An amazing author named Jas T. Ward has decided to take on Amazon and has challenged their review policy with a campaign on Change.org that already has more than 11,000 signatures, mine included.
I have thought Amazon’s review policy was bogus for a long time, not only because often times they are wrong about who you know personally, but also because who says someone I knew in high school or a distant cousin I never talk to can’t leave me an honest review?
I am the kind of person that tells it like it is, and I would give my best friend one star if that was what her book truly deserved. I don’t believe in buttering things up to make people feel better. I believe that the truth is the only information worth sharing and I appreciate every single one star review I get for my books, because it gives me another perspective and allows me to improve upon my existing works or considering making different choices in the future.
Honesty is invaluable to me, but Amazon doesn’t care. If I am Facebook friends with an author (and I am Facebook friends with about 4,000 of them) then I can’t give them a fair review. They will remove reviews that are four stars or one star, doesn’t matter. I obviously am in a deeply personal relationship with all of these authors so I couldn’t possibly tell them the truth. What relationships are actually based on honesty, anyway?
Okay, now that my rant is over, I have to talk about Jas a bit more. She has created a huge movement and has taken the world by storm. I am so impressed and amazed by what she has done. She is going to change the world for self-published authors everywhere.
In her open letter to Amazon.com, she definitely told them the truth about their policy and how it affects authors:
“In the world where both indie and traditional authors are using all tools available to try to get their latest books out to the reader, it’s essential for the authors and their associates to use social media, ie Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.
With that being said, a reader is therefore going to have cookies and data when they see that interaction and very likely would have LIKED and/or followed the author’s pages, profiles and other avenues being a fan of the author’s work. They are fans after all – they want to know what an author does and their current news and title releases.
Your current process of removing reviews that a reader has created to show their honest and sincere opinion on a book is not fair and cripples the review process more than assists.”