Amazon, you hit like a bitch.

It’s taken me a bit of time to write this post, but I figured it’s about time to share the utter nonsense that’s happened between me and Amazon, and how a company that I once highly respected, has now become one that I have zero respect for.

I’ve thought about writing this post for weeks, what I would say and how I would capture everything that’s happened, and I’ll be honest with the fact that this post has taken on many forms, but finally I decided that it would just be easiest to state the facts.

So here it goes…

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This is the first email I got from Amazon.

As some of you know, on February 24th I was sent an email from Amazon letting me know that I could no longer post reviews on their website, and that all of my previous reviews had been suppressed or removed. In case you’re wondering, that was well over 300 reviews that I had written in my over 2 years of book blogging.

All gone in an instant because Amazon decided that I was “manipulating product reviews.”

I don’t even know what that means for Amazon. I have no idea why my reviews were deemed manipulating or misleading, and when I asked for clarification on this, you know what I got? I got an email from them saying they weren’t going to give me any information or “evidence” as to why this all happened.

But I’m getting ahead of myself here, so let me backtrack a bit.

About 2 minutes after I opened my email and found out I was no longer able to review on Amazon, I called customer service because I wanted an answer. Really, I wanted someone to tell me what the hell was going on, why they were doing this, and what they even meant by “manipulating product reviews” since I was sure that I had never done that.

I was so frustrated, so upset, and I will admit that I was near tears because of all of this.

That customer service representative I talked to had no idea what to do with me and my issue, and as it was also 7 o’clock in the morning, she couldn’t talk to anyone who worked in the online communities department because they weren’t there yet. She told me she would forward what was going on to them, and that they would call me back within 24 hours.

Well funnily enough, 24 hours came and went, and I got no phone call. Can’t say I’m shocked about that one.

So that’s when round 2 of calling customer service came, and over 48 hours after I first called Amazon about this, I tried again. That customer service representative also had no idea what to do with me, but after about 10 minutes on hold, they informed me that they had submitted a form to the online communities department about my inquiry as to why I was banned and why my reviews were removed. This representative informed me that I should get a reply within 2 days.

And he wasn’t lying. I got a response alright, and that response is by far one of the worst displays of customer service I’ve ever seen. (And this is coming from a girl who worked in retail for many years.)

Amazon sent me a *lovely* email telling me they found my reviews to be manipulating or misleading, yet I still had no clarification on what that actually meant, and that they were not going to give me any other information about this. They also added that they were probably not going to respond back to further emails about this issue, and then added that they could only respond via email to questions about reviews.

The second, even more *helpful* email I received from Amazon.

The second, even more *helpful* email I received from Amazon.

That’s when I started scratching my head a bit.

So Amazon can only respond to my questions about my reviews, why there were removed, and why this was all happening via email, but as they say “we may not reply to further emails about this issue.”

That seems a bit like an oxymoron to me, but what do I know? I’m just a school teacher who’s passionate about book blogging.

Basically what I got from that is that I can only email them about this whole thing, but they’re probably not actually going to respond to me.

Super helpful Amazon. For a multibillion dollar company, their customer service with this was horrendous in my opinion, and I really don’t think it was too much to ask for to speak to a human being on this issue.

If you’re going to remove my reviews and ban me forever, the least you can do is talk to me in person.

Right? Apparently not though, since all I got was that email.

So where did that leave me?

Well that left me angry and frustrated and with no reviews on Amazon. It also left me scrambling to try to figure out what this would mean for me as a book blogger. Luckily all my reviews were saved to my Goodreads account, so they weren’t fully gone, but that still left me pissed and unsure of what this would all mean going forward.

And when I get pissed, I act, so you know what I did? I calculated how much support I had given Amazon over the last year.

