Saturday, December 22, 2012

A rant to match the new address: Indies again.

How are you, guys? Sorry if you have been searching for my blog and got the following message:

Yep, I've been a naughty girl and changed the blog address. I started a new site for my books and what inspired me to write them, and wanted to have this blog for ranting purposes and all the other stuff I'm blogging about. I thought it's time to separate them. The book site is for readers only and this one is for anyone who's interested in what I have to say.

Right, and because this blog is called Stella Deleuze rants, it's only appropriate if I launch right into one.

You know the newest petition that's making the round? The one against Amazon's deleting reviews without explanation? Well, I'm not going to sign it. And I'll tell you why: Indies with their fake reviews, with their attacking reviewers, with their slagging off or tagging and sabotaging other authors' books, shouldn't be surprised that Amazon takes to those measures. Amazon probably gets thousands of requests to remove negative reviews from furious self-published authors who think their precious book doesn't deserve the 1-star review it received, or they get abuse reported because someone doesn't like it that a fellow author, who just happens to be higher in the charts, gets a bloody, and probably fake 5-star review! How dare he! Amazon, do something about it!
I could imagine that all the recent press about uncovered fake reviews pressured Amazon to make changes. And, as usual, Indies brought it upon themselves. Shame it's the bad apples that make everyone suffer. Yet again. Even if the petition would work, which I somehow doubt, it would just result in Amazon having constant e-mail battles with Indie authors who appeal Amazon's explanation as to why they'd removed reviews. And we still would have a continuation of the same fake review/slagging off nonsense.
I'm sick and tired to hear about the complaints about the issue revolving around reviews. The only people I find it unfair against is when it happens to honest reader reviews; those readers who took the time to draft a write up to help other readers make a decision. I don't get why authors with 50+ reviews throw a hissy fit when three of them get deleted. Yes, it may temper with your star-rating, but heck. If you have already over 50 reviews your book is probably selling well enough. If the book's not selling at all, three more or less reviews will hardly make a difference, right?
Those of us who only have very few reviews (and I'm one of them), and received them from readers, not authors, are pretty safe, I would assume. I only got one 5-star-review removed from Tony (an author) who happened to love my book. It was put back in place when he enquired. And, as expected, a case of another Indie who didn't take it too well that Tony didn't like his book, reported abuse and asked Amazon to remove it. As a result, all of Tony's reviews were deleted. He'd just been honest.
I don't blame Amazon for having enough of it. I really don't. What worries me the most is that if Indies don't stop, Amazon may one day decided to ban all of us and return to work with traditional publishers only. 
By the way: one of my books with only one (5-star) review proves to be my bestseller, leaving the one with 15 reviews, overall rated 4.5 stars, easily behind.

Indies, stop complaining and get on with writing. Your readers will thank you for it. And if you really are that cross with Amazon, take your books elsewhere. It's not that anyone forces you to sell through Amazon. And don't complain they have the monopoly on the market: you've made it happen.

Note: shoes are there, put them on on own peril. :-)

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