Originally Posted by crich70
Well I can say I disagree with you on several points. If just being an author invalidates your ability to write an impartial review of a book by another author then we are in trouble. That would be like saying that if someone is of German descent that they are a Nazi or if they have Irish ancestry they're an alcoholic (I have both German and Irish ancestry) both of which are nonsense. Writer's are also readers, in fact they were probably readers long before they wrote the 1st word of their own contributions to literature. While there may be some bias (everyone has their own likes and dislikes in reading material) that same bias exists in the mind of every reader, published author or not. Granted not all authors are created equal as far as knowing what others will like or dislike they still know how best to structure a book, define characters etc. because they had to learn that while trying to get their own work published. Of course right or wrong it's moot by now as Amazon has done it. I don't think it's fair though to penalize everyone for the actions of the few who fake reviews or whatever.
That's a strawman argument, not the argument that I made.
An author who publishes an Amazon has an inherent conflict of interest in reviewing another author's work. That doesn't mean that the author is *incapable* of writing an unbiased review. It means that authors have an incentive to write biased reviews. An incentive to pull punches in the hope of getting good reviews from author authors. And the incentive is stronger for indie authors because they aren't as well known as, say, Stephen King.
I think that Amazon is being customer-friendly by trying to eliminate reviews written by people with a conflict of interest. And yes, of course many authors would write unbiased reviews, and there are other non-authors who are biased for any number of reasons. But you can't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.
Originally Posted by Prestidigitweeze
The advantage of an author's review is not that they'll necessary like one's book but that they might have a better sense of what one is actually doing. Effectively Amazon is disallowing reviews by some of the very experts whom book review digests court.
While I'm sure that many authors believe that they are better reviewers than non-writers, I don't believe that at all.
In fact, if you take a random look at reviews published by self-pubbed authors on Amazon, you'll begin to suspect that authors are worse reviewers than ordinanry readers. It's easy to find a bunch of five star reviews like this:
"I loved this book for it's great mix. It's an Action-Adventure mixed with disaster and triumph, and some poignant scenes stirred in. The author did a great job keeping things moving and I was never bored. Some of the ideas might strike cords of controversy for some people, but in this age of "tolerance" and accepting everything, I should think we could look at the overall plot and exellent quality of the work itself. I like the author's writing style and hope to find more books by him. Great job!"