Indies Unlimited is conducting a survey of the indie author community regarding some policy changes recently implemented by Amazon.
We are interested in the views of indie authors* regarding three particular areas of Amazon policy change. Please respond to all three questions below:
1. Sock Puppet Reviews
Amazon has implemented a policy change directed at the prohibition and elimination of “Sock Puppet Reviews,” wherein an author or someone acting on the author’s behalf posts reviews under aliases, using multiple accounts. The purpose of sock puppet reviews can be to puff up the ratings of the author’s books with positive reviews, or to drive down the ratings of a perceived competitor’s books with negative reviews.
2. Compensated Reviews
Amazon has implemented a policy change prohibiting any sort of compensated reviews. Ostensibly, this includes reviews from paid review services such as Kirkus, but also includes reviews from anyone to whom the author’s book was gifted, as Amazon considers this a form of compensation.
3. Author-to-Author Reviews
Amazon has implemented a policy change that disallows author-to-author reviews with the reasoning that reviews by one author of another author’s book falls under the ethical aegis of financial interest and competing products. This policy includes authors, artists, publishers, manufacturers, or third-party merchants selling the product.
[*Comments are turned off for purposes of this survey. If you would like to write a guest post on the subject of Amazon’s policy changes, please see the submissions page. We welcome further discussion pro or con related to this topic.]