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Review Policy Update

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Since Amazon recently changed its policy regarding product reviews, my review policy needed to be updated because it seemed like I was promising to post reviews on Amazon in exchange for free books.

The sole purpose of this policy change is to eliminate any perception that I am compensated in any way for posting reviews on Amazon. I might be overly cautious here; however, we all know that Amazon has a history of penalizing authors and reviewers, without investigating matters thoroughly. We also know that it can take weeks, or months, to resolve misunderstandings with Amazon.

Amazon's Product Review Policy

At first it looked like Amazon was going to leave book reviewers and indie authors alone by allowing us to continue posting reviews in exchange for free books. This is no longer true. Amazon's policy now states:
Book authors and publishers may continue to provide free or discounted copies of their books to readers, as long as the author or publisher does not require a review in exchange or attempt to influence the review. ​

Who This Policy Affects 

  1. Book bloggers who promise that they will post reviews on Amazon in exchange for free copies of books.

  2. Authors and promoters that require book bloggers to post reviews on Amazon if they accept a free copy of a book.
In the first instance, this promise can be perceived as a condition of receiving a free book from an author.

In the second case, the parties involved are saying that if a book blogger accepts a free copy of a book, the book blogger is required to post a review on Amazon. From prior experience, it is explicitly stated that if a book blogger agrees to the terms and fails post a review on Amazon, s/he will be removed from the author's or promoter's "master list."

Who This Policy Does Not Affect

  1. Book bloggers who do not promise to review books on Amazon in exchange for free copies of books.

  2. Authors and promoters who ask book bloggers to leave a review on Amazon, but do not make this a condition of receiving a free book.

My Review Policy Changes

The only thing that has changed is the wording of my review policy, and the fact that I will not participate in any review blitzes that require me to post a review on Amazon if I want to remain on a "master list."

In all honesty, I accept books with the intent to review them. I post my reviews on multiple sites because I want to help indie authors. I will continue to post reviews on Amazon; not because this is a condition that is set by the authors that I work with, but because it is something that I want to do. 
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