Anyway, so you know all those events where you give a gift card, or you give those to family and friends and they say—oh I am going to support you and buy your books. Yeah tell them not to unless you want to see about 5 valued reviews drop off your books. Not just the one from the gift-cardee (yes, I am an author, I make words up).
This goes for gifting your books too right? Nope. Amazon likes that authors have to buy books that they already own. Sigh. But there is some pretend limit. So don’t buy too many, whatever that means.
Where am I getting all this crazy cockamamie stuff? (I can get naughty words in everywhere peeps) A trusted group on my yahoo loop. They are Indie and hybrid published (meaning some where traditionally published and came over to Indie and fought for their rights and others have some toes in certain trad pub waters.
Anyway so what do we do?
Well, the solutions they said were:
- Buy Amazon cards at a store and snail mail them. But this doesn’t even guarantee your winners from your events and contests to buy your books, just like before with online. And do they really want to give their address? And postmarked from where you are too?
- Buy online gift cards for other places like Starbucks and Victoria’s Secret. Ultimately Amazon is just shooting themselves in the foot. IMHO.
- Other people have a second account which is another no-no for Amazon. So with that you risk all your reviews. And ultimately they DO NOT have to sell your books at all. Remember that people.
- I’m just going to continue giving me free copies from Smashwords. I have a couple of books that are Amazon only, but still I am just keeping Smashwords for this specific reason. Plus, I can make things free. People say they can’t review if they didn’t buy the book on Amazon. I’ve been doing it as a reviewer. I haven’t checked to see if they are still up, but it lets me.
You are probably wondering why. Well this isn’t new. Amazon goes through ebbs and tides with their crazy stuff, but there has been a huge discussion on people “buying” reviews. When I first heard about this phenomenon I was disgusted. I still am disgusted. You will know who they are. They released the book and have 500 5-star reviews from their pre-order status. Then once the book starts selling the real reviews come in and they are 1’s and 2’s if that. Most say things like I don’t know who those other reviewers are but this book wasn’t edited or other terrible things…
But why do we give a crap?
Well rankings of course. They are holding a slot where a real true valuable author could and should be getting recognition. But alas the crazy world we live it.
For me I gave up caring about reviews and rankings. Sure, I love the great ones, but I no longer obsess. I appreciate all the good and push out the bad. Hey, I’m an optimist. ;)