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Old 12-05-2012, 04:59 PM   #16
Sil_liS
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Originally Posted by murraypaul View Post
And which ones are those?
What do you mean?
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Old 12-05-2012, 05:08 PM   #17
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Given the often-seen "I'll give you a positive review if you give me one" mutual admiration circles that one not infrequently encounters among self-published authors, bravo Amazon. Absolutely the right thing to do.
And not just self-published authors. It is noticable among certain coteries of authories who are conventionally published as well. This is especially true where these authors work as book reviewers for newspapers and magazines.
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Old 12-05-2012, 05:11 PM   #18
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I think it also accuses the reviewers of being liars. I mean say you and I both write a book a piece and we both like well written fiction in the same genre. But we don't know one another personally. Why can't I give an unbiased review of a book that I bought from you? Just because we both have books available for purchase from Amazon doesn't mean we are indulging in mutual backscratching.Basically they're saying that an author isn't qualified to review a book that they like just because they are an author. That's like saying my Dr isn't qualified to refer me to a specialist (for specific medical care) just because he is a licensed doctor. If he, as a Dr.) isn't qualified to tell me who the best person in the field is to handle my medical problem, then who is? Authors know how to write, they know what a well written piece of writing looks like, so why can't they say so?
Exactly. At the root it is about ethics and honesty something sorely lacking in today's society.
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Old 12-05-2012, 05:35 PM   #19
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Well, I think we all make social sacrifices for the benefit of a well run society. While we don't always get a well run society, we can at least comfort ourselves that our sacrifice might make a SLIGHTLY better run society.

Those authors who don't like this modest restriction on their 'rights' as an Amazon customer in order to make the reviews more credible, should probably find another publisher or post their reviews on other sites. Amazon doesn't provide the only self publishing infrastructure nor are they the only place to post a review.

Sorry, but I think the goal of making the reviews on Amazon more credible is worthy of pursuit.
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Old 12-05-2012, 05:37 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sil_liS View Post
What do you mean?
You said:
Quote:
If they are going to ban reviews from authors because they might be biased, then why not take down all the reviews from someone who's job is to write reviews for money?
Which reviews were written for money?
If Amazon don't know, they can't take them down.

We are told that there were 300 bought reviews from GettingBookReviews.com for Locke's books, but the site owner won't tell Amazon which reviews/reviewers they are.
How does Amazon remove them?
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Old 12-05-2012, 06:04 PM   #21
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Does that mean we're going to lose the reviews of the howling wolf t-shirts, and the bic pens for her? Where am I going to go for my dose of daily humour?
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Old 12-05-2012, 06:09 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by HomeInMyShoes View Post
Does that mean we're going to lose the reviews of the howling wolf t-shirts, and the bic pens for her? Where am I going to go for my dose of daily humour?
Clearly those are 'paid' reviews.

And that video must have cost a small fortune to put together!

Of course it did have a Tuscan Whole Milk product placement so that might have mitigated the cost a bit.

Last edited by kennyc; 12-05-2012 at 06:20 PM.
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Old 12-05-2012, 07:21 PM   #23
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Which reviews were written for money?
If Amazon don't know, they can't take them down.

We are told that there were 300 bought reviews from GettingBookReviews.com for Locke's books, but the site owner won't tell Amazon which reviews/reviewers they are.
How does Amazon remove them?
As I said: all the reviews.

If they don't allow reviews from authors because some, occasionally write reviews to get reviews, then why would they allow any reviews from people who write reviews for money?
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Old 12-05-2012, 08:14 PM   #24
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I'd much rather they had a disclaimer policy. It is sufficient for me to know a particular review might have a financial or other connection to the product or author. Seems like this way throws the baby out with the bath water.
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Old 12-05-2012, 08:16 PM   #25
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I'd much rather they had a disclaimer policy. It is sufficient for me to know a particular review might have a financial or other connection to the product or author. Seems like this way throws the baby out with the bath water.
Maybe it's a step in completely eliminating reviews, in acknowledgement that Amazon reviews are totally useless anyway.
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Old 12-05-2012, 08:48 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crich70 View Post
I think it also accuses the reviewers of being liars. I mean say you and I both write a book a piece and we both like well written fiction in the same genre. But we don't know one another personally. Why can't I give an unbiased review of a book that I bought from you? Just because we both have books available for purchase from Amazon doesn't mean we are indulging in mutual backscratching.
Well, yes, I think the whole point of Amazon doing this is to eliminate a conflict of interest. Which doesn't mean that the reviewers *are* liars, but it does mean that it may be in their interest to lie.

