November 2nd, 2012

A Disbelieving Doctor

Well, thanks, Amazon. Nice to know I'm not allowed to have opinions.

Pointed out by burger_eater, who spends way too much time looking for things to make my stomach hurt.

The last Amazon kerfluffle was slightly more involved than it looked, though in the end we still had "Amazon cancels your account, and not only can't you buy new stuff, you can't access the stuff you already paid for, and no, they keep your money too".

Today, we have the fact that apparently authors are not allowed to review anyone else's books. The claimed reason is (try not to laugh) that you as an author have a "financial interest" because you are a producer of a "competing product".

Moreover, if you've reviewed some other author's book and they reject the review, continued questioning of this policy could get the reviewed book removed from Amazon.

Think about that for a minute.

First, you're basically saying that authors are not allowed to express their opinions on books. I can understand not liking some guy going around and slagging other authors' books, but really, saying ANY author review of ANY book is potentially conflict of interest?

Second, the potential for abuse boggles the mind. Imagine that there's some author that's REALLY pissed me off at some point. Now all I have to do is write a review -- even a FAVORABLE review! -- of his book. And not take "no" for an answer when Amazon declines to post the review. After a few cycles, they REMOVE HIS BOOK FROM AMAZON.

That's right, I've just got Amazon to delete books written by people I don't like! Or maybe they're someone I have no personal grudge against, but they're on the wrong political side of the fence, so I get rid of their wrongheaded scribblings, making sure that only books I approve of stay up! Or, perhaps, I'm just sour that other people sell better, so I do the same thing for EVERY BOOK THAT MAKES THE BESTSELLER LISTS!

I'm just totally gobsmacked. Who the hell is running the company these days? Loki?