by Derek Haines on Just Publishing Advice site:
Amazon combats fake book reviews with $50 minimum spend
Book reviews on Amazon over the years have attracted more scams than can possibly be imagined. Most revolve around click farms and amassing lots of Amazon accounts.
By creating hundreds, if not thousands of Amazon accounts, scammers could boost free Kindle ebook downloads, add customer reviews, or manipulate book sales ranking.
There have been many, many articles written about problems associated with Amazon customer reviews in relation to ebook reviews in particular. There has also been manipulation of Kindle ebooks, as Let’s Get Digital explains how Scammers Broke the Kindle Store.
At the same time, Amazon has tried to resolve these problems in a number of ways.
Some seemed draconian at the time; especially a few years ago when Amazon started deleting existing book reviews. It was never fully explained, however, the deleted reviews were often classed as being posted by someone with a close connection to the author.
While Amazon was less than clear about what a close connection or relationship meant, many authors believed that it was not only reviews posted by family and friends, or in some case business associates, but also social media connections.
In any event, what was correctly assumed or not, Amazon deleted a lot of reviews at the time and while eradicating many fake reviews, some honest reviews were deleted as well.
It is unfortunate that when Amazon has acted on scams and fake reviews in the past, a lot of innocent authors have been caught up in the fix.
But at last, a sensible Amazon solution to fake book reviews.