It doesn't matter if they know other authors personally: if an author has reviewed several other authors books, they may feel an obligation to review his books positively. Or an author reviewing a book may be concerned about being too critical about a book lest that author retaliate with a critical review of the first author's book. These incentives don't exist if the person reviewing a book isn't an author.

Quote:
Basically they're saying that an author isn't qualified to review a book that they like just because they are an author.
No, they are not saying that the author isn't qualified. That has no bearing on the issue at all. What they are saying is that the author has a conflict of interest, and because of this conflict the author shouldn't write reviews.

It's like not letting the mayor's son bid on the sidewalk project: the prohibition has nothing to do with his qualifications and everything to do with the conflict of interest. IOW, we can't tell whether the son was chosen because he is the best contractor or because he is the mayor's son, so we bar him from playing.


Quote:
That's like saying my Dr isn't qualified to refer me to a specialist (for specific medical care) just because he is a licensed doctor. If he, as a Dr.) isn't qualified to tell me who the best person in the field is to handle my medical problem, then who is?
Again, it's not about qualifications, it's about conflict of interest.


Quote:
Authors know how to write, they know what a well written piece of writing looks like, so why can't they say so?
Because there is a conflict of interest. We don't know whether they are telling the truth, and they have an incentive to lie.

And of course random authors are no better than readers at knowing what a well written piece of writing looks like: they have no special knowledge that people who have read thousands of books don't have.
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Old 12-05-2012, 09:21 PM   #27
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It doesn't matter if they know other authors personally: if an author has reviewed several other authors books, they may feel an obligation to review his books positively. Or an author reviewing a book may be concerned about being too critical about a book lest that author retaliate with a critical review of the first author's book. These incentives don't exist if the person reviewing a book isn't an author.
They do if the reader got the book for free as a result of a book promotion. Also they might be more favorable if both the reader and the author were born in the same city, or if the book got a good review from someone they like or respect, etc.
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Old 12-06-2012, 12:46 AM   #28
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It's a slippery slope.
I would much rather Amazon flag these reviews, or give users the option to filter them out. But once you start deleting... all sorts of issues surface.

Somehow related... I do work in academia - and my main output consists in research papers. Which are peer-reviewed for academic journals. Except that 'peer-reviewed' seems to mean 'buddy-reviewed'. It does get aggravating, at times.
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Old 12-06-2012, 01:20 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crich70 View Post
I think it also accuses the reviewers of being liars. I mean say you and I both write a book a piece and we both like well written fiction in the same genre. But we don't know one another personally. Why can't I give an unbiased review of a book that I bought from you? Just because we both have books available for purchase from Amazon doesn't mean we are indulging in mutual backscratching.Basically they're saying that an author isn't qualified to review a book that they like just because they are an author. That's like saying my Dr isn't qualified to refer me to a specialist (for specific medical care) just because he is a licensed doctor. If he, as a Dr.) isn't qualified to tell me who the best person in the field is to handle my medical problem, then who is? Authors know how to write, they know what a well written piece of writing looks like, so why can't they say so?
I honestly don't mind the odd review, if being honest. I see where you are coming from. If you had written 10 books and I had written 10 books, and we happened to read one book the other had written and given a review of it, then how can we be accused of not giving an unbiased review.

I can see the issue if I reviewed all 10 of your books and you reviewed all 10 of mine, but the odd one......

To be honest I don't read reviews much at all, even ones on the back cover of a book. No one says what they really think (or does it get published). Watch any interview with an actor and they talk about how wonderful an artist a fellow actor is and how their charm/presence brings new 'life' to a movie. Read the blurb on the back of a book and anything that involves espionage and they are referred to as a modern day Tom Clancy. If we believed all of these reviews then everyone in the world would be superstars.
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Old 12-06-2012, 01:23 AM   #30
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And yet Amazon keeps sending me emails asking me to review the books I've purchased.

Which is it? Do they want me to review books or don't they?
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