Now I’m not a numbers person, but you can’t deny numbers and facts, so here it goes:

  • In 2015 I spent roughly $1,441.33 on books on Amazon. That’s a combination of over 344 e-books, paperbacks, and Audible books. (And let me remind you, that’s just for 2015. That doesn’t include the money I spent in the 2 years before when I started buying e-books and paperbacks through Amazon.)
  • As of February 28th 2016 I had already spent $163.17 on Amazon on e-books, Audible books, and pre-orders.
  • Between 2015 and 2016 I have done giveaways on my blog for over $196 dollars’ worth of e-books and gift cards from Amazon. ($115 of that was gift cards to get people to buy things on their website.)
  • I’ve also been a member of their Amazon Associates Program since 2015, meaning that on a daily basis, multiple times a day, I promote Amazon and their products on my blog and my blog’s Facebook page.

And what did Amazon do to thank me for that daily promotion and my almost daily purchases from them?

They banned me.

They didn’t ban me from buying things from them of course, but from giving my honest reviews of the products I purchased.

They also removed hundreds of reviews I worked my ass of on, and for what reason?

Oh wait. They won’t give me a clear reason.

tumblr_mc32p3pxMR1qc8jh0o2_250Was it because I “know” authors? Well let me tell you Amazon, I wish I knew even a fraction of the authors that I’ve read books from. I wrote a review for Grey by E.L. James that you removed. If you think I know her then I would gladly give up my reviews to say that, but newsflash, I don’t know her. (Even though I wish I did, because I think she’s pretty amazing.) I don’t know Sylvia Day, or Abbi Glines, or Jodi Ellen Malpas, or Colleen Hoover either, or the other authors’ books that I’ve reviewed on your website. (And believe me, I wish I could say that I knew them, but alas I don’t.)

I would say I probably know 5 or 6 authors, tops. And if you don’t want me to review a book of theirs, that I can understand, but removing all of my reviews? I don’t get that at all.

And while we’re on that topic, how do you even determine that I “know” those authors? What formulas or tactics do you use to figure that out? Because I’d seriously like to know.

Was I banned because I like the books I read too much? Is it because almost every book I read is 4 or 5 stars, or is it because my book reviews are super detailed and long? Well let me tell you something Amazon, after being an avid reader my entire life, I have a pretty damn good idea of what I like to read. I know what I’ll love, and when I love a book I love it hard, and I write reviews that show that. I want to spread the book love, which is why I’m a fucking book blogger in the first place, and I’m not going to waste money on a book I know I won’t like, just so I can give it 2 stars and not be deemed as being a “misleading or manipulative reviewer” by you.

Was I banned because your computer system deemed me to be paid or fake based on whatever wonky system you have? Well let me tell you, I make absolutely ZERO dollars every year reviewing books, and I spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars buying books. (It’s kind of my thing, if you couldn’t tell.) In fact, to date I’ve only been paid out once by the Amazon Associates Program, and that was a $10 gift card TO AMAZON. That I gladly spent on Amazon, as it was the only place I bought e-books from.

Whatever Amazon’s reason for doing all this is, I will probably never know. And you know what? It is what it is at this point. I unfortunately have no control over the crappy things Amazon tries to do, and since they won’t give me a reason, I’m done looking for one.

I’m sure many of you at this point, including Amazon, are thinking, well what’s the big fucking deal? It’s a book review.Jon Stewart

Well to me it is a big deal. Book reviewing and blogging is my passion. It’s something that helps keep me sane from my daily on the go life, and it’s what I LOVE to do. So to remove hours and hours of work that I did, to remove reviews that I poured my blood, sweat, and tears into, and to ban me from supporting books and authors pretty much feels like a slap in the face.

Especially after all of the support I’ve given Amazon over the past few years.

It may not be a big deal to Amazon, but is sure is hell is to me and countless other reviewers who have had the same thing happen to them.

I get it Amazon, it’s your company and you can do what you want, but one of these days you’re going to realize that it’s bloggers like me that bring people to your website, that tell people to buy your shit, and support you in countless ways…and by that point it’ll be too late.

Because you’ll have probably banned us all.

So now, over a month later, what am I supposed to do?

Stop book blogging over all this crap? Stop being an avid reader and a huge supporter of authors because of all this? Stop writing book reviews or change the way I write them because I can’t post them to Amazon?

