I think using only "verified purchasers" is problematic because if one is willing to pay people to review your book, one is presumably willing to chip in another $0.99-2.99 to said shill to buy the book first.
And now that we know that Amazon will remove a book if people complain about removed books...well, the literary equivalent of 4chan could have a field day:
Pick an author you don't like*. Buy book. Post a review so obviously insincere that Amazon will no doubt remove it. Complain to Amazon. Get book removed.
* Or pay your friends to go after a competing author.
Rinse, repeat as desired.
Yap about it all over the Internet. Be sure to paint Amazon as the big/bad evil censor, especially since they are arbitrarily determining who is an illegitimate reviewer and who isn't in a very non-transparent way.
And ultimately, I have very little doubt that Amazon is going after small indie authors on this -- I have very little doubt that some mainstream publishers are using roundabout methods to get paid glowing reviews posted -- considering the tailspin and fear NY publishers are going through now, I have little doubt that *some* people in the industry would resort to this if they thought they could get away with it.
I think Amazon would have been better off letting the paid reviews stand and let the tidal wave of "this is crap" reviews drown out the paid shills.
Bill Smith, author of the Outlaw Galaxy
series--swashbuckling space adventure for the young and young at heart! (Also author of Star Wars: The Essential Guide to Vehicles and Vessels
) by Del Rey Books. www.BillSmithBooks.com
Last edited by BillSmithBooks; 12-06-2012 at 09:13 PM.