I find this very disturbing. I upload books to Amazon, or my publishers upload books to Amazon, and while I don’t ignore the books, I don’t solicit reviews. I don’t have sock puppet accounts. I don’t post reviews under an alias nor do I ask friends and strangers to review my books. If another author happens to review one of my books it’s because he or she bought it, read it, and chose to post a review – definitely not at my behest. Besides, I’m pretty sure the review Amazon removed was not written by an author.
Come Back to Me is one of my older works and the review removed was old. I sent out very few copies for review. Because the story is so dark, brooding, and difficult I think I sent, at most, three copies to reviewers. I’m not sure how many copies my publisher sent out for review. I only know of a single identifiable reviewer who posted a review on Amazon. And her review was not the review removed.
The really irritating part is this: Come Back to Me had five Five-Star reviews, none of which I had anything to do with. It has Five-Star reviews because it’s a damn good book. Apparently the few readers who chose to review the book appreciated that. Now it has four Five-Star reviews.
Seriously folks, what did Amazon think? Oh heck, Mr. Bezos, did you notice this book has only five-star reviews? At least one of ‘em has got to be a sock puppet review, so let’s pull one. Which one should we pull? Oh, I don’t know, just pull any of ‘em. Who cares?
I won’t confront Amazon about this issue because other authors have said when they’ve questioned Amazon about the removal of reviews, they’ve been threatened – told their book would be pulled from Amazon altogether.
So yeah, I’m all for getting rid of sock puppet reviews – see my earlier post – but I am not in favor of removing legitimate reviews.
Let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater.