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I wouldn't have seen this blog article if you hadn't posted it, so thank you.  Quite the eye opener...
 

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I used to read some of the weird gossip blog sites, but had to stop and delete the bookmarks, as it was causing too much distress!
 

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* Sarcasm on*
Those video game people ruin everything!
*Sarc off*

I think a lot of the review debacle stems from two sources.  First is Amazon it'self for yanking the rug out from under the authors that opted in for KDP Select.  Amazon used to promote your book if it was in Select, now they have done everything they can to make it unsuccessful.  Because of this, authors had to turn to 3rd party websites to get their free runs noticed and I feel this is the second reason we have the debacle.  What does ENT, POI and other sites require?  Lots of reviews and high rated reviews.  Where did struggling authors go to first?  Friends and Family, then they participate in review circles and trading.  A few abuses later and Amazon tries to clean it with fire.  Now everyone is burned and hurt about it.
 

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Blech. The usual stuff full of inaccuracies.

 

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J. R. I honestly hope it's not true, but a lot of trusty news sources say it is. Here's the link again to the article in the Telegraph. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/booknews/9738552/Author-backlash-over-Amazons-new-online-review-crackdown.html with some pretty firm information. I've also read email exchanges with Amazon where authors have been specifically told they can't review their own genre. The new guidelines are on the Passive Voice as well (I posted the link in a response to your comment on the blog) and it's also discussed in Porter Anderson's Writing on the Ether last Friday.

SB--Amazon does seem to have become less indie friendly recently. And I agree that ENT, KND and POI requiring all those reviews--specifically from Amazon--invites abuse of the system.
 

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Strath--I have reviewed some authors in my genre and the reviews are still up, and I think they'll stay unless somebody makes a complaint or a random check via algorithm hits the author's buy page. They're not taking down every review, but they reserve the right to do so, according to the Telegraph. I think reviews are important enough that I'm going to continue to review. But I'll also post on Goodreads or Smashwords, so my deathless prose won't disappear forever.  :)
 

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Thanks. I agree with you. I will review when I read something that moves me no matter the genre (though I do it rarely) until they tell me I can't. I do Goodreads too.

It's a mystery why amazon should complain unless the review is clearly sabotage. Reviews may or may not contribute significently to sales but it would seem that anything would help. They're supposed to make money if we do.
 
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