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Is Amazon deleting reviews?

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In reply to an earlier post on 21 Feb 2015 09:50:15 GMT
Chris Graham says:
"I agree it's a shame there's a stigma to self-publishing. "

I'm afraid that there will always be a stigma to self publishing as long as SP authors allow books, that aren't ready for publication, to be offered for sale.

I'm reading a crime novel at present that has a lot of potential. The plot looks promising - so far - the sense of 'place' is excellent, and the characterisation is great (with an interesting frissance between the protagonists).
However, the book needs the attentions of a good editor, which is why authors go through the traumas of getting accepted by publishers and agents.
Some of the problems could be sorted by a really careful proof read, without relying on spelling and grammar checking software that frequently misses the subtleties of the English language. Other faults are down to the writer's apparent unfamiliarity with the conventions of layout. Conventions that are used to ensure clarity.
His dialogue is very difficult to follow, even though it reflects well the speech patterns of the characters. He is obviously unaware of the golden rule of starting a new paragraph each time a different speaker begins to speak. (even if only a single word is utttered)
It makes it clear who is speaking, often even if the new speaker isn't actually identified.

There are also a lot of 'broken' words, missing or inappropriate punctuation marks (possibly left in the text after earlier editing) and minor errors from lack of research. If you must use the name of a particular brand of malt whisky, then spell it correctly... and don't refer to a malt from Scotland as 'Whiskey'. That's worse than pointing out that Jesus's 'real' parents weren't married to each other by using a popular colloquial word for a child of unmarried parents. Scotch Whisky has no 'e' in it... unlike the Irish or American versions. There are other similar minor mistakes that could have so easily been researched with a visit to a supermarket's booze shelves.
I'm guessing that as the author's name suggests a certain ethnic origin, he may be from an alcohol free culture so would be unfamiliar with the stuff. OK, fair enough, but do the research instead.
I write crime, but I'm not a criminal... so I research some of the details to get them right.
Then I proof read, then proof read, then proof read again. Even then, the odd typo will slip through, but not the glaring errors.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Feb 2015 09:17:51 GMT
Chris Graham says:
Does this mean that a review I posted for a book that Amazon only sold in Kindle format, so I got as a pdf from the publisher, will be suspected as dodgy?
Of course it wouldn't show as a verified purchase, but I'd bought it just the same. I've also reviewed a book that was bought direct from the author at a signing (in hard copy form). Is that suspect too?

I hope my own books don't cause this kind of mayhem when my publisher releases them towards the end of the year.

PS: Amazon.....I've got a Kindle now, so you can relax....You'll get your verified purchase. (unless it's on free offer from other providers!)

Posted on 17 Feb 2015 10:55:22 GMT
Carol Arnall says:
At one time Amazon employed reviewers. Times changed, the reviewers were suddenly shown the door. Amazon then opened the doors wide allowing readers to review the books etc.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Feb 2015 09:51:01 GMT
gille liath says:
I read somewhere that you can ask them to delete your reviews en masse - but that you may then be banished evermore from their gates.

What comments did they not want to publish? In the early days of reviews it used to be very hit and miss whether your review would be published at all - I think because in those days someone was supposed to read them before posting and often they didn't have time/couldn't be bothered.

Posted on 16 Feb 2015 12:00:42 GMT
Bob W says:
So annoyed with Amazon not publishing my comments I want to delete ALL my reviews 30+ pages of reviews, is this possible or must it be one at a time?

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Aug 2013 22:14:36 BDT
Marand says:
Couldn't agree more, IR

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Aug 2013 19:52:48 BDT
Last edited by the author on 2 Aug 2013 19:55:52 BDT
gille liath says:
It's not elitist to say that reviews are pointless unless they say something about the product that is coherent, well-founded and specific. The majority don't.

That's from the reader's POV; I think for Amazon, they're more an engine of customer loyalty. Much better than a bonus card...

