Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Amazon Review Policy, Pt II

            So, a month or so back I outlined a simple experiment to check some of the ongoing stories , articles, and rumors about Amazon reviews and who can post them.  It’s been a month, so I figured I could toss down a few lumps of data for your perusal.
            First off, the books I reviewed.  There’s a full list below.  I’ve included links to Amazon just to make it quick and simple for anyone to follow up on each review. There’s also a few letters by each name that cover a bunch of other variables.

t  = I follow the author on Twitter
T = We follow each other
F = Facebook friends/followers with said author
A = Amazon verified purchase
C = Control review. This should be rejected immediately, for reasons

            The dates I’m listing are the dates I wrote and submitted the review.  As mentioned in the earlier post, they all had at least twelve hours between them.  Most of them went up in minutes.  In a few cases cases, there was a delay of anywhere from hours to almost two days before the review actually posted on Amazon.  And yet... every one of them did go up.
            They’re roughly alphabetical, except in a few places where I had to swap out titles for one reason or another (a few books I’d planned to review for this didn’t actually come out yet...). That’s more a function of the original list I threw together, not anything else.  All of them are books I’ve read in the past year, more or less.
            I know originally I said I’d only do positive reviews.  After the second or third day, I decided to only do five star reviews (to smooth out one more variable).  Again, these are all honest reviews. I really, truly loved all of these books and I think you should read a bunch of them right now or at least put them on your Christmas list.  On a few, I mention that said book was maybe a 4.5, but I rounded up since Amazon doesn’t allow partial stars.  This also meant I had to switch out one or two books (because believe me... not everything I read is five-star-wonderful by a long shot).
            All the control books either have a blurb from me right on the cover or there on the Amazon page in the editorial/press material. The one exception is Kaiju Rising, an anthology I have a story in, where Amazon lists me as the sole author, and most of the editorial/press stuff mentions me as well.  On all those reviews (as you can see) I openly, blatantly stated my connection to the book, both for Amazon and also so it wouldn’t look like a cheap/bogus review that might reflect back on said author.
            If there’s some factor you can think of that I missed, please let me know and I’ll see if it’s something I can include the next time around..
            Anyway, here’s the list of books/reviews...

1st Alight—Scott Sigler (T)

2nd Life Debt: AftermathChuck Wendig (T)

3rd Anamnesis – Ellie Knapp (T, F, A)

4th Chapelwood—Cherie Priest (T)

5th Crooked—Austin Grossman (t)

6th The Crooked God Machine – Autumn Christian (T, A)

7th Creeping Stones-- Cullen Bunn (T)

8th Experimental Film – Gemma Files (T)

9th Grave’s End—Sean Patrick Travers (T, A)

10th Head Full of Ghosts – Paul Tremblay (T)

11th Hoo-Doo Mountain Horror – Jonathan Moon (T, F, A)

12th Mistakes I Made During the Zombie Apocalypse- Michelle Kilmer (T, A)

13th Made to Kill—Adam Christopher (T)

14th Ms Marvel: Generation Why—G. Willow Wilson (t, A)

15th Lois Lane: Fallout --Gwenda Bond (t)

16th One Dead, Two To Go—Elena Hartwell (T, F)

17th Panacea – F. Paul Wilson (T)

18th Perdition Score – Richard Kadrey (t)

19th Railroad! : Collection 3-- Tonia Brown--  (T, A)

20th – Okay, I spent the day at the LACMA Guillermo del Toro exhibit and went out to dinner with friends.  Sue me.

21st Shoot This One – Javier Grillo-Marxuach (T, F, A)

22nd The Unnoticeables—Robert Brockway (T)


24th The Water Knife--Paolo Bacigalupi (t)

25th Zero World – Jason Hough (T, A)

26th The Big Sheep—Robert Kroese (T, C)

27th Desert Bleeds Red—Jason Hornsby (F, C)

28th Impact Earth – Timothy Long (T, F, A, C)

29th  Kaiju Rising --assorted authors (T, C)

30th Phoenix: A Road Less Traveled novel—C. Dulaney (T, F, C)

31st The Voodoo Killings—Kristi Charish (T, F, C)

            Now, with those titles and dates in mind, here’s a few things that’ve happened already...
            First off, doing a review a day becomes oddly time-consuming. Especially trying to write an honest-I-read-this-review without giving away any spoilers.
            Also, I never knew this before, but... things people buy as gifts off your Amazon wish list do not count as verified purchases.  Yeah, I know—weird.  Creeping Stones and Experimental Film were birthday/Christmas gifts, yet neither reads as a verified purchase. I mention it just because I’m trying to put down all the info I can.  I’d guess it’s because even though the item was clearly bought for you, you’re not the one who purchased it. Something to work on, Amazon...
            And as of this writing, all thirty of them are still up.  It’s been six days since I reviewed The Voodoo Killings and over five weeks since I reviewed Alight
            We’ll check in on this experiment one more time in early October and see where things are at.

4 comments:

  1. this is a great idea. I've heard a lot of noise about Amazon taking down reviews but never seen any evidence for or against.

    The only thing i'll complain about is that you've now doubled the number of books i want to read...

    ReplyDelete
  2. It's a great idea if we learn anything from it. Time will tell.

    Worst-case scenario, it's a big block of documented reviews people can reference when discussing the latest wave of articles shouting "Amazon hates reviews."

    So sorry for adding to your book list.

    (not sorry)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Interesting. I wonder if Amazon's cleanup (partial) of some of the reviews is based on your post getting out there.

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/pdp/profile/A2Z60QQGF21DAZ/ref=cm_cr_getr_d_pdp?ie=UTF8 I'm seeing several missing from your review list at this point. Nearly all of the "C" reviews are gone.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hey, Ray and Pam-- not sure where you're seeing that. All the reviews (even the "C" books) are still listed on my Amazon profile and on the individual books. Just asked a friend to double check through her account and she sees them in both places, too.

    How are you viewing Amazon? Browser? App? Anonymously?

    ReplyDelete