Amazon’s done it again. well….They’ve already done it but I’ve only just read it back properly. The following phrase sums up their reviewing policy on books. Now if you remember amazon is against people being sent free items to review. This has been in effect for a short while on amazon US with the Canadian site now following suit. An enquiry letter to amazon has led them to confirming it is only a matter of time before the UK follows suit. But Book reviews are exempt. At least I think they are. Well of course they are exempt but this cleverly worded policy leaves you wondering…
Book authors and publishers may continue to provide free or discounted copies of their books to readers, as long as the author or publisher does not require a review in exchange or attempt to influence the review.
Hmmm….So I can get a book from a publisher or author, a free copy but it must be a gift and not be in exchange for a review. Something about this phrase just doesn’t add up. Publishers have sent me books to review with the sole request that I leave a review on amazon. Publishers have never said ‘well have this book and no need to review it just enjoy it’ The whole purpose of getting a book from an author or publisher, as a reviewer, is to review it.
I’ve always stated I got a book free to review and will continue to do so, at least on this blog, but the question is entering my mind, should I shouldn’t I declare this on amazon UK (if and likely when the same rule comes into effect)? The moral person in me says yes. I don’t like the idea that people believe I bought the book for review. But should amazon ever come down crazy on book reviews in the future as it has with products – what then? Would I be breaking the rules for stating I got a book free to review? Should I declare I just got it for free? Should I not declare at all?
What do you think of amazon’s wonderful phraseology and what would you do in my position? And before answering that last one remember I’m currently a top reviewer in the UK, and amazon is happy to shut down accounts of anyone who isn’t found to be playing fair with their rules 😮 !