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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone,

My debut sci-fi novel, DUO, launched a month ago and since then I've gotten complaints from several readers saying that their reviews posted on Amazon have disappeared. They put them up, the review stays up for a few days, then disappears without warning or explanation. They repost, same thing happens again.

The reviews did not have any bad language or other verbiage that might violate any rules.

Has this happened to you? Any thoughts on whether/how I should respond? 

Every review is precious, especially right now...
 

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Strange.
The only reviews I have had disappear are the ones I took down myself.
Hate to ask. Did you actually see these reviews?  If you gave your friends the book, did they remember to put "in exchange for an honest review"?
Did they use their own Amazon accounts?
 

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You have 11 reviews. 
 

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I'm hearing from my Canadian readers that their reviews aren't showing up when the post from the link at the end of the book.  I'm not sure if this is coming from Kindles, or iPads, or Android devices.
 

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One reason could be if Amazon believes the reviews are not from strangers. If they can connect your account with the reviewer by address, name, previous Amazon gifts, or IP addresses used, they will delete. This can be a problem if the reviewers are in the same large company or university which typically share a common IP address on the internet. They also own Goodreads and Shelfari, so may use that information as well. If you link your Facebook, that could be another route.

I understand the connections are traced by software bots, and when any such connections appear a human is alerted. An email from a customer can also alert them. It is then up to that Amazon employees discretion.

Are reviews showing up on the .ca site?
 

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I'd be interested to know if this is happening. I had a relative tell me she put a review up for my new book, but I never even saw it up.

Given how few reviews I'm getting at the moment, the idea that one's slipping through the cracks is pretty discouraging.

Edit: To clarify, she has a different last name and lives in a different state.
 

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I certainly don't know your situation, and it may be entirely unrelated to what I'm about to say. So please don't take it offensively. All I know is that a long time ago amazon removed reviews from authors when they thought the reviewer was related somehow. They determine that (I assume) through purchase history, package destinations, and ip addresses, etc. The kindle app, for example, determines the ip address upon use, and if one friend or family member has accessed from your household that will certainly be removed. Then it connects your ip to their household ip address and marks it as related then if any of your fans or family or friends accessed from that person's house, it will be removed because it is linked to you. And it spider webs out until they remove everyone involved. Also if they have a common hub ip address from a library, university, etc. they'll remove it. This is a line of defense they set up to stop authors from sock puppeting, due to the news covering the issue.

Again I'm not saying that you sock puppet or write fake reviews, so please don't take it that way. I'm not sure what your situation is but if your reviewers somehow could be linked to you, through ip addresses or package destinations then they might remove them.

I'm likely wrong about the details of how they track it but that's my basic assumption of how they do it based on what I know about their bots, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks so much, everyone. I'm guessing that this is either a shared hub situation or is relating to posts from my FB page or website.  Very helpful, and now I can explain if anyone contacts me about it happening again.

And, yes, I'm quite surprised and happy with those eleven reviews!
 

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TechnicianCerberus said:
I'd be interested to know if this is happening. I had a relative tell me she put a review up for my new book, but I never even saw it up.

Given how few reviews I'm getting at the moment, the idea that one's slipping through the cracks is pretty discouraging.

Edit: To clarify, she has a different last name and lives in a different state.
Yes but when you haver visited, have you used her computer to check your sales. That would give an IP connection.
 

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I've had this once, I think. There's a review up on one of my books where the reviewer says something to the effect of "the author removed my previous review possibly because of spoilers." Of course I didn't, and I have no idea whether I ever even saw the first review. It's the only time I ever considered replying to a review, just to say I wasn't the culprit. I can't imagine that person had any connection to me, or else I'd probably heard about it personally. Weird.
 

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sstaubin said:
I'm hearing from my Canadian readers that their reviews aren't showing up when the post from the link at the end of the book. I'm not sure if this is coming from Kindles, or iPads, or Android devices.
Is the link in the back of your book for .com or .ca?
 

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I've noticed disappearing reviews in the past.

I find sometimes that the number of reviews I have on a book mysteriously decreases occasionally.  I can see absolutely no logic, especially when they are from a different country. Just regular style positive reviews, usually on Amazon US just vanishing. I can only assume that the reviewer themselves have changed their mind or something!
 

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Evenstar said:
I've noticed disappearing reviews in the past.

I find sometimes that the number of reviews I have on a book mysteriously decreases occasionally. I can see absolutely no logic, especially when they are from a different country. Just regular style positive reviews, usually on Amazon US just vanishing. I can only assume that the reviewer themselves have changed their mind or something!
Recently I lost several old negative reviews. woo hoo!
 

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bizmuth said:
The point is that their anti-sock-puppeting strategy is vigorous enough to pick up some false positives.
I don't mind them calibrating it a little tight so they catch some false positives as long as -

1. There is a process where false positives can be rectified (despite how tricky this can be, considering that the very fact an author knows a review of their book didn't go live is almost reason enough not to grant it)

2. They also take down the more blatant *cough Ace McCloud* abusers of Amazon's review system
 

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I lost one recently... it was there one day and the next it disappeared. One of my first five stars. I did know who wrote it but we're in different towns with different postal codes and I certainly didn't tell her what to say in it lol.  :'( It's frustrating when it's a new book and you're just getting started with ANY reviews ha ha. :)
 

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I just noticed this - I went to go find the funny one-star we got on our first space opera, where the reviewer was complaining about how cliched the alien invasion of earth was (none of our books have any aliens at all. And they're not set on earth.) It's not there anymore!

Too bad; it made me giggle.
 

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When your readers contacted Amazon, what did they say?

As for the explanation with IP addresses, that makes sense, but in our area, our IP address changes whenever we reset our router or if we have a black out or power surge (it resets). So my current  IP address now could have been someone else's last week. I would hope the smart techies at Amazon would take that into consideration.

I do not know if each Internet Provider has their own set of IP addresses or not. My Internet Provider is pretty big and is in several states, so my current IP might even be from out of state.
 
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