Oops. That Book Review’s Not Verified

verified review on amazon hook-881444_960_720Way, way back in September of 2013 I wrote an article about verified reviews. In the world of Indie publishing, especially where anything directly related to Amazon is concerned, three-and-a-half years is a lifetime. Much of what I wrote then is either no longer true or suspect. In this article, I’m going to talk about some of the changes and why you, I, or a random reader might care. (Or maybe not.)

At the time I suggested that the only reason someone might care about whether a review was verified was if they thought the review seemed questionable. Then the “verified” flag would indicate the reviewer had actually bought the book or other item from Amazon. For someone looking at reviews and trying to decide on a purchase, the verified flag might still not be that useful. I suspect some people who are more attuned to happenings regarding Amazon might be concerned about fake or paid reviews, and pay a little more attention. But if they’re aware of these issues, they’re probably aware that reviewers who were willing to write a glowing review for a price have options to make sure those reviews showed as verified purchase reviews anyway. Continue reading “Oops. That Book Review’s Not Verified”

Can You Verify That?

I’m guessing you’ve all seen the notation on customer reviews for an “Amazon Verified Purchase” like this one.

I imagine many (most?) people don’t pay much attention to which reviews have or don’t have this, at least most of the time. However, if a review seems suspicious for other reasons, it is used by some people as “evidence” that their suspicions are correct. I’ve also been told that some of the book promotion sites are now looking at the number or percentage of Amazon reader reviews that are verified purchases as part of their vetting process. There is some confusion as to when an Amazon reader review will or won’t show as a verified purchase. So I’ve mucked about and think I have the answers. As it turns out there are several different scenarios and this isn’t as straightforward as you might think. Continue reading “Can You Verify That?”