Amazon #bookreviews: what #bookbloggers need to know

Most of the book bloggers I know post their book reviews to Amazon as well as to their blog.  I usually post mine to my blog first, then Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Indigo, etc.

Although Amazon is usually very quick to publish my reviews, there have been a few occasions when my reviews got rejected!

The first time this happened I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what I had done wrong.  WELL… it turns out that Amazon runs an algorithm to STOP certain keywords.  And my innocent little reviews got caught in that algorithm.

It might be something very innocent. My two rejections included the expressions “a cock-up” (to make a mess of things) included in my review of “Death in profile” by Guy Fraser-Sampson, AND “wankers” (British insult describing  contemptible persons) which is included in my review of “The shivering turn” by Sally Spencer.
Once I removed the offending terms with other words my reviews were published successfully.

My Amazon reviewer status right now is:

My reason for writing this short blog post is because this topic came up in a Goodreads discussion where another blogger was wondering WHY their review got rejected.

 Have you ever had YOUR Amazon reviews rejected?
If so, what did you discern the problem to be?

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About Fictionophile

Fiction reviewer ; Goodreads librarian. Retired library cataloger - more time to read! Loves books, gardening, and red wine. I have been a reviewer member of NetGalley since October 2013. I review titles offered by Edelweiss, and participate in blog tours with TLC Book Tours.
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40 Responses to Amazon #bookreviews: what #bookbloggers need to know

  1. Barb Saffer says:

    I’ve had reviews rejected by Amazon for curse words (not gratuitous). When that happened I just replaced some of the letters with asterisks….(for example: f**k)…..and problem solved. Once they didn’t like the word butthole (which doesn’t seem so bad to me). Now I know better and do the asterisks before submitting to Amazon.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. bibliobeth says:

    Oh yes I’ve had all of my reviews deleted and when I asked why I got a very rude email back saying they weren’t obliged to respond to me but I had violated their rules! I very rarely if ever use profanity in my reviews so all I can think is that it’s because I stated I got it for free in exchange for an honest review. 🙄

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh Beth I’m so sorry that this happened to you. I can’t remember exactly when it was, but sometime last year there was chatter online (Goodreads I think) that said they were going to do this. I amended my reviews to take out that sentence and they all stayed up on the Amazon site. I’m not sure what their reasoning was for doing this, but it was supposedly to weed out ‘certified customers’ (ones who actually bought the book from them). I think it was short-sighted on their part as book blogger’s reviews quite often sell the book to other customers. Just sayin’…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. madbooklove says:

    A few. Used to be I didn’t investigate. The last few, I said a bad word, but I can’t recall which. I intend for my reviews to be suitable for most, so I tend not to use my favorite swear words. 😉
    Whatever, I used, it would have been something I wouldn’t have thought twice about saying, therefore safe for primetime television.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ayah says:

    Yeah, I noticed that. Basically, our reviews should be very PG. My two rejected reviews had the following words: bullshit and fuck.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. carhicks says:

    This is quite timely. I wrote a review yesterday and it never posted. When I go to the book and click on leave a review, the one I wrote does not come up to read or change. I did not get an email to say it was rejected or anything. I have no idea what happened. I am waiting to see if I hear anything, perhaps after the weekend?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Carla, the emails I got were very obviously computer generated, so I don’t think it being the weekend would be a factor. Can I take a peek at the offending review? Perhaps I can spot the perceived offense.

      Liked by 1 person

      • carhicks says:

        It is identical to the one on my blog for The Woolly Hat Knitting Club. I wonder if it is the word “come” in quotes. They did not even send me a computer generated one, nothing at all.

        Like

        • Carla I doubt it was the word come. The only thing I could guess was the term “hot-shot” in the synopsis. Even then I doubt it. Try submitting the review without the synopsis? And try rewording the sentence with the word come. Maybe….