That’s a big hell to the no. anigif_optimized-28150-1440411350-1

Because if I did that, Amazon would win, and they don’t get to fucking win with this, or tell me what I can and can’t do.

Sure I can’t review on their website anymore, and to that I say good riddance, and fuck you.

What they did shows a hell of a lot more about their company and its ridiculousness, than it does about my book reviews.

What I can do is keep reading, and reviewing (on my blog and other retailers), and telling readers about the books that I love while supporting hard working authors who deserve a damn book review.

I can also tell people about what’s happened to me with Amazon, and how it’ll probably happen to them sooner rather than later because let’s face it: Amazon makes their own rules, and they just don’t care about the ramifications those rules have.

It also means that I can be a smarter consumer with whom I choose to give my money to when I buy books and other products. 

Today is April 3, 2016. The sun is shining, it’s springtime, and yeah I’m still banned from reviewing on Amazon and that still kind of pisses me off, like a lot, but at the end of the day, I won’t let one company’s ridiculous policies and handling of this situation keep me from doing what I want to do.

I won’t let them keep me from being the book blogger I want to be. I won’t let their asinine system keep me from spreading the book love and supporting authors, and I won’t let them keep me down or stop me from being a passionate book reviewer.

So that’s what I have to say.

Amazon, you hit like a bitch.

And you know what?

You’re not going to stop me and my book loving brigade.

Not one little bit.

179 thoughts on “Amazon, you hit like a bitch.

  1. Go girl. Promote another site. If possible buy those books from iBooks or Kobo. Leave those reviews on your blog. You can buy all those physical books and audio book elsewhere. As an author, I wouldn’t mind if you didn’t buy it on Amazon. I understand there are those who are participants in KU but maybe it’s time all this changes.

    • Ridiculous. The bigger they are the harder they fall, and Amazon’s day is coming if they don’t wise up. I put my latest book in KU, but as soon as the 3 months are up, I’m dropping that. Keep reviewing and posting. Authors appreciate that.

  2. OMG This is me too!! Your story sounds just like mine! I have been going thru this as long as you have and have gone thru the same exact thing. No one from Amazon is able to help!

  3. I love this. I mean, I hate that you’re banned, don’t get me wrong. But this post shows what readers, bloggers, and authors are ALL dealing with.
    I wonder if you’re being penalized for being an affiliate? I’m not one, so I have no proof, but maybe they think you and a bunch of other reviewers are being rainbows up the ass of book bitters so you can make money. This is bullshit, but possible. I could see them digging a conflict of interest. But they didn’t give you an actual reason, so they still suck balls.

    It’s time for capitalism to work FOR us. Did you know that Smashwords allows authors to sell mobi (kindle) files as well as epub and a number of other options for readers? It also pays authors a SHITLOAD more per purchase. Now, there is no affiliate option (yet) but if just half of readers decided they didn’t want to play by Amazon’s rules, THAT would make an impact they would feel…Right in the wallet.

    • Actually Smashwords does have an affiliate option. They pay upwards of around 11%. I have been an affiliate with them for about a year now, although I haven’t made anything from it. But that’s not the point. I only do the affiliate thing to use whatever I do get to put back into my blog with giveaways and such. But I have seriously been considering switching to them for my book purchases. I was unaware if I could use their books on my Kindle, but you cleared that up for me, so thank you. It may be time for a change!

      • That’s awesome that they have am affiliate program! If we let the masses know they can buy kindle versions, maybe we can boost your earnings 🙂

