With regards to whether authors can review other authors they have this to say:
Authors and artists can add a unique perspective and we very much welcome their customer reviews. However, we don't allow anyone to write customer reviews as a form of promotion. If you have a direct or indirect financial interest in a product, or [are] perceived to have a close personal relationship with its author or artist, we will likely remove your review.
Can you believe this? No, I don't mean the fact they left out the word "are" from a public document. The above means that I will not be able to keep on running the "sex for reviews" scheme that has worked so well for me. Amazon wants me to be celibate! In fact I may not even be able to use romantic innuendo in order to charm fellow authors into leaving reviews for my book because that may classify as a "personal relationship." What am I going to do now?
And Amazon also gives several specific cases of customer reviews they don't allow. For example:
A customer posts a review in exchange for $5.
How am I going to earn money now? With the 400 reviews I get paid to write per month I am barely breaking even. And this is very hard work even though I barely read the books!
A seller posts negative reviews on his competitor's product.
Well, somebody's got to do it. I mean, all those illiterate readers who don't know better love the son of a bitch's book more than mine!
A product manufacturer posts a review of their own product, posing as an unbiased shopper.
And pray tell how many reviews can I leave on my book's Amazon page using my own name? Well, just one; duh! Of course I need to pose as someone other than me. And I AM unbiased: my books just happen to be great.
An artist posts a positive review on a peer's album in exchange for receiving a positive review from them.
Now I cannot trade reviews with my fellow authors! But maybe there is a silver lining. I can still send them e-mails where I write: GIVE MY BOOK A FIVE STAR REVIEW OR I WILL COME OVER AND KILL YOU! I've done it a couple of times, and it has worked. Maybe I will do this more often.
But the most egregious one of them all is:
A family member of the product creator posts a five-star customer review to help boost sales.
This is unconscionable! What does Amazon have against my mother? She writes the best five star reviews east of the Mississippi. And even though she is 80 and in ill health, she manages to keep track of all her different accounts. My mother is by any measure an admirable woman, and I deeply resent Amazon waging this senseless Jihad against adorable reviewers like her.
I am sure that if you are an author you sympathize with me, as you probably do pretty much what I do to get reviews. But what will we do now? Amazon wants us to be celibate and hates our mothers. How is my next book going to get the 60 reviews I got for my first book The Sun Zebra? Should I just write a book, put it out there, and then wait twiddling my thumbs for the reviews to come? Yeah, right!
Woe is me, despair, despair…what are we going to do?
This post was my attempt to "lighten up a little."
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