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Aug 2013 19:11:35 BDT
I Readalot says:
That's a bit elitist isn't it? Amazon reviewers are not pro's just enthusiastic readers and are as capable of saying why they like or don't like a book as anyone else. Of course there are some bad and downright pointless reviews but it is easy enough to ignore them. I have actually read reviews that show a far better command of the English language than many an sp author.

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Aug 2013 19:05:12 BDT
I Readalot says:
Watch out, your post containing those words might get deleted as well :)

Posted on 2 Aug 2013 17:40:53 BDT
Chris says:
I've had two reviews deleted by Amazon. One contained the word sod, and the other bugger. Wouldn't like to go for a drink with the person who flagged those up as inappropriate :).

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Aug 2013 17:39:19 BDT
Last edited by the author on 2 Aug 2013 17:55:26 BDT
Chris says:
Sounds to me like you should be posting in seller feedback rather than reviews. Maybe that's the issue.

Posted on 2 Aug 2013 17:07:29 BDT
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Posted on 2 Aug 2013 15:10:44 BDT
I have been trying to complain about the NON- DELIVERY of a recently purchased product. AMAZON, a nearby Neighbor keeps telling me they reject my review of a NON-DELIVERED purchase. Maybe they don't like to return stolen money or post reviews that may suggest they don't care about customer service or any due legal recourse by those they steal from?

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Jan 2013 10:35:23 GMT
[Deleted by the author on 20 Jan 2013 10:38:09 GMT]

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Jan 2013 10:18:24 GMT
I think it's all about what the author wants. I had friends stop reading my book, saying, it's not their thing. Nothing wrong with that. I still love them.

I think, though, that friends won't post anything less than 4 or 5 stars. Friends will go and tell the person in private when they find it's utter crap, but don't go and post a 1-star review. But they're likely to post a 4- or 5-star review if they really liked the book. It's either people who really find lots of faults with books who post 1- or 2-star reviews or people who have beef with the author.

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Jan 2013 09:18:00 GMT
Steven says:
how can a review from an authors friend/family be completely honest? if the mother-in-law gives your book 1 star then that is going to make sunday lunch an uncomfortable experience isn't it? I'm not personally bothered as long as the reviewer is up front that they know the author as I can then disregard the review. I think some authors need to be careful that all their reviews don't come from people who know them as this looks suspitious to readers.

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Jan 2013 23:33:08 GMT
Saunders says:
Disagree Sou'Wester. The reviews are for the benefit for the customer AND the writer. Amazon have posted clear guidelines what they expect and what should be in a review - I honestly think they are a waste of time as some of the reviews I have seen and read breach the very guidelines that are meant to help. They should stick to their principles and their guidelines!

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Jan 2013 14:03:38 GMT
Last edited by the author on 10 Jan 2013 14:41:40 GMT
Ethereal says:
Nothing wrong with standing up to be counted either, in fact the benefits to your reputation as a writer could outweigh any backlash you might receive - so long as it's handled the right way.
I add that last because, unlike Stella, although I don't think there's anything wrong with putting your objections in a review, which after all is commenting on the premise of the story and not about dislike of the author, I suspect it would simply get lost.
And perhaps a thread on here isn't the right way to go either for the same reason - I'm now thinking Stella's suggestion of a blog is a better idea, whether or not the book in question is named or could be discerned but the focus is on the principle.
What I find interesting is how much responsibility and morality lies with the author when devising a premise for a story, and how much it matters if at all that not all readers pick up these underlying themes.
ETA: It's impossible to judge this case without knowing details but could be the author didn't realise - I've read some critique on Gone With The Wind which you mentioned earlier and the way background slavery was portrayed there was probably unconsciously done. Which brings me back to my question about responsibility ..

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Jan 2013 13:28:47 GMT
Last edited by the author on 10 Jan 2013 13:31:43 GMT
Marion Stein says:
Hey Monica --
That hadn't even occurred to me. It's still a distant second. Ethereal's comment is pointing to something. If other people have said the same thing (though in this case, not nearly enough of them) then how much is this about ME wanting to shout, "I am outraged"?

