book, books, communication, John Booth, Magic, Random thoughts and ramblings, reading, Thoughts

I’m getting irritated with Amazon…

I have a friend who is a writer. In fact I have several friends who are writers, but this particular friend is special.
He’s one of the few Indie writers that I will buy every book from, not just because he’s a friend, but because he writes exciting, intriguing, wonderful stories that always entertain and always have a different twist to them. I have collected every book so far and there hasn’t been a bad one amongst them!

…I’m aiming to buy them all in print as well…

If anyone ever asks me for a book recommendation, his is one of the names that I pull out, alongside Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaimen. Yes, he’s that good that I rank him with those masters of the written word.

Now,  I am also a writer… what do you mean you hadn’t noticed?… and I quite often write reviews of books that I have read and enjoyed, because I understand that the writer needs those reviews. I never say anything that I don’t mean, but also if I don’t get on with the book or don’t like it, I just don’t review it – if I know the writer through FB, I might contact them privately, especially if there’s typos or whatever – but I was always told to say nothing if you can’t say anything nice…

And before anyone complains that I haven’t written them a review yet, I have a massive TBR list at the moment – it’s the main reason that I don’t actually do book reviews…

So the writer I am talking about published a new book – I’d pre-ordered it and as soon as it appeared, I started reading. I couldn’t put it down  (My fiance got quite annoyed with me) and I enjoyed every minute of the story. I couldn’t wait to write a review (I’ll post a link at the end of the post, stop looking at me like that.) so as soon as I could I headed to amazon and posted my review.

And this is where the irritation with amazon comes in.

Yes I’m a writer, but when I read, I am wholly and fully a reader. I don’t buy any books that I don’t intend to read, and I always read without my writing head on

I feel a bit like this fella sometimes…

so if my writing head reappears while I am supposed to be reading, then I know something is wrong. It actually happened to me the other day while I was trying to read a book by a fairly well known author – it’s disconcerting and usually means I will put the book down and forget about finishing it.

Anyway. I read as a reader. I review as a reader. I see nothing wrong with reviewing another author’s books, even if I know them as a friend. Except that… amazon sees that as a bad thing – this is in the review guidelines:

What’s not allowed
Amazon is pleased to provide this forum for you to share your opinions on products. While we appreciate your time and comments, we reserve the right to remove reviews that include any of the following:

Promotional content:
• Advertisements, promotional material or repeated posts that make the same point excessively
• Sentiments by or on behalf of a person, company or web site with a financial interest in the product or a directly competing product (including reviews by authors, artists, publishers, manufacturers, or third-party merchants selling the product)
• Reviews written for any form of compensation other than a free copy of the product
• Solicitations for helpful votes

Now, I understand that this supposed to stop people writing nasty reviews of other people’s books so that theirs looks better, but I never do that. I see that sort of thing as immoral and I wish that more people felt the same; clearly they don’t or there wouldn’t be such a rule.

Anyway, the upshot is that my review hasn’t appeared on the page with the book. Because I write books and compete for the same readers as my friend. There are enough readers out there to go round and I’m willing to share them.
Amazon doesn’t see it that way though.

So I am going to post my review below. It’s shorter than my usual ones:

5.0 out of 5 stars A return to a brilliant world by a superb author, 3 Feb. 2015
I didn’t think it was possible for Mr Booth to surpass the last Silver Magic book, but he has… the world is as bright and shadowed as ever, the Brother’s Grimm are still menacing yet entertaining and Glass has grown up a great deal, but still with that sweet edge to her sharp angles.

This book held me enthralled from the moment I started reading. I could see it playing out clearly in my mind, and it would make a superb TV series… if only the BBC had the budget to do it justice! I fully recommend this continuation of the Silver Magic world and will be picking up the rest of this series as soon as I can.

Go forth and enjoy his work!

*You may notice that my review has appeared on Amazon US… I have no idea why its on US but not on UK…

3 thoughts on “I’m getting irritated with Amazon…”

  1. This is really interesting. I too write reviews on Amazon, although I don’t have time to do as many as I like, and I too am a writer. I’m having palpitations just imagining the level of excitement I’d feel if a writer I admire chose to review one of my books. How dare Amazon imply that merely being a writer predisposes one to dishonesty and cronyism. Peer review is the highest form of critique – we all long for it, and we’re very lucky if we get it. Why wouldn’t other readers want to see it ?!

  2. It’s a real issue, Mandy. Not least because Amazon deletes/will not post favourable reviews from other authors, but isn’t quite so draconian about negative reviews. (Or so I’m told) The Zon won’t post my reviews of Nya Rawlyn’s books, even though we write for totally different markets. This is possibly because we were once in business together. That said, I have written reviews of other fellow authors’ books without any problems. As usual, the Zon is inconsistent.

    1. I wouldn’t mind if they applied it to everyone, with no reviews from authors for anyone who is an author, (be they bad or good) but like you said, they’re inconsistent.

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