By Iola Goulton
My reviews have been deleted! What can I do?
Reviews can be deleted in two ways, by Amazon, or by the reviewer. Amazon can—and will—delete reviews which fall outside their reviewing guidelines in some way:
- Paid reviews
- Reviews written by someone with a financial interest in the book
- ARC reviews where the free book has not been disclosed
- Reviews where the author has gifted the book to the reviewer and this hasn’t been disclosed
A review may also be deleted if it includes specific words (e.g. ‘nazi’) which Amazon does not permit to be used on the site. This might be difficult to avoid if you were reviewing a book about, say, politics in Germany in the 1930’s. In some cases these reviews will be deleted automatically, in others they will be deleted if enough customers Report Abuse on the review.
Amazon will edit but not delete reviews where the review links to an external website, or where the reviewer has linked to their own book (which is seen as promotional, and therefore against the Reviewing Guidelines).
Review deleted without reason
If you believe a review has been deleted without reason, you can contact Amazon and ask them to review their decision. This usually results in a standard email saying the review was deleted because it was against the Reviewing Guidelines.
The other way reviews can get deleted is if the reviewer deletes them (e.g. because they are closing their Amazon account).
I didn’t mean reviews I wrote. I meant reviews on my book.
There’s nothing you can do about reviews written by other people. They are not your reviews, so you can’t ask Amazon why they have been deleted. If you remember the reviewer name and have their contact details (e.g. if it’s a review you solicited), you could ask the reviewer to ask Amazon, but they’ll probably just get the standard email (and may be threatened with having their review privileges revoked if they keep asking).
However, you can take some proactive steps to ensure reviews of your book aren’t removed by Amazon:
- Don’t review your own book
- Don’t ask/allow family members to review your book
- Don’t ask/allow editors or your publisher to review your book
- Don’t gift your book to potential reviewers through Amazon. Post them a hard copy, or email the pdf or mobi file
- If you do give a copy to a reviewer, ask that they include an appropriate disclosure statement (e.g. “Thanks to the author for providing a free copy of this book for review purposes”).
- Ensure reviewers don’t use their review of your book as a platform for promoting their own book, either in their reviewer name, through links, or by mentioning their own book in the review.
This is the final post in a series on reviewing and reviewing ethics.
We’ve looked at a range of topics:
- What makes a good book review
- Reviewing and influencing
- Blog tours
- The dilemma facing author/reviewers
- The etiquette of responding to book reviews
- The ethics of online reviewing
- The sins of online reviewing
- The rules of online reviewing
What is the most useful thing you’ve learned from this series? Is there anything else you’d like to know about reviews and online reviewing?
By Iola Goulton. I am a freelance editor specialising in Christian fiction, and you can find out more about my services at my website (www.christianediting.co.nz), or follow me on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/christianediting), Twitter (@IolaGoulton) or Pinterest (http://pinterest.com/iolasreads).
I love reading, and read and review around 150 Christian books each year on my blog (www.christianreads.blogspot.com). I'm a Top 25 Reviewer at Christian Book, in the Top 1% of reviewers at Goodreads, and have an Amazon Reviewer Rank that floats around 2000.