How Amazon’s New Review Policy Affects Authors (10/2016)

how amazons new review policy affects authors

When Amazon makes changes, authors take notice.

While there are other options available in the self-publishing world, no one could deny how central Amazon’s role is.

When they make changes, it affects most self-published authors in some way.

In October 2016, Amazon released a new policy regarding reviews, specifically affecting giving away free products or discounted products, for the purposes of giving away reviews.

As a company who ourselves have created a system to allow authors to get their books in front of readers this policy definitely made our ears perk up.

The main question self-published authors want to know is:

Does Amazon no longer allow authors to give their books to readers to get reviews?

Amazon’s New Review Policy

You can read Amazon’s full announcement regarding their new review policy here.

Here are the passages that make authors concerned:

“Our community guidelines have always prohibited compensation for reviews, with an exception – reviewers could post a review in exchange for a free or discounted product as long as they disclosed that fact.”

“Today, we updated the community guidelines to prohibit incentivized reviews unless they are facilitated through the Amazon Vine program.”

These changes are definitely a concern to authors, but luckily, that’s not all Amazon had to say on the subject.

They finished the announcement with this:

“The above changes will apply to product categories other than books. We will continue to allow the age-old practice of providing advance review copies of books.”(bolding added)

Books Are Not Affected By This Change

While Amazon has done a lot to disrupt the publishing industry, helping to bring prices down for consumers while allowing many of us to self-publish our work and make incomes and establish relationships with readers that we never thought possible, they understand they are still new to the game.

Review copies are an essential tool that has been used for over half of a century in the publishing industry.

Keep connecting with readers, and if you find some that are willing to leave a review for you, feel free to send them a review copy!

While Amazon may change their policies in the future, as of now, this new review policy does not affect authors and their books.

Learn more about Reading Deals Reviews, where you can get your book in front of readers willing to leave a review, here.

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