Man-spreading is annoying. Why do I want to spread the reviews?

There’s safety in redundancy. Amazon has tweaked its algorithms again, and every breed of author has noticed reviews taken down, even ‘verified’ ones, which are supposed to be proof against most Amazon nonsense.

Amazon sees policing farmed reviews, bought reviews, and reviews from people who may know the author, as its business. Unfortunately, it leaves this policing up to computer programs, and as you will know if you’ve ever asked why a review has been removed, you can ask three different customer support people and get three different answers. Basically, no-one but the tech who made the change knows what they intended to achieve, and no-one, including the tech who made the change, knows what that algorithm may do in practice.

In this latest case, no-one’s been able to find out exactly what they were targeting, but a lot of legitimate reviews have gone missing.

Which brings me, slowly yet surely, to my point. Spread your reviews as widely as you can. Do an author a favour and add some redundancy.

Obviously if the author’s still at the stage of trusting that Amazon will do right by them, they may only be on Amazon. Even if an author is still Amazon-exclusive, it might be worth seeing if they’re on Goodreads.

A lot of authors, though, are up in other stores where you may have an account: Smashwords, Barnes&Noble, iTunes, Google Play Books, Waterstones, Kobo…I tend to run a Google search on the book title, and anywhere I have an account and the book is listed, I copy and paste the review in there as well. Just in case Amazon decides that reviews containing the letter ‘e’ are biased, unsafe, immoral, or possibly from your estranged second cousin twice removed’s boyfriend.

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