          Like

  6. LizScanlon says:

    Yep, mine have gotten rejected for profanity before… hehe.. ‘sh#t’ for example and the usual culprits.. but once these keywords are edited, it’s all good again.. Sometimes I remember to edit the review for amazon, other times I don’t but then… the rejection reminds me- ahh! I used a bad word 😀

    I have been seeing some authors/ readers have their reviews removed from amazon as well recently due to the algorithms… but that’s a whole other kettle of fish…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Algorithms are just so impersonal, but what else can we expect of a huge company like Amazon. I guess it will only get better when computers become more sentient and can read words in context. LOL

      Like

  7. Christine says:

    Both my partner and I have been rejected as apparently two people from the same household, no matter how disparate their reviews are, cannot submit reviews for the same book. They will reject both of them, and there is no way to convince them otherwise. Frustrating!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Carrie says:

    I had one rejected a while back and like you it took me a while to figure out what i had done since I’m not the type to do any cussing or anything that would seem offensive. Once I figured it out a simple correction and it was easily approved thankfully.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Knowing that the same thing has happened to others is somehow strangely comforting Carrie. I just wish that when they reject your review they would state what the ‘offense’ was, to save the time of having to scour your review looking for it…

      Liked by 2 people

      • Carrie says:

        It would definitely help but that would be too easy for us I suppose. LOL Reminds me of rejections on NG and EW too though, I just want to scream tell me WHY!!!!

        Like

  9. Ivana says:

    Well, one mustn’t offend the delicate sensibilities of Amazon readers, forfend!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Reblogged this on bookmarkchronicles and commented:
    I don’t do reviews on Amazon but for anyone who does

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I had one, and they sent me an email telling me why. I deleted the one word and it went back up.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Interesting. I received an email each time telling me that they were unable to publish my review – but NOT the reason why. I had to discern that for myself. It took me reading and re-reading the review several times before I cottoned on to what was offending them.

      Liked by 2 people

  12. FictionFan says:

    Yes, I’ve had them rejected for the same reasons. I’ve mentioned to them once or twice in feedback that, since they happily sell books containing these words, it’s a bit hypocritical to ban them from reviews, but actually I’m kinda happy they do. I get fed up with some of the language some reviewers use on Goodreads…

    Liked by 1 person

    • I do agree that with some of the content of what they sell, they are being hypocritical when it comes to swear words. I don’t think it is necessary to use swear words when writing a book review, but can see the hypocrisy inherent in their policy.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. So far – fingers crossed – only my first one because I put a link to my blog in it and that’s not allowed (no external links). Clearly I don’t cuss often enough to be considered a very stable genius 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Yes I had a couple rejected due to an inadvertent swear word although it wasn’t meant in the sense the algorithm thought!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Dr. Stacey L. Camp says:

    I haven’t had any rejected yet, but this is a really helpful blog on how not to get rejected!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. BrizzleLass says:

    I’ve had quite a big discussion about this in a group on Facebook. The swearing/cursing is a guaranteed rejection. I know this and have for a while so always edit my reviews that have any offending words in before I post to Amazon as I do have a tendency to swear rather a lot!

    Also, it’s a good idea not to link Amazon with Facebook and Goodreads. I don’t do this so it’s not an issue for me and also use a different email address on my Amazon account but people who have them linked have had issues where they are friends with an author and the algorithm has caught that and then rejected their reviews on the basis of bias. Absolute nonsense but they are doing it a lot as far as I could gather from the conversations I was having.

    I did hear that there were rejections around saying you had received an ARC but I haven’t had any issue at all with this.

    I’ve also heard of people who have had their reviews rejected because they only leave positive reviews, so never leave negative reviews. Again not an issue for me as there are semi-regularly a one or two star review that goes up but I’ve seen a few people say they’ve received emails from Amazon saying they aren’t allowed to post reviews anymore because of this.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I’ve had a few rejected! A couple were for keywords too! So frustrating… Being a growing Indi-Author myself, I rarely put reviews on Amazon for the sake of being “bios” or “swapping” dispite the fact that I DO actually read AND give honest reviews… I call it supporting other Indi’s, because we are in fact book lovers who enjoy each others work…. Apparently Amazon sees it differently, though. 😣😒

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I had one of mine rejected for the first time last week. All I could figure out is that it was because I put the word f**k in it (including the stars). I replaced the word resubmitted and it was accepted. I guess you can’t even use semi swear words.

    Liked by 2 people

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