Whew! It’s been a whirlwind couple of weeks with the release of WITHOUT PROMISES and the preparation of ARCs for my next Kings Grove release, LOVE REDEFINED.

I adore both books and hope you will too. There were some serious Amazon snafus with reviews the week WP launched, and it made it tough for my early reader team to get their reviews posted. (If you read early, will you go try again? Thanks!)

That whole thing has got me thinking… Amazon certainly doesn’t owe authors anything when it comes to reviews. Though advanced reader copies have been a standard in the publishing industry for years, so have many things that have changed dramatically in recent years. My husband made a good point when I was moaning that many of my early readers couldn’t post their reviews because they hadn’t actually purchased  the book. He asked, “why should a site that sells products allow people to post reviews of products they haven’t purchased there?” And if you look at Amazon as something far bigger than a publisher (because let’s face it, books are not their main game at this point), he’s right. Where else could you post a review of something they have no way of knowing if you’ve actually used/read/bought?

in some ways, disallowing what they call “unverified” reviews protects authors too. Though I haven’t seen a lot of abuse of the review system on Amazon in terms of people posting extremely negative reviews of books they haven’t bought in order to hurt author sales (and in reality, even a bad review is better than no reviews), I could see the Zon taking the position that this could be a protection measure. Heaven knows Goodreads has issues with reviews popping up on books before the author has even had a chance to write them!

I’m definitely not at the forefront of change in the industry–more like along for the ride most of the time. And while I’m vehemently opposed to gaming the system through things like book stuffing and paying for reviews, I don’t mind working for the reviews I do get on my work.

That’s part of the reason I’ve been pricing my indie pre-orders at $0.99, and this is the first time I’ll actually go out on a limb and ASK my ARC team to spend that $0.99 in addition to receiving my book before it releases so that hopefully their reviews will stick. In reality, if you support an author–if you like their work enough to consistently read and review it–is a dollar an unreasonable amount to spend to support him or her? I’m hoping not.