why won’t Amazon let my relatives post (fake!) reviews about my new book?”

“Why won’t Amazon let my relatives post (fake!) reviews about my new book?”

Q. –

Angela,

My book was just published and I asked my family members and a few friends to post reviews on Amazon for it. But, Amazon is rejecting their reviews! Why?!

– S.P.


A. –

Amazon came under fire a few years ago for allowing anyone and everyone to post reviews about books and other products when those individuals had not purchased those products from Amazon.

Amazon later revised their practices to ensure that people posting reviews were real people. You don’t have to buy that particular product from Amazon, nor even prove you purchased it elsewhere. But, in order to post a review on Amazon, you must be a registered Amazon customer with actual purchases in your account.

I agree with Amazon’s policy because there were so many complaints about false reviews, both positive and negative. And, there were stories in the news about companies and authors paying for false reviews. Authors of some books were posting false negative reviews about competing books while others were getting (and even paying) people to post false positive reviews on their own book pages. All of that ultimately hurts the consumer.

In on incident, an ex-neighbor of one of our authors (who had an ongoing feud with the him) posted numerous false negative reviews on the author’s book page on Amazon. Worse, none of the comments he made were about the book itself. They were personal insults aimed at the author and his family. The author complained to Amazon and they didn’t take the reviews down. I have heard many other stories from authors about reviews that were written in a way that made it clear the person never read the book at all.

In the future, ask potential reviewers if they have an Amazon.com account before providing them with a free copy of your book. Ask them to read the book, and give an honest review. Don’t ask people who haven’t even read your book to post false reviews on Amazon. That is fraud.

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