Amazon Is The Real Scumbag


When I published my ebook to Amazon, I sent copies of it to friends and family who promised to read it and leave a review. I thought that was a thing I could do. Time went by and none showed up.

Both my brother and wife tried multiple times to leave a review. Turns out, this violates Amazon policy. They have algorithms and data-mining in place to verify that no bias has sullied the review process.

Friends and family can’t leave reviews on your book. Sometimes people in your zip code can’t leave reviews. If you’re buddies on Twitter or Fecesbook or commented on a post on Reddit, you can’t leave reviews. If you review another writer’s book, that writer can’t review your book.

I understand the policy. It prevents inflated Hubbardian ratings or East Coast/West Coast rivalries between GRRM and Steven Erikson or something. But if you’re an indie writer who’s a complete noob at marketing, it sucks.

Amazon won’t release their method or process. Which means they’re combing through your internet history and cookies to an unknown extent and that’s disturbing. I feel like there should be some sort of tiered system, but I’m also concerned that wouldn’t be as free market or democratic.

I don’t know.

As an indie writer, you have to hack your way through the underbrush to find complete strangers who are willing to leave reviews. I’m not here to rant or suggest solutions, but to say it’s difficult. We should all be supporting indie writers. Especially writers with no stars on thars.

So, yeah, Amazon is a giant scumbag. Such is the nature of business. But if you’re not leaving reviews on unloved indie books, you’re pretty much a scumbag too.

Here’s some additional reading:





5 thoughts on “Amazon Is The Real Scumbag

  1. Thanks for the review and support Oscar – loved the review of Shadowed Perspectives, yet didn’t get a sale on Amazon for it – hm, what could be going on?? Yes, it’s true, Amazon delete reviews – all of mine have been deleted systematically, so although the books currently have no stars, it wasn’t always the case. Amazon’s policy is misguided of course – agents send out books to people they know too – it’s just those trails can’t be followed by Amazon’s software, so only the independents will suffer. I didn’t prompt my reviews, though did find out later someone I know wanted to show appreciation. It wasn’t their fault I then got the ‘policy warning’ out of the blue. It’s true, no good deed goes unpunished! J.D. Adamsson


    • Hello there. You didn’t get a sale for Shadowed Perspectives? I’ll have to do something about that. I’m now paranoid about deleted reviews. I’ve gotten two, but compulsively check to see if they’re still there. Getting heard above the din is much more difficult than I expected. So it goes. I’m halfway through As Shadows Fall and I’m enjoying it. Keep ’em coming…


      • Sorry about the delayed response Oscar, running behind on my social media empire at the moment 🙂 Funnily enough, Amazon eventually reinstated your reviews. They also only paid me 2 months after a sale was recorded for SP, but their reporting system is pretty dodgy at best. Glad you’re enjoying the book. I didn’t realise you also wrote, I’ll definitely take a look later. Yes it’s true – Amazon make life hard for Indies. I’m busy writing the follow-up for The Sea Call at the moment. That’s the best seller, but the reviews are still hard to get. I’ve had people email me to say they love it, then they don’t bother writing a review. Go figure. Or maybe Amazon deleted them, those crazy guys!


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