THIS BLOG POST HAS BEEN UPDATED AFTER AN INTERESTING DEVELOPMENT...
There's been some panic recently with authors and reviewers noticing reviews disappearing on Amazon. I actually shared a post to my Savvy Authors' Snug group on Facebook about disappearing Amazon reviews many weeks before this all kicked off as it's actually happened before.
Many believe it’s part of Amazon’s crack-down on dodgy paid-for reviews, not just for books but all products sold via the website.
Admirable reason. Problem is, many people are discovering genuine and sometimes even verified reviews are going missing. Whatever Amazon has recently developed to seek out dodgy reviews is clearly getting it wrong in some cases.
Yep, it's all the fault of those over-zealous Amazon 'bots'.
I think it comes down to one of Amazon's review policies:
'In order to preserve the integrity of Community content, content and activities consisting of advertising, promotion, or solicitation (whether direct or indirect) is not allowed, including:
Creating, modifying, or posting content regarding your (or your relative's, close friend's, business associate's, or employer's) products or services.'
And by 'close friend' that can include anyone who they think received a free copy of your book (bloggers, journalists and advance readers) or simply someone who follows you on Twitter or is a Facebook friend. Not good when many authors connect with bloggers and readers via our social media channels.
So for now, until we know concrete reasons why, here are two steps you can take:
1) Unlink your social media accounts from Amazon by going to Your Account, down to Ordering and Shopping Preferences, clicking on Social Media Preferences and unlinking. You can easily link again. But what this does is it stops Amazon seeing who you’re friends with on social media and therefore assuming they’re a ‘friend’ who's posting fake reviews for you. Please note, this option has JUST disappeared. Interesting... I am investigating this. In the meantime, I suggest checking your Kindle device/s (if you have any) to see if your social media accounts are linked through them. You should be able to do this by going to Menu, Settings then Social Networks.
2) Be careful about the kind of links you share. Long links give Amazon information which can set off their algorithms. So for The Lost Sister, when I search for it on Amazon the link is mega long:
Don’t use a link like this. Instead, shorten it by simply going to your book page and finding the 'share' link on the right. This will create a nice neat link for you. Or you can delete everything after the first long number. So for The Lost Sister, it’s https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lost-Sister-Tracy-Buchanan-ebook/dp/B0796WD7S5 As always, check the link works before posting.
3. Tell you publisher. They probably know about it anyway. But your publisher will have more clout with Amazon then you and can put in a query.
I hope this helps! Things might change over the coming days. But you must remember, book sales make up a tiny fraction of overall sales for the giant that is Amazon. Sure, we authors can shout a lot in our collective voices in the hope Amazon will sort their 'bots' out (feels so wrong writing that!). But we are mere minnows when it comes to the bigger picture for Amazon. So don't let this panic you too much as beyond what you do above, it's a bit out of our control.