If you move in author / publishing circles, then there’s a good chance that you’ve seen the blog post from Imy Santiago that I’m about to share a link to here. Her post deals with the fact that Amazon removed her review, claiming that she “knows” the author. As she rightly points out, in Indie publishing circles, there’s a chance that many authors have met online or been in touch even in passing at some point. That’s one of the things that makes being an indie author so attractive… the sense of community. Let’s be honest, if we examine our social media lists, most of us are “friends” with or follow authors, especially authors we enjoy reading. If you’re in any book groups on Facebook, you may even have had a chance to speak to these authors. Does this make your review any less valid? No.
So… reading this blog post of hers and thinking about her experience made me wonder what our community of authors can do in the face of ever changing policies, payment options and “big brothering” from retailers? It’s not only Amazon that is changing the face of publishing though. The other day there was rumbling about another outlet removing romance titles from their listings because of how it was influencing their experimental payment options.
As an author and reviewer, this is a very interesting (and by interesting, I mean quite unstable) time. As an author, I am in danger of being underpaid for my hard work depending on if I opted in to a certain option or not and as a reviewer, if Amazon has even a slight suspicion that I might “know” the author of the book I’m reviewing, they can just decide not to post my review.
Right now, as an author I am waiting to see how those new options work out. My circle of awesome colleagues and I are sharing, researching and keeping each other abreast of any news and as soon as I have enough factual information, I can make an informed decision. As a reviewer, I can review under either of my author profiles, my “real world” profile or as The Book Mistress. This should help me to stay ahead of the strange Amazon spynet.
One thing I will not do, is stop reviewing. Reviews help to sell books, they help to promote authors & they help to find loving homes for great books!
I’d love to hear what you think.
Until next time…