  4. You know, I feel the same way. I found out about a month ago that amazon had deleted several of my reviews, most I hadn’t even had the brains to copy to Goodreads (which is owned by Amazon anyway). I was soooo pissed! I put a lot of time into my reviews, I’m no writer, if I was I’d be an author, so to write reviews that come across how I want them to and express exactly what I felt about the book takes me a bit of time. And I don’t like giving bad reviews, who am I to tell someone that a book is bad, my taste may be different from theirs. So I only leave positive reviews. I don’t like leaving negative or bad reviews. And if that makes me look a certain way then I’m sorry. I’m just an overall nice person. I only review what I like!
    I am an Amazon affiliate also. I have made them lots of money over the last year and a half, probably nothing really in their eyes cuz they have more money than they know what to do with, but still. If you calculate the 4-6% I get of the sales, take into account I earn $10-20 a month (a couple months of the year it’s been $100+ even) and that’s 4-6% of what they are getting….that is quite a bit! PLUS, I spend the amazon credit they pay me right back at their store. AND I personally spend, out of pocket, around $2-3,000 a year (last year I spent $4,300! It’s nuts! This is how they repay me?!
    I too called in and got the same response. They didn’t know where to direct me, the rep had to go and ask someone. Then they told me the same exact thing, that someone would email me within 24hrs…but I NEVER GOT A RESPONSE!
    Now, I’m not banned, not yet. But I’m sure that’s coming. It’s ridiculous! There has to be something we can do to get them to realize what idiots they’re being.

  5. This is me, almost exactly. Except, Amazon banned me and removed FOURTEEN YEARS of reviews. As in from 2001. Reviews about sheets, clothes, toys, craft and hobby items, eBooks, paperbacks, videos, office supplies, and who knows what else. Because I “manipulate” reviews. And seriously, since they won’t explain what that means, months later, I’m still confused.

    For me, this means I’ve rediscovered Staples, Office Depot, Toys R Us, Michaels and Hobby Lobby, among others. Sometimes I wonder if I shouldn’t THANK Amazon, because I’m actually leaving my house these days. I’ve canceled Prime. My Nook stays charged and gets used almost daily. When my Kindle tablet dies, I’m looking at an iPad mini. They don’t want anything but my money, but guess what!??! So do other retailers.

  6. I had many reviews removed. The reason? My profile was too similar to someone else’s profile! All I had on my profile was my name and email address! I couldn’t get Amazon to explain it to me either. They told me they couldn’t give out information on someone else’s account! They admitted the 2 accounts were from different people but wouldn’t back down from removing my reviews. I am also a blogger and I am an ARC reader. Some of my removed reviews were for ARCs. I’m so pissed!

  7. With your permission, I would like to add this to my Blog… East Coast Book Chicks. I am tired of being told what we can read and review and where we can tell people about it!

  8. We (Give Me Books) are in the exact same boat and lost 3 years worth of reviews last week. We have now also been informed we are banned from posting reviews on Amazon. Funnily enough we are still ranked as a Top 1000 reviewer with a ranking of #657 but have no reviews on our account. Go figure!

  9. You’re not the only person/blog this has happened to. My friend runs a review blog too and she got the same emails and everything has been removed for her as well.
    This also happened about the same time for her blog.
    I wish you the best of luck getting this resolved!

  10. Ack! This is concerning. I’m a blogger and reviewer too. Thank goodness Goodreads isn’t this ridiculous. I’m glad your reviews are all backed up on your blog & GR. But seriously, that makes no sense about Az! 😦

      • I think Goodreads may be left more open, because it’s not actually where you *purchase* books. Maybe Amazon’s more touchy because they don’t want what they (mistakenly) perceive to be skewed reviews influencing purchases or not. But, one never knows…

        Btw, did all of your reviews tend to be mostly negative, or mostly positive? Or was it just a wide variation? (I’m guessing the latter.) But if you mostly posted five-stars and four-starts (or conversely, if you mostly posted one- and two-stars), could that be why they thought you were “manipulating” the system? I’m still at a loss as to why they’re doing this to people. 😦

  11. I’m sorry this happened to you. 😦

    The reason that keeps coming up is that bloggers who put affiliate links in their blog posts on their private blogs are getting banned because that’s some sort of “paid compensation.” Yes, it’s ridiculous. Big blogs like Rock Stars of Romance or Aestes are probably making decent money off this, but most book bloggers don’t.

    All I can say is: iBooks, Google Play, B&N, and Kobo all have reviews. iBooks and B&N have affiliate programs, too. Many authors out there are happy to get reviews at these other sites and to offer cards through these other programs.

