The Indie Author Guide: Self-Publishing Strategies Anyone Can Use. A slightly longer version of the review is here.
I had been looking forward to reading the book, and ordered it several months in advance. I was greatly disappointed by the tiny type some unnamed and misguided designer chose to use. I could not read the book. I showed the book to four other people and they all shared my reaction.
I posted my review on Amazon. It was the first review of the book, and for a few days, it was the only review.
On Friday, I saw that my review had been yanked, and replaced by two five star-reviews.
One reviewer says "I have only been able to glance at it."
I did much more than glance at the book. I looked at every page. My review was critical, but careful and honest. Apparently April or her publisher (Writer's Digest) pressured Amazon to yank my review.
I've submitted about a dozen reviews to Amazon -- almost all of them positive. This is the first one to be yanked after publication.
From Amazon's review guidelines:
What's not allowed . . . Sentiments by or on behalf of a person or company with a financial interest in the product or a directly competing product (including reviews by authors, artists, publishers, manufacturers, or third-party merchants selling the product)
- None of my positive reviews about books on publishing were removed by Amazon.
- I very specifically did not mention any of my own books in my review of April's book, because I did not want the review to seem to be self-serving.
On Sunday, I saw that April's book (not yet officially released) had miraculously gained an additional 18 reviews. When I looked closely, I saw that Amazon had strangely combined the two reviews for the new book with reviews for a related book that April published more than two years earlier.
- I'm not sure if the combining of reviews was done deliberately to sell books, or was caused by a wayward computer -- but it's very wrong.
- If April has any honesty, she should ask Amazon to remove the 18 misplaced reviews about her old book, and the reviews from people who have not yet read the new book.
So, FUCK YOU, AMAZON.COM.
and maybe FUCK YOU, WRITER'S DIGEST.
For now, I will not direct the "F-bomb" at April Hamilton, but I reserve the right to do so in the future.
For the record, I sent emails about my criticism to both April and her publisher, but received no replies.