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It is generally frowned upon around here for authors to exchange reviews. In the past, it has lead to a lot of bad feelings and problems.

1. Author A loves Author B's book and gives it 5 stars. Author B reads Author A's book and doesn't consider it very good. But he feels obligated to give a good review so gives the book 5 stars even if it deserved three.

or

2. Author A loves Author B's book and gives it 5 stars. Author B reads Author A's book and doesn't consider it very good. Author B gives the book three stars, and then Author A gets upset and changes her review to two stars in retaliation.

or

3. Author A agrees to review Author B's book in exchange for a review, but then realizes he doesn't like the book. Instead of posting the review, Author A emails Author B and tells him he can't review the book because he feels it needs too much work. Author B gets angry and leaves a one star review on Author A's book.

or

4. Author A and Author B loves each others books and leave five star reviews. Then an Amazon Review Nazi notices that the two authors reviewed each others books and leaves a snarky 1 star on both books accusing the authors of writing fake reviews for each other.

All of the above are situations that happen a lot. It is unfortunate, but a real problem.
 

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LD--

Welcome to KBoards! [br][br]You're welcome to promote your business and website here in the Writers' Café, but we ask that the same basic rules be followed as we have for authors in the Book Bazaar: you may have one thread and must post to it rather than start a new thread each time. New threads will be removed. Please bookmark this thread so that you can find it again to post to. And, you may not make back-to-back posts within seven days. If someone responds (such as this post), you may reply but otherwise must wait seven days, thanks! [br][br]Also, active members (10 or more posts, active in the last 60 days) may have a listing in the Yellow Pages for Authors.

Julie beat me to the part about author review exchanges not generally being popular here among our membership.

[br][br]Betsy [br]KBoards Moderator
 
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catconnection said:
Hi, Thanks for a well thought out post, but I think you did not review how our method works.
You are correct, I didn't review your method. Upon doing so, I think the matter is even worse.

In your review of other books, you could also insert a plug for your own - something like "As an author (The Cat Connection on Amazon), I thought this book was..."
Amazon's review guidelines prohibit this. In fact, Amazon doesn't even want authors reviewing other authors "competing" works.

Promotional content:
• Advertisements, promotional material or repeated posts that make the same point excessively
• Sentiments by or on behalf of a person or company with a financial interest in the product or a directly competing product (including reviews by publishers, manufacturers, or third-party merchants selling the product)
• Reviews written for any form of compensation other than a free copy of the product. This includes reviews that are a part of a paid publicity package
There have been a lot of threads here recently with Amazon deleting reviews that they believe are quid pro quo or done for promotional purposes. And nothing will rile up certain sectors of the Amazon community like an author plugging his or her own book in the review of someone else's.

If your Review is below a 4, do not publish it on the book sales page. Instead, send your comments to the author (and please include some positive suggestions).
Because authors have to review six books in order to get six reviews, this policy will force authors to rate everything four or five stars by default. This is a system destined for abuse, even inadvertently, because authors will need to leave four or five star reviews in order to get reviews of their own books. It encourages people to inflate their reviews.

Obviously, getting reviews is a big problem for lots of authors, but perhaps it would be better to solicit non-authors for reviews instead of encouraging review swaps. It would be a less messy situation and avoid a lot of the inherent problems.
 

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catconnection said:
FREE Reviews with Authors' Exchange plus low-cost book promotion tools -
see www.e-bookpromotions.com
While I hate bad reviews, I think it would be worse knowing I had reviews that were fake--and no matter how you spin it, that is what is going to happen. People aren't going to bother actually reading a book when the goal is receiving a certain number of reviews. I would always wonder, 'Did I earn that 5-star?" No thanks. One of the pleasures of writing is getting reviews from real readers--even though some of them are sucky reviews.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks, Julie, your suggestions are well taken.  We will change our offer and solicit reviews from readers.  We really did not anticipate such abuse from people being less than honest.  Does this mean that, as an author (and a prolific reader), I don't dare review anyone else's book for fear that they will then review mine and someone will accuse us of collusion?  What a sad state!
 

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catconnection said:
Thanks, Julie, your suggestions are well taken. We will change our offer and solicit reviews from readers. We really did not anticipate such abuse from people being less than honest. Does this mean that, as an author (and a prolific reader), I don't dare review anyone else's book for fear that they will then review mine and someone will accuse us of collusion? What a sad state!
The thing is, readers are not stupid. They will look at your book with all 5-star reviews, and see what else the person has reviewed. When they see that the person has only reviewed that one book--and that everyone who has reviewed the book has only reviewed that one--they will call you on it. The will say the reviews are sock puppets or shills.
 
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catconnection said:
Thanks, *****, your suggestions are well taken. We will change our offer and solicit reviews from readers. We really did not anticipate such abuse from people being less than honest. Does this mean that, as an author (and a prolific reader), I don't dare review anyone else's book for fear that they will then review mine and someone will accuse us of collusion? What a sad state!
It's complicated. And I agree that it is a sad situation, but unfortunately the Amazon review system has been abused a lot over the years.

I personally still review books that I purchase. But I would avoid reviewing a book from someone who previously reviewed something of mine. If it is a personal friend, and I like the book, I will promote it on my blog or one of my sites, but I will not leave a review on Amazon to avoid the appearance of inpropriety. The Court of Public Opinion is often more vicious than any court of law, so I err on the side of caution.

All that said, I think if you solicited readers who wanted to get free books in exchange for reviews, you would probably get some takers. :D I would suggest avoiding the mistake that some site make an limit reviewers to a specific number of free books per month or only let them download a new free book after they confirm they have reviewed the one they already got. And make sure that your reviewers know to follow Amazon rules and state in the review that they got a complimentary review copy. There is a real need for a good review program that connects reviewers with authors.
 
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