paid amazon book reviewsAmazon book reviews. What a mess.

While Amazon tried to clean up book reviews a couple of years ago, it would seem that they have failed miserably in ridding their site of paid Amazon book reviews. Over the last couple of months, I have been followed on Twitter by a bundle of users offering ‘verified’ paid Amazon book reviews.

On checking further, I discovered that there are now literally hundreds of sites offering paid Amazon book reviews once again.

Even the worst scourge of paid book reviews, Fiverr, is back in business offering $5 Amazon book reviews.

I thought that the John Locke episode a few years ago would have been the end of this dirty trade on Amazon. But sadly, apparently not.

As an author, I am totally against paid reviews, but in the real world of greed, there is no stopping the free market from doing what it does best, which is to exploit a market for every cent it is worth.

It took me less than ten minutes to find the following sites offering ‘verified’ paid Amazon book reviews.

paid amazon book reviews

fiverr paid amazon book reviews

get paid for amazon book reviews

more paid amazon book reviews

Imagine what I could have discovered if I had spent a half an hour searching for these leeches!

Quite honestly, it makes me sick to the gut, with the feeling that writing is becoming a tarnished, corrupt and dishonest business, and one I would rather not be associated with.

I refuse to pay for Amazon book reviews, so let my books rot at the bottom of the pile. Literature? Morality? Honesty? Amazon? Pphhfft!

There are many self-published authors who try their very best to write, promote and sell their books honestly, and by obeying the rules. But it would appear the there is no rule book when it comes to Amazon book reviews, and even though Amazon tried to clean up the swamp, all they achieved was to banish honest reviewers because they were authors.

What a mess.

Paid Amazon Book Reviews – The Scourge Returns

4 thoughts on “Paid Amazon Book Reviews – The Scourge Returns

  • 29/12/2015 at 12:28 pm
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    I was one of those paid reviewers. I read the books and gave a fair review reflecting the quality of what I read. I also refused to review anything that wasn’t worth at least 3 stars. No, I never really made any money doing it that way but I got to read a lot of books for free, make contact with s lot of other authors and still count some of them as friends.

  • 13/07/2016 at 3:35 pm
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    Hi Derek. I contacted Amazon yesterday on this topic. I only received a generic but encouraging reply that began:
    “We allow anyone registered as an Amazon.com customer to write customer reviews. If someone feels moved to write a review of an item, and they are a registered Amazon.com customer, they are welcome to write a review.”

    But I did notice a link to an article that both answered my question, and quite clearly contradicts what was probably once true at http://www.justpublishingadvice.com/why-did-amazon-delete-my-book-reviews/, where you wrote in particular:
    “Asking other authors is also a sure way to have a review deleted, as any other author publishing on Amazon is classed as a ‘person selling on Amazon’.”

    The helpful and useful article was this:
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html/ref=hp_left_v4_sib?ie=UTF8&nodeId=201602680

    And the specific information that answered my question was this:

    “Paid Reviews – We do not permit reviews or votes on the helpfulness of reviews that are posted in exchange for compensation of any kind, including payment (whether in the form of money or gift certificates), bonus content, entry to a contest or sweepstakes, discounts on future purchases, extra product, or other gifts.
    The sole exception to this rule is when a free or discounted copy of a physical product is provided to a customer up front. In this case, if you offer a free or discounted product in exchange for a review, you must clearly state that you welcome both positive and negative feedback. If you receive a free or discounted product in exchange for your review, you must clearly and conspicuously disclose that fact.”

    I’ll be testing the accuracy of this out for myself within the next day or so. If I have problems, I’ll let you know!

    I agree with you 100% about the evils of paid reviews. Are you aware of the http://truereviewpledge.com/ ? (It’s on my list of things to finish doing for my own blogs, now that I have a little breathing space: placing the badge onto them.)

      • 14/07/2016 at 12:43 pm
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        I think you’re right. Their guidelines say that you must clearly state that you are to ask for a review, whether it be good or bad, and make it clear that there will be no problem if they post a bad review. Asking for a positive review is placing an obligation on them. Asking for an honest review, or better, making it clear that it doesn’t matter whether it’s good or bad, is what Amazon say they want. That seems fair enough, to me. In this case, Amazon is fighting for truth in reviews, against a mass of cheats and people trying to game the system. I was at a talk about self-publishing at the Sydney Writers Festival where a roomful of about 60 people were told to ask everyone they knew to go and post positive reviews of their books on Amazon as soon as they could, to spike it up the rankings. I was so gob-smacked I said nothing at the time; I regretted my silence afterwards. If it happens again, I plan to confront the speaker.

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