  12. Actually, from what I’ve heard from those who did get a response from Amazon about why their reviews were removed and they were banned is that they were using affiliate links on their blogs and Amazon found this to mean they had a financial interest that made their ability to subjectively review suspect. I’m not saying I agree with that evaluation, but thought I’d share what I learned last month about this action by Amazon. My advice? Switch to iBooks if you have an iOS device. I love it and stopped buying from Amazon or using my Kindle altogether. (Not because I was banned but because they’re doing a lot of anti-author things lately that have just pissed me off as a writer who has made a lot of money for them.) If you don’t have an Apple device, then look to Kobo or All Romance eBooks, among other alternatives. And please leave your reviews at those places, too!

  13. I have noticed at least 2 of my reviews taken down as well. No email sent saying they were removing it…they are just missing. When I tried to repost it, they gave me the automated message that I had either violated Amazon’s review policy or that they don’t allow reviews from people who know the author. WHAT??? I feel your pain!

  14. I’m waiting on pins and needles for when this day is me. And they have me over a barrel because after using Nook and iBooks, the Kindle platform is the only one I like. And with KU they’ve provided the perfect tool to force loyalty based on love for indie authors who utilize the hell out of that just to make ends meet.

    Amazon doesn’t care. Why should they? They own the online shopping world. Asshats.

    Blog on lady! You have great reviews and your readers, authors, and fellow bloggers love what you’re doing.

    • Take a look at AllRomanceEbooks – you can purchase the kindle (mobi format) books there and they welcome reviews. And yes, take a look at iBooks.

      The world needs new platforms for purchasing books – not just Amazon! 🙂

  15. So sorry this happened to you. I’ve had reviews removed too. This issue is of great concern to authors and reviewers alike. Apparently they can track ‘authors you know’ from other social media links- and so as an author i am weary about what links i post- and stripping the tracking info from the link.
    I wonder, have you tried to email the amazon CEO Jeff Bezos? jeff@amazon.com. I would send this blog post to him. Why deal with the monkeys at customer services- go for the organ grinder! 🙂
    And, you know what the ironic thing is, we all think our reviews are safe on Goodreads. BUT Goodreads is an Amazon company! How long before they check who we are friends with and start removing reviews there too?

    Keep on reading. Authors need bloggers and Amazon needs us both!

    • That’s a good idea. I’m appalled this is happening to you and others. As an author, I know how hard bloggers and reviewers work. Another thought is to send him a message via twitter (@JeffBezos). He just posted (like 5 hrs ago) about the new Kindle 8. He might be online given a new product was just announced.

  16. Reblogged this on schoentheworld and commented:
    This… JUST THIS! I’ve been banned from Amazon reviews for MONTHS. Even on things that WEREN’T books! That belt I liked so much I bought another one in a different color and wrote a review for gone, the ones I even had PHOTOS for evidence that I bought it and received it, gone. Amazon, simply put, I hate you and you refuse to even reply to emails. Your customer service is awful and I still blog about book despite you. All you did was eliminate a legitimate review. Congrats, you’re doing exactly what you didn’t want to preventing REAL reviews from getting through.

  17. Reblogged this on WORDS BY CALASADE and commented:
    I understand why Amazon wants to make sure the reviews on their web site are valid. Still, they are obviously going about this in a very unintelligent manner, sort of like how the U.S. goes after problems with a sweeping swing of a sledgehammer rather than giving the issue proper consideration and coming up with an effective way of managing the problem.

  18. Wow. That’s disheartening, but if you ever review one of my books, M.K., email me and I’ll make sure they go up on Twitter and All Romance eBooks. And like Isobel said above, Goodreads is owned by Amazon, so be careful of those disappearing. Good on you for having copies. But Amazon has nothing to do with ARe and the publishers (authors) can post the reviews there. Just sayin’. 🙂

  19. I recommend sending a link to your blog post directly to Jeff Bezos, who publicly publishes his email address for cases just like this. He needs to be made aware of that disastrous review removal nonsense. It’s happening all over the country to bloggers and it’s not right. His email is jeff@amazon..com.

