IMPORTANT UPDATE ON AMAZON REVIEWS!! Authors CAN have book titles in signature!

So much has happened in the past 24 hours. I have been contacted by authors, author organization reps, reporters, book marketers, bloggers and finally, someone from Amazon. Amazon has been bombarded by emails from authors, orgs, marketers etc, and last night I noticed that Amazon in Seattle had checked out my blog posts. ;-)

Today I received an email from a senior member of the Amazon Communities team. He apologized and stated that my reviews had been reinstated.

I began my reply with a thank you and how I knew they'd been reinstated 2 days ago. It wasn't until I got to the end of writing my reply that I had a strange thought. I immediately went to check my reviews on Amazon. Guess what I found??

All my reviews have "author of Divine Intervention" added to them! It's not how I signed them exactly, but it's a start.

I am now gong to notify the dozens of sources who are following this story.

To those who edited their review signatures, I'm sorry but I gave you the info that Amazon reps told me, that we had to remove our book titles and any product links to our own books. At this time, by reinstating my reviews to include my book title (not linked), I think it's safe to say that they are not going to reinforce this policy, so we can relax and add this info without worry.

I am trying to get an official statement from someone in Amazon on this.

Anyways...lots of people to contact...I'll be blogging about this later when I have time to breathe.

Cheryl Kaye Tardif

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Okay, I know I'm being dense, but why is this a big deal? If I'm reviewing a book on Amazon, does my review hold more weight if I put a book title on it? Or less, since it may be that I know the author?

Why do you want your book title there?
It's very common for published authors to have a signature line like this at the end of a review they've written. There is no real data on whether this holds more weight or that a customer would buy a book based on that author's review, but I know that some people have bought books based on my reviews. Some people also feel it's misleading if an author writes a review that's neutral or negative and they DON'T mention they're an author.

Since this practice has been around so long, the real question is, why the sudden commotion over all this? Thankfully the matter has been resolved and Amazon has now stated that authors can add their book title in their signature line, so even they see the sense in this. Hey, if a customer buys the book you reviewed and your book too it's a win-win for all.

As an author, I am so pleased to see a review of my book by an author. It doesn't bother me at all when they add their book title to their signature. Sometimes I even check them out if their book title sounds intriguing. :-)

This is also a form of marketing that is highly recommended by some of North America's leading book marketing experts. It's not that the author who writes the review wants a customer to buy their book instead. That would rarely happen anyway. But it is a way for the author reviewer to get their name and book title out there. My guess is that probably less than 2% of authors are recognizable by name alone--Stephen King, JK Rowling...yes. Most writer's simply aren't.

The bottom line is HOW this all happened in the first place. I'm just glad it's over. ;-)

Cheryl Kaye Tardif
If people are only posting book reviews in order to get themselves name recognition, then I don't think I'm going to take their opinions very seriously.

But hey, if it works for you, I'm glad it worked out. Amazon is kind of heavy-handed at times.
Toni, I never said anything about authors "only posting book reviews in order to get themselves name recognition". I don't think that's the case with most authors who write reviews. At least, it isn't for me.

I write reviews for many reasons. Sometimes because an author asks me to (if I like it) and sometimes because a publisher asks me to. Mainly I write reviews because I enjoyed the book and I want people to know what's good about it.

I also write reviews because I love writing--almost anything. Review writing for most authors is taken seriously. I strive to write the best review I can, and I enjoy the challenge of finding unique ways to say, "Wow, this book is good!"
I'm glad to hear that, Cheryl. When you referred to it as a recommended form of marketing, I got a very different impression.
I'm late to this discussion but surprised at the topic. I review the occasional book on Amazon, as I did The Dark Side by Jane Mayer, which review I began with an anecdote about one of my own books. I put a link under the title of my book, the same way I put a link beneath the title of every book or product I mention in my reviews. They kinda encourage that by including that little link button. I never heard a peep out of Amazon. All I can think of, Cheryl, is you got caught in the gears. Maybe it was someone new to the job.


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