I know I said I was done posting for today, but I’ve been distracted by an issue that has come up; so I’m not getting much writing in the novel done anyway.

If you’ve visited the LTB:KS page on Amazon and read the reviews, you’re not getting the whole story. They removed 3 of my TOTALLY LEGITIMATE reviews, claiming they have determined these reviews were written by the same person. In actuality, they were written by two sisters and their mom. (We are still working with Amazon in an attempt to get them to reinstate the wrongfully removed reviews.)

Needless to say, I’m pretty upset about this, because people potentially considering buying the book aren’t seeing some of the reviews, which – who knows – might push them over the edge into their decision to purchase.  As well, my star rating is skewed because all of the ratings aren’t being factored in.

If you wish to read ALL reviews that have been written to date about LTB:KS, and get a more well-rounded picture of what readers have to say about it, please visit this page of my website:

14 comments for “Reviews

  1. June 6, 2014 at 5:05 pm

    That happened to me on my first book. Two reviews were removed because the people lived in the same area. We think someone reported them as fakes even though they were legitimate. Never got them back either.

    • June 6, 2014 at 5:22 pm

      I wish I could afford to lose them but I can’t. They make up 50% of my reviews. As I’m early in the game and trying to build up a name for myself and the book, every review counts – especially three glowing 5-star reviews :-.

      (BTW I don’t mean that there are authors who don’t “need” their reviews – but if I had a lot more and it didn’t make such a difference, I probably wouldn’t be so hot about it.)

      • June 6, 2014 at 5:35 pm

        I understand and I had one 5-star disappear on me once at a terrible moment. Several marketing sites will only take you if you have 10 reviews and a 4.0 overall rating. I had signed up at 10 and Amazon deleted a review the day before I was to go live, which knocked me out of the promotion.

        • June 6, 2014 at 5:44 pm

          That’s terrible!! They should be judging on the side of the author, rather than wiping out millions of good reviews just to get the occasional sock puppet. As I saw another author put it, they’re trying to kill a mosquito with a nuclear bomb.

          • June 6, 2014 at 5:52 pm

            The other side of the coin is that they don’t have anything that handles sock puppet 1-stars. I’ve seen a lot of 1-stars that complain about things beyond the product like delivery times, complaining about a TV show on the book it was based on, and other things that don’t get removed. The hard thing for an author is that there’s been so many that flagged every 1-star review that the entire group has become the boy who cried wolf. At least in that respect.

            To be fair, it’s a hard position for Amazon. Like any business, they want to keep their customers happy. That’s why they listen to these reports even though they should give the reviewer a chance/time period to defend themselves. Add one of those ‘are you human’ tests to see if it’s a sock account.

          • June 6, 2014 at 5:58 pm

            I agree it’s a difficult position… but I just can’t believe there isn’t a better way of handling things. I like the idea of adding the “human” test, and they already have some safeguards in place like you have to have an account AND have purchased something through that account. Besides those safeguards and the human test, why not just leave well enough alone BUT let people contact them if they believe there are illegitimate reviews, whether positive or negative, and THEN checking them out. They do have rules about posting beyond the product, and reviews that do that should be easy enough to remove. Removing reviews that in content don’t violate the rules should be a lot more difficult to do.

          • June 6, 2014 at 6:11 pm

            It’s an automated system from what I’ve heard. This is where the key phrases come from. This was supposedly done to counter the accusations that authors were getting friends and family to spam books 5-star reviews. So there’s a chance that a human never looked at the deleted reviews in the first place. They’ll respond when the reviewers react, which might prove that a human was behind it.

          • June 6, 2014 at 6:43 pm

            I figured it was automated. I’m hoping they will respond appropriately. As I said in another comment, I and all three reviewers have contacted them.

          • June 6, 2014 at 7:01 pm

            I’ve heard of reviews being restored before, so good luck.

          • June 6, 2014 at 7:07 pm

            Thanks. I am definitely glad to hear that.

  2. June 6, 2014 at 4:38 pm

    I know they use IPS addresses as one of their ways to determine who is writing reviews. Unfortunately, there may be many family members at the same address who have read the book. I have a friend who has had fifteen 5-stars removed from his book for various reasons. One was someone who shared the same last name, he doesn’t even know. Many were teachers where he works. Crazy crap. So far, they have left me alone, but I am waiting for the other shoe to fall. I did get them to remove one bad review, because I could prove that the people who posted it were paid money for an editorial review, and then posted a bad review when I declined to agree to their manuscript review services (for an astronomical fee).

    • June 6, 2014 at 4:56 pm

      I and the reviewers have contacted them, explaining that the reviews were from members of a family, and asking them to correct it. I will remove my book and sell elsewhere if they don’t reinstate the reviews. At this point, 99% if not 100% of my sales were driven there by me, and I can just as easily drive them elsewhere and sell the e-book myself. They are making money off of me without driving any of my sales right now, so I have nothing to lose.

  3. June 6, 2014 at 4:24 pm

    Thanks for the information. I’ll have a look. By the way have you ever read “Memoirs of a Hayseed Physicist” by Peter Martel? It would be interesting if you did a review on that book.

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