  20. I want to give you a huge high five! I’m an author and I’m on the other side of this mess, in that I’m watching my review numbers tick, tick, tick down on Amazon. I’m hearing from more and more awesome book bloggers that they’re being banned from Amazon, and I just want to cry for our community. We’ve built something wonderful, true, and honest and this company tries to tell us what we’re doing is wrong? No. I won’t take that. I’m like you in that I’ve bought A LOT of books from Amazon, and I have a Paperwhite. Guess what I want to do? I want to download all my books from Amazon, convert them to ePub, and probably buy a Kobo reader. They don’t treat their customers and reviewers like this. I’m so fed up!

  21. Pingback: Manipulating Reviews on Amazon | The Passive Voice | A Lawyer's Thoughts on Authors, Self-Publishing and Traditional Publishing

  22. I’ve been given the advice to always sign out of GoodReads when you leave, it somehow helps keep Amazon from looking and deciding you are friends with other authors.

  23. i have never checked, but can you put up reviews on Barnes & Noble??? it would serve Amazon right if your reviews pushed business over to other companies… they need a wake up call… this kind of thing seems to be happening more and more…

    • You can post reviews to B&N even if you don’t buy them there. Just create an account, log in and copy and paste your reviews. I am a reader/reviewer and I post to B&N, Amazon and Goodreads. Although since B&N changed their website about six months ago, I can’t figure out how to get to my posted reviews though.

  24. Reblogged this on …and then there was Sarah and commented:
    This trend of Amazon removing reviews, without proper explanation as to why, has become unfortunate and alarming. If this has happened to you, I’m sorry and hope this won’t discourage you from reviewing on retailers more appreciative of your feedback.

  25. Sorry amazon is being so shortsighted.
    There’s iBooks kobo smashwords.
    Good luck and keep blogging/reviewing.
    Authors and readers appreciate your dedication. ❤

  26. I’ve never even had them let a review of mine get posted in the first place, because I interview authors first and therefore obviously know them. Or because we talked on Twitter once.

  27. Honey, I feel your pain. After Amazon botched my last release by overwriting part of my book file, they took three days to do anything about it. They made me wait until their investigation showed they were actually at fault. However, during that time readers eviscerated me in reviews and horrible emails. Check out my blog post, concerning the whole ugly affair. https://barbaradevlin.com/2016/03/personal-message-barbara-devlin/

    In any case, I was banned from reviewing after another author complained on me, because I wouldn’t review her book. I was busy, didn’t have much time, and what I read left me in the difficult position of recommending some serious edits. I don’t like to leave negative reviews, so I offered my help, instead. And she got me banned from Amazon. Such is life.

    But I’m about to set up an exclusive preorder and sneak peek with iBooks for my big summer dual release event, because I’m fed up with Amazon, and I’d love to send you ARCs to review when it gets closer to the release. Whatever you do, don’t stop reading and blogging. But take some time for yourself and come back stronger.
    ~Barb Devlin

  28. I am not a blogger, but came across this by accident & hate Amazon more than life itself.

    Here is just a suggestion. Why doesn’t the author of this article (and others dealing with same issues) contact or send this piece to either your local news or laege affiliate (CBS, NBC & ABC) & let them know thats lots of people are experiencing this. The tv news loves stories on big corps. It could either be presented as a news story or a segment where news person helps people who have been wronged by business.

    Just a suggestion. I would love to see Amazon blown up all over tv for their crappy practices.

  29. Sorry this happened to you. As an author, it saddens me to read all the BS that Amazon pulls constantly. It’s getting to the point of ridiculousness and they honestly don’t seem to care who they tick off. I also have watched my reviews disappear one by one & it’s frustrating; also makes me wary to post a review on anything. I’ve started buying my books (and merchandise) everywhere I can since it’s clear they are becoming (as my grandma would say) too big for their britches.

  30. They did it because they can, they own the site, you signed away your life to them by agreeing to their “terms” in the first place, and they never promised an explanation. And it truly sucks. Deeply. Our company is online publishing. We’ve been using Gmail, Google+, Photos, Blogger, etc., for many years. After an epic 1 year of traveling the country on motorcycles, uploading all of our photos to G+ Photos, after years of storing documents and using Gmail, they deleted my husband’s account. No explanation. Nothing. Because they can. They took over 30,000 photos, most of which we didn’t back up (our fault). Because who expects a thing like that? We lost 3 blogs we had been writing on for years. Poof!
    I’m sorry this happened to you. I know how it feels.