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Jan 2013 09:18:42 GMT
monica says:
A distant second-best measure might be to give an appropriate tag to the book. I shall never ever read Protocols of the Elders of Zion but I got a bit of satisfaction from tagging it 'vile hoax'. . .

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Jan 2013 05:02:00 GMT
Marion Stein says:
No apology necessary. I don't think I explained it well. Apparently per an interview I looked at, the author who has trad published work said his/her agent wouldn't handle this because of the "controversy." So yeah, probably strong opinions if he/she went through with self-publishing.

I could see a discussion on "fiction that's EXTREMELY politically incorrect, or racist or something." I think the thing is, it would be hard to discuss stuff without being specific about what book. Some books that have been around a long time might get discussed -- e.g. The Turner Diaries or Gone With the Wind (which does indeed SUPPORT chattel slavery). But I couldn't discuss the book I'm thinking of without discussing I'm thinking of.

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Jan 2013 00:44:22 GMT
Marion, I didn't mean blogging about the book, but about the offending topic itself. Blogging about the book would be free advertisement, of course. As to commenting or discussion on the book: I think if people are too thick to get it by reading the premise, then they won't understand if you hold it in their face. And the author has already gone through the length of writing and publishing it, so that opinion seems to be quite strong.

Starting a discussion thread is not a bad idea, I think. Again, not about the book, but about the subject matter.

However, discussing things is still different to a negative review because you disagree with someone. That was the point I was originally making. I know you didn't post it and never intended to, maybe it was just your wording. Apologies if I stepped on your toes. I'm a bit pedantic when it comes to those things. :-)

Posted on 10 Jan 2013 00:28:37 GMT
Last edited by the author on 10 Jan 2013 00:31:49 GMT
Marion Stein says:
I don't mean to sound like a tease btw, in not naming the book. If anyone is that curious, you can send me an email at marion at caradelocapress dot com, and I'll send you a link to it (and the American reviews) I think you'll get what I'm talking about. (I did consider blogging about it, but didn't because of backlash. I'm actually off to check Big Al and Pals because I'm curious if his site reviewed it and what they said.)

Update: Nah, Big Al didn't touch it.

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Jan 2013 00:25:38 GMT
Marion Stein says:
But I haven't talked about it. I don't know the author. There is nothing personal about this. Honestly, I'm not sure why I even brought it up on this thread. Let's make this clear, I have not written a review of any book I haven't bought or haven't read. I'm not planning to. This particular book hasn't gotten any UK reviews but has 65 mostly favorable ones on the US side. I think it shows a kind innate bias in reviewing books because most readers (like me) would look at what it's about, be offended and/or disgusted or uninterested and walk away. They wouldn't give it a bad review or speak to its racism. The people most likely to want to read it are probably the ones who believe some of the same nonsense that the author does or are just missing the utter craziness and offensive of the premise. I don't want to blog about it because it is a self-published thriller that probably at the height of it's popularity sold no more than a few thousand copies. I'm not out to get the author or shame the author or bring attention to it, which could probably only result in more bad stuff happening.

Ethereal is right (as is often the case). Reviewing it would bring more notoriety and the fact that even a a couple of people have made the points I would be about it, calling the author irresponsible, hateful, etc. But it's disturbing to me that so few did see it that way, and even some of the others that didn't like it had trouble with the writing NOT the content. It's frankly embarrassing to me as an American that a VINE reviewer gave the thing five stars.

It's probably stuck with me and stayed in my mind (the book came out a couple of years ago) because when I heard about on some forum and checked it out, I didn't publicly say anything. Not in a review and not on forum. I disagree with Stella about not using the review section to discuss the books. There are comments in the customer reviews for a reason and some reviews have led to conversations. I'm not proud that my reason for not discussing the book was because I didn't want backlash rather than because it would only have brought it more attention.

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Jan 2013 22:02:54 GMT
Me, me, me. I'm fearless, but there are areas I just keep it shut. In this case, though, I'd probably have started a thread. And blogged and ranted and, and, and.
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Discussion in:  fiction discussion forum
Participants:  35
Total posts:  107
Initial post:  26 Dec 2012
Latest post:  21 Feb 2015

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