If it’s safe to assume that there’s an approximate balance between bogus positive reviews and bogus negative ones, weeding out only the false positives could leave authors much more vulnerable to false negatives. “Yeah, you may save an innocent reader from clicking a 4-star book that’s really a 3, but you’re keeping them from clicking the 3 that should really, in a balanced economy, be a 4.5,” McGuire explained.

Does Amazon Hate Authors?

Whatever method Amazon is using, it may be a new development. That FAQ is undated, but notes, “We recently improved our detection of promotional reviews which resulted in the removal of reviews, both new and old. While our enforcement has improved, our guidelines have not changed.”


It sounds like the latest example of policies that show that Amazon isn’t very interested in working fairly with the producers who actually make the products in its online marketplace. Earlier this week, The Guardian reported that independent authors in Amazon’s KDP Select program could receive as little as $.006 for each page borrowers actually read. And that, of course, comes in the wake of the company’s drawn-out dispute with publisher Hachette.

We’ve reached out to Amazon for comment, but they haven’t responded as of the time of publication.


[Imy Santiago]

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Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

[An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated that Amazon had announced the possible $0.006-per-page rate.]