Amazon Book Review Policy: Blessing or a Malediction

Amazon’s new book review policy makes it really difficult for some new authors and titles to get highly coveted reviews.


I say “new” policy, because quite frankly, it’s new to me, although it must have been implemented within the past two years.  The main issue is the fact that people who purchase a product (particularly a book for purposes of this conversation) need to have spent at least $50 in purchases on Amazon.  Not $50 in one purchase, but no less than that amount prior to leaving a review.  Personally, I think that sucks.

Quality Assurance

I’m sure that Amazon feels their policy is about quality assurance, and I can respect that.  When it comes to acquiring honest and legitimate reviews, I’m all for it – 100% and any author who really cares about their work and reputation probably feel the same way.  But I fail to see why a person who chooses to support an author by purchasing a book and following up with a review has to be a regular Amazon customer.

Any individuals who choose to try and defraud the system with bogus reviews aren’t hindered by this issue; not when they already have a budget in place for this type of deception.  It seems to me that the people who are most adversely affected by this are the authors who lose out on much needed reviews because some of their readers have no particular loyalty to Amazon.

I mention this point because my sister is an AVID reader, only she has a Nook (Amazon/Kindle competitor).  The more than two thousand dollars she’s spent over the years on books go to Barnes & Noble, or Audiobooks, not Amazon.  In the past, I’ve been hesitant about asking family and friends to support my writing.  Now that I’ve published: Skipping Childhood:  A Novel (From Abused Foster Child to Adolescent Serial Killer), I’ve been busy rallying the troops to buy and review the book.  A dark urban drama about a dysfunctional mother-daughter relationship. From child abuse to murder, the suspense mounts after each killing.


I had my sister set up an Amazon account and make her purchase there, but three days later after finishing the book, she wasn’t allowed to leave a review, due to the aforementioned policy.  I’m concerned now, because she won’t be the only one from my support system that has this problem.  So I guess I’m screwed on getting reviews from those I knew I could count on.  BUMMER!

Hands are Tied

With so many strict rules and regulations regarding acquiring reviews, the average new author and his/her titles have little to no chance of being discovered.  Most of those really creative ways that you come up with to obtain a review are now a “no no” with Amazon.  No review swapping and certainly no purchased reviews are tolerated.  This has really got some of our hands tied.  If any authors out there have found any ALLOWABLE solutions, feel free to comment below.



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