Friday, 14 March 2014

What happened to Mrs. B's review?

This morning I was delighted to find another 5 star review for Master on Amazon UK from a reader named Mrs. B who entitled her review "wonderful read, best book I've read in a while". An hour later the review disappeared and I am back to 6 five star reviews. I have contacted Amazon but have not received a reply yet as to why this review was taken away.
I am a little confused. As I write this, Master is ranking #30 in kindle erotica on Amazon UK. To date, 1200 copies have been bought in the UK and still I only have 6 reviews! The maths doesn't add up. I've received a lot of emails for this book and have always replied thanking them for taking time to write to me and I often ask very nicely if I could encourage them to leave a review. I've had a couple of replies to say that Amazon won't post their review. Why is this?
These are genuine readers from the UK. I'm in New Zealand and I don't know these people. I am not violating any policy.
If I hadn't seen that review in the short time it was up, I would have never known it was there. Am I wrong to wonder if the same thing has happened to other reviews? I would really appreciate anyone leaving a comment here if you have bought my book, reviewed it and not seen your review posted.
I only ever ask for genuine reviews. Anyway, whoever you are Mrs. B, thank you for taking time to review Master. I loved your kind words and yes, I am working on a follow up.
For now, here is the link on Amazon UK: Master

Friday, 7 March 2014

Amazon, what are you trying to tell us?

Recently author Lynn Shepherd wrote an 'open letter' to J.K. Rowling which predictably proved very unpopular and as a result brought the wrath of J.K. fans and others down upon her. She has since apologized and the media attention has died down, but the attacks haven't.
Authors should be supporting one another, knowing the struggle we go through to get our books out there and to have them recognized, and we should be celebrating the authors that achieve success. But, we are still human and make mistakes.
Which one of us hasn't said something in our lifetimes and wished we could go back in time to erase it? It's when my dear Mum's voice still echoes in my head: "If you can't say something nice, then don't say anything"  but we've all done it and sometimes paid the price for our ill-timed remarks. But how big should that price be?
As an author, I don't believe it should be paid on a site that professes to have strict guidelines about reviews. One only need visit Ms Shepherd's Amazon books to see how much she is paying. People have been able to leave comments, not genuine reviews, on her books. How is this possible and with so many without the 'verified purchase' that tells us that these people have at least bought the book. Emails that have said that these comments violate Amazon's policies are being ignored. Why is this? Shouldn't the books at least be purchased before a comment is made?
Amazon is quick to remove a good review from a book because it violates policy. Shouldn't this also apply to these comments? Whether you agree with the comments or not, the issue should be that these comments are in violation of a policy that every author who sells books on their site is subject to. And believe me, if it can happen to one author, it could happen to anyone.
Anne Rice has made her feelings very clear on the matter and supports the petition to stop this. In my last post I wasn't certain about this petition, but clearly there needs to be something done. I was foolish enough to believe that Amazon would remove these comments but sadly that has not been the case.
There are enough forums to vent on. By leaving these comments on there, what is the message that Amazon is sending out? I don't know, but I would love to hear other authors opinions on this or anyone that would help me understand this.