  31. Reblogged this on The Messy Mind of Monique Pearson and commented:
    As a blogger and HUGE fan of books I find this to be a disgusting misuse of power. Some bloggers actually do make a living giving HONEST reviews of upcoming and newly released books.
    I love to read and when I read a book that speaks to me I want to share that with the reading community. So many of the best books I’ve read have been either A. a recommendation from a fellow reader or B. a new release from an author I “know” since I “follow” them on social media waiting with baited breathe for them to give me a new book to devour.
    Do we “know” these authors we follow? We’d like to think so, but in all honestly we usually do not. We often know them by pen names, social media presence and what small details of their lives they share with their fans. I “know” Stevie J. Cole and Audrey Carlan as much as I “know” Barry Manilow (and I have been able to tell you everything there is to know about Barry since I was 8 years old, I touched him in 1996 and got a “personal” letter from him in the 80s).
    Whether I am reviewing one of these authors’ books or Barry’s newest compilation album it’s an honest review of what I thought and why I thought it. How much I stalk a person on social media doesn’t change my tastes in books (or music and yes I realize I’m very uncool and I’m okay with that).
    Amazon not only taking away years of reviews but disregarding the reviewer’s concerns about why this was done is just one example of how they have gotten too big for their britches. Readers who care pour their hearts out in reviews and carefully select their words to properly convey exactly what and why they like or do not like a book. We readers are passionate and to disregard hours of honest reviews about books that have touched us, changed us, and moved us is disrespectful and belittling.
    What links do we usually share to fellow readers so they too may enjoy these books? Amazon.com of course. They are the behemoth of the book buying universe.
    I am disgusting for my fellow blogger and saddened because these kinds of actions from a book source so many of us send chunks or our paychecks to leave us to wonder how we fight back. Do we let them win and pay the higher dollar at other retailers, go without our e-books and stop sharing our best loved books with others or let them win by allowing this treatment to go on unfettered without altering our spending habits?
    You will find one thing to be true 99.9% of the time: readers are passionate about their books and about their opinions of the books they like, love, and hate.
    To erase a passionate reader’s voice without so much as a conversation is vile and rude and no matter how big and powerful you are neither of those things will ever be acceptable.
    My fellow bloggers and reviewers, somehow we must address and resolve this injustice.

    In the meantime; keep reading!

    Monique P

  32. I say copy all your reviews onto B&N and stop buying from Amazon. When Amazon starts sending you marketing e-mails kindly reply to all with, “if I can’t review, I won’t buy shit from you.” Ugh! This pisses me off too. I’ve heard it’s just some bad algorithm they use in their programming, but who knows. 300 reviews! That’s just terrible! Why would anyone bother to review on their site if those reviews can get removed at any time without a decent reason? Makes no sense.

  33. They are just trying to stay out of the cultural marxist’s war on America. People were using reviews as weapons, rating 1 or 5 without even reading any of them. So they developed algorithms to find connections and any connection is a conviction. There is not really much else they can do economically, and that is their standard. I imagine things will cool down, given time.

    And yes, they did it to me, too. Fortunately, I didn’t have too much invested.

  34. I’m sure that you’ve received plenty of comments in relation to authors, but let me just say from the bottom of my heart, this Indie author appreciates you so much for what you do every day. No one will ever know how amazing it feels to get feedback on our hard work. No one will ever understand that we want to make it big, but more importantly, we want to resonate with someone. Hit them in the heart. Claim them as a fan. And then….yeah, we want to make money. But what you do every day, it’s a gift to any author. What you strive for on your blog supports an art that is quickly being overrun by people that don’t know how to really write two sentences together, but seem to think their opinion is the only one that matters. So thank YOU for what you do. This author, and I’m sure many, many others, are here to support YOU in however way we can.

