UPDATED: Amazon Strikes Again!

This year it seems like every other book review I submit to Amazon is rejected. Prior to this year, I was chuffed because I was the anomaly, only having had two reviews rejected. I guess they’ve got a new computer and algorithm this year.

If you’re a writer, you know that the more reviews you get, the more you gain in the long run. Every review counts because publishers, rightly or wrongly, regardless of the positivity or negativity, believe that the numbers matter. (Remember, there’s no such thing as a bad review (ha)). As a writer and reviewer, I completely understand this and try to get my reviews accepted. Knowing that there’s an enhanced chance lately that the review will be rejected, I’ve been being extra careful to double check my reviews before submitting.

Yesterday I submitted two reviews: Our House and Better Together. Our House was accepted but Better Together was rejected.

Why, oh, why? I asked myself as I had scrutinized the review to make sure I didn’t have any of those throwaway phrases like: “you’ll probably enjoy this one” that are evidently trying to persuade the possible book buyer to buy a book that I, the reviewer, am evilly trying to get you to buy for my own gain. (Through affiliate links? hahaha…I think I’ve made $10 (I haven’t seen, no payout until $100) through affiliate links in 5 years of blogging.)

And then I saw this in the email: We do not allow profane or obscene content. This applies to adult products too. In that instant I remembered the paragraph I’d added at the last minute, which I thought I’d censored well enough. I guess not.

While I can’t be certain, I’m pretty sure that this was the bit that had Amazon reject my review: I did, however, find her substituting non-slang for cuss slang like excrement for sh*t and intercourse for f*ck to be really funny and might start yelling “INTERCOURSE!” when I’m really, really mad. Books really do provide us with gifts.

Lately there will be an addition to the review rejection email: don’t bother submitting again. (My paraphrase.) This one didn’t have that so I’ve deleted what I presume are the deadly sentences and resubmitted. We’ll see what happens.

So authors, this is why you sometimes don’t get all of the reviews you are entitled to.

I’ll update to let you know if the deletion worked.

Update: My review is now live. Amazon sent no notification but it is buried among 36 other reviews. Lesson learned: be mindful of language if submitting review to Amazon. 🙂

11 replies »

    • There have been some bloggers/reviewers who have been targeted a lot, but this year seems to be worse, which makes me think that they are looking for certain phrases like “highly recommend” or such. At least that’s all I can come up with since I *know* that I’m not colluding with anyone to give a book an unfair advantage.

  1. Poor old amazon worried about the ethics of language usage and not too concerned about workers pay and conditions, I’m calling hypocrisy. Besides who made them the language police? Hope that deletion works though as this is what you do.

    • I know. It’s so strange. I know that there have been authors who’ve been paying for reviews but… Yeah, strange ethics. I was left wondering what they do about the books that have f*ck in the title, of which I know there are a couple..at least. And, the deletion did work although they didn’t notify me. At least I was able to resubmit that one.

  2. I’ve had to edit a few of my reviews I’d posted on Amazon because they didn’t like a word here or there. It isn’t often and usually comes as a surprise as to why it was rejected, but it has happened.

    • Yes, up until this year they always gave the opportunity to revise a review. Now on this last one they did. I don’t know if they’ve reverted or if it depends on how I’ve erred in my ways. 🙂

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