For the last few months, Amazon has been changing its review policy and implementing new review standards. Authors have complained about reviews being taken down, or disallowed, and it seems to be part of Amazon’s changes. You can read Amazon’s review policy here.
In essence, if you are a reader and you follow your favorite author on any social media sites, your review will not be allowed. If you are a blogger and the author is part of your blog tour, your review will not be allowed. The following is a breakdown of the new guidelines.
1) A review cannot be posted on Amazon if the author is part of a paid blog tour, and the tour organizer reviews the book.
2) If you receive a gift card in exchange for a review – not allowed.
3) Reviews written in exchange for a review – not allowed.
4) A review written in expectation of a free book. A review copy must be given before the review is written or the book will be seen as payment for the review.
5) If you know a person online via Twitter, Facebook, or other social media outlet, Amazon assumes your review will be biased and will not be allowed.
Amazon’s algorithm can detect any of these and will automatically delete the review if they suspect their latest rules have been broken. They also will not tell the author if a review has been declined.
FYI — I used numerous sources for this article, among them the Guardian Newspaper UK and Goodreads blog, as well as blogs aimed at Indie authors. I also included a link to Amazon’s review policy in the article. These are sources I consider reliable. I have sent emails to Amazon for clarification. To date, I have not received a reply. When or if they respond, I will post updated information to this site.
This seems to be an issue that dates back several months, and has had numerous posts written regarding it.
For your information, here is a sampling of a few sources used.