  35. I’ve recently had my share of troubles with Amazon as well. They haven’t gone as far as deleting all my reviews, only the new one’s I try to post for one certain author. Saying that my close relationship with said author makes my reviews biased. I also tried get more info on why they believe me and this author are besties, tried to find out why this one author was so different from all the others I read books from and then leave reviews for. In the end I got the same reply, “we can not send you any more e-mails regarding this issue.” And that’s it, and I’m just supposed to accept that? Whenever I read something like your story about Amazon, I admit my frustration shows. The weirdest thing is that all my previous reviews for that one author, are still online, I just can’t submit any new ones. Amazon needs to take a good look at their review policy, they are only harming the community with these kind of antics.

  36. If you have affiliate links on your blog, you can’t review the same book on Amazon. It violates the Amazon rule that you can’t review a product that you have a financial interest in. Is this your case? It’s important for book bloggers to know that it’s more than fine to review books on the blog and have affiliate links to Amazon, but they can’t also review the same books on Amazon or they risk losing all their Amazon review portfolio and review privileges.

    If you didn’t have affiliate links for the same books that you reviewed on Amazon, then this is worth investigating more to try to figure out exactly what happened.

    I think Amazon has way too much power in the book world. I got rid of my Kindle a long time ago and bought a Kobo e-reader. Buy e-books from Kobo, iBooks, B&N. Buy paper books from powells.com, world’s greatest bookstore. Post your reviews on your blog and other reviewing sites like BookLikes. Good luck.

    • I didn’t know that. Thanks for sharing! I think that would have been a straightforward answer to why she was banned, if that were the case for her, though. No need to be mysterious is there’s a valid violation of something actually stated in their terms of use. They seemed oddly reluctant to give her a reason.

  37. A couple of years ago, when Amazon simply refused to sell books by a couple of publishers who sold books by authors who were auto-buys for me, I said “well f off, then,” and bought myself a Kobo reader (it’s waterproof! I can read in the tub!). The amount of money I used to spend with Amazon was outrageous. They haven’t only lost my book money, they’ve lost my clothes money, my detergent money, all kinds of things. They don’t care about their customers at all. They don’t know the difference between a real review and a fake one because they don’t know about books at all. They don’t understand that a BOOK is different from a pair of headphones or a nail gun. To them, sales are sales and there’s nothing else.

  38. This is so crazy. I’m an author and I just don’t understand what Amazon’s deal is any more and it saddens me that we can’t write an honest review without worrying about crap like this. But all I can say is, keep doing what you do, because we love and need you. Also, just wondering, can you open another account using a different name and email? Of course, you’d need a different credit card as well, I think. Just a thought. ♥

  39. I am an author, and I’ve seen reviews of my books disappear on Amazon. I can only assume it’s because they deemed them to be fake. I’ve never purchased reviews. I’ve never reviewed my own books or asked my friends to. I’m friendly with a couple reviewers on social media (which I think it inevitable: we all like the same kinds of books), but I have never once attempted to influence a review. It’s maddening. I hope you’ll keep reviewing elsewhere! (And maybe this is overly paranoid, but since Amazon owns GR, I would copy and paste your GR reviews to docs just in case.) Thanks for being a supporter of books! We authors live and die by reviews, so I, for one, appreciate it!

  40. I am so sorry this happened to you.

    I have seen people talk about so many negative experiences they had trying to review on Amazon that I have never done it. I know authors and publishers constantly ask us to add our reviews to Amazon because it helps them, but I just can’t deal with the fact Amazon may arbitrarily delete my reviews, or some rabid fans who disagree with my opinions might harass me. I’ve stopped buying as much stuff from Amazon in the past couple years because I can find similar prices elsewhere anyway at this point, and I think I’m going to continue moving my business elsewhere, though I do own a Kindle.

    The least they can do is tell you WHY your reviews were removed. Whoever made that decision should have had a reason and should have been required to note it somewhere. There’s no possible excuse that someone in the company shouldn’t have access to files with explanations of why users have been banned from reviewing because I highly doubt you’re the first person to ask.

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