October 4 2016 Editor Assistance Newsletter
Many online writers participate in Amazon reviews so this is important news for all to consider.
A warning for all authors participating in review swaps: Amazon is banning that process as well as any other free-for-review pushes.
Amazon has gotten fed up with reviewers writing glowing 5-star reviews for books they get for free. Statistics find that people who actively seek out freebies (and author review swaps) tend to rate items FAR higher than the average person does. This happens even when the reviewer feels they're rating fairly The high-ranking happens for all sorts of subconscious psychological reasons including "wanting to get more stuff" and "wanting to get a nice review in return" - so Amazon is banning those types of reviews now.
Here's the new Amazon terms -
Note that the terms say:
"Book authors and publishers may continue to provide free or discounted copies of their books to readers, as long as the author or publisher does not require a review in exchange or attempt to influence the review."
This is specific. You cannot require a review, so no review swaps. No systems of "I give you a book as long as you post a review." They want only 100% authentic fan-buys-book-and-decides-on-their-own-to-post-review because those provide the most valid accurate reviews.
Also note the requirement: there is no "posting content regarding your (or your relative's, close friend's, business associate's, or employer's) products or services." - you cannot post reviews about friends' or familys' or coworkers' products. They find statistically that those reviews simply aren't as accurate as other reviews and they don't want their system biased.
Let me know if you have any questions!
Lisa Shea, owner
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