Articles & Discussions

Amazon Rule Update! UK Rules Imposed, US Rules amended!

amazon-447033_1280

UPDATE:  Amazon have seen sense and since posting this blog post they have exempt book reviews – sort of.  There is more in this final post about the new rules Whoooo! Complaining Works! Amazon Book Reviews Are Now Exempt!

ANOTHER UPDATE about amazon rules for you.  It seems that along with new UK rules amazon US made a boo-boo in their previously released rules and have amended part of it which will bring some relief to authors.

If you are confused by this blog post please read the previous one to understand what this is all about: Amazon’s Even Newer Reviewing Rules Will Book Reviews Be Affected?

I’ll start off with amazon.com.  At the time of writing all about the new rule changes point number 5 was this:

When we find unusually high numbers of reviews for a product posted in a short period of time, we may restrict reviews of these Amazon Verified Purchase reviews.

This rule has caused uproar but it seems amazon has now amended the rule to include the simple word ‘to‘.  This changes the statement above to:

When we find unusually high numbers of reviews for a product posted in a short period of time, we may restrict reviews of these TO Amazon Verified Purchase reviews.

D’oh, the amazon people must have forgotten to add the ‘to’ or did that happen only after complaint?  The rule states that if there are a number of reviews coming I that ones ONLY verified purchase reviews will now be allowed.  Yes this does bring some relief to all authors as all pre-purchased items won’t be restricted, however amazon has caused a lot of worry and I did check back and forth, the rules have only just been amended to include this word so thank you amazon.com for scaring everyone with your improper sentences!!

Now Amazon UK has updated it’s rules too.  These rules can be found here.  And here are the two rules that are new/have changed:

  • You can submit five non-Amazon Verified Purchase reviews each week, starting on Sunday. If we find unusually high numbers of reviews for a product posted in a short period of time, we may restrict these products to Amazon Verified Purchase reviews
  • Paid Reviews – We do not permit reviews or votes on the helpfulness of reviews that are posted in exchange for compensation of any kind, including payment (whether in the form of money or gift certificates), bonus content, entry to a prize draw or competition, discounts on future purchases, extra product, or other gifts. The sole exception to this rule is that you may post content requested by Amazon (such as Customer Reviews of products you purchased on Amazon or received through the Vine programme, and answers requested through Questions and Answers). In those cases, your content must comply with any additional guidelines specified by Amazon. 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.

The rules are similar to amazon US in that no longer can any free items be reviewed, except of course books.  However just as with the US rules the UK ones are causing confusion.  It’s again unclear whether books are exempt from the 5 non-verified purchase reviews a week limit as the rule is in a different section of the page.  It is also unclear now whether you actually need to disclose that you got a book for free!

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.   This point is worded badly and basically suggests that authors must give books with no expectation of a review.  Although sites like NetGalley do have this rule in place (that you don’t HAVE to review a book).  It does make me wonder what sentences will be allowed in a disclosure ‘I got this book free to review’ – could this be flagged as bad?

At least there is some relief for authors.  All verified purchase reviews should be okay.  But what will happen in the future at amazon?  Will fraud be stopped with this?  Or will dodgy people find a way around it by being paid to buy a book/item for review?  Will amazon impose even more rules?  Change them again without warning?  Will amazon be as popular a platform for authors in the future?  Time will tell.


Please follow Happymeerkatreviews on Facebook

Please follow Happymeerkatreviews on Twitter

Please follow Happymeerkatreviews on Bloglovin’

Advertisements

14 thoughts on “Amazon Rule Update! UK Rules Imposed, US Rules amended!

  1. Thanks for all your efforts in helping to clear up these confusing rules. I buy from Amazon UK but usually post my reviews on the .com and .uk sites. All my reviews on .com will presumably be from unverified purchases. Do you think it better to only review on the site you purchased from. I would be interested to know what others do.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I used to review on .com but stopped when they got a new rule which said reviews are only allowed by those who’ve spent $50 or more with a valid debit/credit card. I’m a top reviewer on the .co.uk site so I did this because I didn’t want my account in the UK to get shut down – not sure how connected the two sites are. Your reviews would show up as unverified in the US, but it depends on if you want to post there, if so you would have to stick to a maximum of 5 reviews a week. Unfortunately the UK rules are written in a confusing way so it’s still not clear if books are exempt from the 5 non-verified purchase reviews rule. However if you review books you buy from there then there’s no worry of any problems, just make sure you review the version you got, if you got the kindle then make sure you review the kindle version and not the paperback :).

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks so much for your detailed reply. I am trying to build up my reviews on .uk so think I will follow your example and cease to review on .com as they are all unverified and I never spend any money there. You wouldn’t think leaving a review would be such a complex business! I also ‘read’ at least one book per month from purchases on Audible. Thanks again for your very good advice.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, it’s a minefield, isn’t it. Regards wording, I saw someone else suggest that we simply drop the phrase ‘I received this book in exchange for a review’ or anything that implies you are doing it as a duty. You can disclose you received a free copy from the publisher, or an ARC, but don’t add the words ‘to review’. I suspect my editor would cross out ‘to review’ in a book because it’s obvious, but we are all creatures of habit, and copy what we think we should write.
    BTW – I see you’re reading Clover Moon too – I expect you got it from NetGalley, like me! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good idea to lose the ‘review’ part of the sentence. I think I will start just stating I got something free :). Yes I did get Clover Moon through NetGalley 😀 I haven’t been on NetGalley long and so amazed to get a chance to review a title by a well known author 🙂 Thank you so much for commenting. The US rules have been amended today to exempt all books from the 5 non-verified rule, but the UK rules still are confusing.

      Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s