We’re being penalized for developing a network! All the so-called gurus tell us that authors have to be on social media, that the more “likes” we get and the more “friends” we accumulate the better our books will sell. It seems that strategy, as it applies to reviews, works against us.
I don’t have an answer here. It’s frustrating. The only thing I can offer at this point is to review books on Goodreads for authors who you may be connected to on social media. I looked at the Goodreads review guidelines and there is restriction on friends posting reviews. At least Goodreads reviews, for now, don’t get taken down if you have some online relationship with an author.
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“We don't allow individuals who share a household with the author or close friends to write Customer Reviews for that author’s book.”From Amazon’s Customer Reviews Guidelines Frequently Asked Questions from Authors
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“Amazon knows who your writer friends are and no, you can't post reviews for them.
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"If you interact with an author in any way online, beware: Amazon might decide that you’re 'friends' and ban you from leaving a review of their latest book.Read the entire article on The Guardian.
But how does Amazon work out their definition of 'friends'? It looks likely to remain a closely-guarded secret."