Months ago I began following an author by the name of Nancy A Lopes and learned she had a book out called The Daywalker Chronicles. It was around the time when the whole cockygate business started, and to support numerous authors affected by this previous trademark of cocky as well as new authors I’ve not heard of I bought a few books, including Nancy’s.
I had already made the decision to review it once I finished reading it, though it took me a while to finish it. I am the world’s slowest reader at times I think. It came down to it that I began following Nancy on her Twitter and likewise she followed me in return. This happens commonplace with many indie authors and readers, and even traditionally published authors follow one another and communicate. So you basically have: Indie author follows another indie author; traditional author follows another traditional author. All of them read books and write reviews on the books they bought.
When I finished reading the Daywalker Chronicles, I went to Amazon first to post my review. I clicked review and was rewarded with this… nice.. message..
I was baffled at first because I had never reviewed the book before this attempt and I had no relationship to the author or the product itself. I bought and paid for the book myself. When I took this to Twitter, Amazon help got in touch with me and told me that “Being linked to an author on Social Media could contribute to bias.” This response contradicted their own guidelines which state that following an author on social media would not disallow a reader from reviewing the product. If I were related to the author, or if she had paid me for my review, or given me the book in exchange for a review I would understand the whole: “linked” and “biased.”
This response by Amazon has caused an explosion of authors and readers coming together in the outcry of their ridiculous answer to my concerning question about why I was not permitted to review. For that, I am beyond grateful to the author and reader community. Being a small time indie author isn’t easy and gaining the support of a reader is also not easy. But when it occurs, it is cherished more than physical gifts. To me, this refusal to allow me to review a book I purchased denies me the right to support an author I’ve come to know about. Likewise, it denies other readers the right to support their favorite authors who are particularly unknown, unlike JK Rowling, Danielle Steele, Dan Brown, and Rick Riordan.
That being said, I am still furious that I was denied my right to review. Amazon really needs to take a look at their system and their own ethics and correct a lot of issues regarding matters such as this. I was asked to write an email to Amazon about this matter and when I calm down enough to do so, I will gladly do so. I hope in the meantime, due to the dozens of outcry against this issue, that Amazon will have already taken a look into their policies and guidelines and will update them accordingly.