Sunday, May 10, 2009

When will Amazon stop? Guess it was a mistake

The view point discussion started on Lea Schizas' blog The Writing Jungle, to promote the controversial discussion for the VBT group. However, as stated in the following comment, we discussed a false story, or one that has been changed:

Cheryl Tardif, author and book marketing coach said...

Hi Vivian:

I've spent the morning tracking down people who are quoting me and discussing this past problem I had with Amazon because it's important you have all the facts.

First, there is NO policy at Amazon for this. They fully allow authors to post their titles in their signature lines. This was a mistake on the part of some overzealous employees who thought they knew what they were doing.

This case has been resolved and I'm happy with how Amazon handled it. Amazon has apologized for this error and has reinstated all my reviews, even taking the time to manually add my signature line at the end of each review.

You can read the full story at The Write Type ~ Multi-Author Musings.

~Cheryl Kaye Tardif,
author and book marketing coach


The rest of this post is outdated.

There's an interesting discussion over at Carolyn Howard-Johnson's blog - Sharing With Writers - about Amazon's latest kick in the gut to writers and reviewers. Here's an excerpt:

"A week ago I found that all 85 of the reviews I've written for other books had been deleted. It has been a very difficult and stressful week dealing with Amazon. They are not very accessible and I was given at least 3 different reasons why my reviews had been deleted. After numerous e-mails, this is what it's come down to:

"Their final ruling: 'Please know that our participation guidelines don't allow customers to promote their own titles in their reviews.' If you sign your review with anything other than your name, your reviews could be deleted."

To read the rest and participate in the discussion visit her BLOG.

If you agree with the discussion, or disagree, please comment and/or post on your own blog to add to the discussion.



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13 comments:

N A Sharpe said...

Really? Wow.

NA Sharpe
http://nasharpe.blogspot.com

Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

The thing is these features can attract lots of traffic for Amazon. When an author gives their programs their time, they expect the courtesy of respect and that their free speech rights be honored. Some say, well, it's a private entity so it IS free speech to allow them to do what they wish. Yes, but because it IS a commercial entity, by all rights of fairness, they shouldn't object to commercialism, especially when it may served to sell more books for them--to say nothing of garnering more loyalty among the participants. Whew!

Vivian Zabel said...

Most people just consider Amazon a convenient way to buy books and other items. They don't realize what those on the "inside" know.

Joyce Anthony said...

I believe it is a form of censorship :-(

Vivian Zabel said...

Censorship and control, bad combination.

Stephen said...

I have always liked B&N better.
But they do not include me as the illustrator to the books I have worked on so I use Amazon link instead to promote my self.

Lea Schizas - Author/Editor said...

When someone gets to have a monopoly on things then they 'believe' changes won't affect members. Then they believe they don't need to consult members. Then they...you get my drift.

I cannot see what the big deal is for a reviewer to mention "Author of so and so" especially when someone can buy the book from Amazon after reading that small promo. I'm still scratching my head and going, "UH? What the--"

Donna M. McDine said...

Frustrating indeed. It truly does not make sense not to be permitted to mention a link in your tagline or review. This is what happens when someone or an organization have narrow minded thinking and don't think outside the box.

Donna
http://familiesmatter2us.blogspot.com

Vivian Zabel said...

Companies who think within the box can see when they are gaining some publicity by allowing reviewers to mention titles of books that can be found on the companies' sites, bringing more business and sales.

However, some companies have people who apparently can't think or see past the end of their noses. Yup, used a cliche.

Lisa Logan said...

I hate to be the holdout on jumping the anti-Amazon bandwagon, but the rule about reviews is simple and straightforward. There are plenty of other ways to promote yourself on Amazon, but they ask that you not do so by adding your link, titles, etc. into reviews for other products.

This prevents the issue of pseudo-reviews being posted for nothing more than self serving promo, and I fail to see a problem with it.

--Lisa
http://authorlisalogan.blogspot.com

Vivian Zabel said...

Lisa, you added the link to your blog. What's different from that and added, in the signature line, of a review the title of that author's book?

Amazon changed this policy just recently.

I can understand not wanting promotion for other books, whatever, in the body of the review. However, signing the review So 'n So, author of Such 'n Such, gives the review credibility and even more promotion for Amazon.

Cheryl Tardif, author and book marketing coach said...

Hi Vivian:

I've spent the morning tracking down people who are quoting me and discussing this past problem I had with Amazon because it's important you have all the facts.

First, there is NO policy at Amazon for this. They fully allow authors to post their titles in their signature lines. This was a mistake on the part of some overzealous employees who thought they knew what they were doing.

This case has been resolved and I'm happy with how Amazon handled it. Amazon has apologized for this error and has reinstated all my reviews, even taking the time to manually add my signature line at the end of each review.

You can read the full story at The Write Type ~ Multi-Author Musings.

~Cheryl Kaye Tardif,
author and book marketing coach

Morgan Mandel said...

I'm glad to hear Amazon is including sig lines. It's more of an incentive for people to post reviews.

Morgan Mandel
http://morganmandel.blogspot.com