Reader Views, a company dedicated to reviewing books and author publicity, has been banned from posting their reviews on Amazon.
According to an email from the company’s founder Irene Watson yesterday, Amazon has banned reviews from 15 sites. Watson explained in the email: “At first it seems it was just review sites like us but then it flowed over to removing reviews from individual reviews unrelated to any site or blog. There is no consistency except a stock email that says ‘you violated the guidelines’ but the specific violation is never disclosed by Amazon.com.”
Unlike a traditional media review, Reader Views, gets paid for some of its reviews through selling publicity services to authors. Their website explains: “We give free reviews but due to the overwhelming amount of submissions and high costs of processing we are limiting the number of free reviews we will give each week. There is no guarantee your book will be reviewed because the reviewers choose what books they want to read. For a guaranteed review we suggest one of our budget friendly Publicity Packages.”
Amazon itself sells reviews in Kirkus for $379-529, and Watson thinks the competition is why her reviews are being banned. She continued in the email: “My personal assumption is that review services like ours are in direct competition with Amazon.com for obtaining reviews since they are now offering outrageously expensive reviews through their own CreateSpace program.”
Should review services like Reader Views be able to post their reviews on Amazon? What do you think?