Since this blog is about art, books, and country living, today’s post is about books. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m an Amazon Vine reviewer. They offer me a limited number of books and merchandise to choose from which continuously changes. I get to keep the items and all I have to do is write an honest review of the product. No where does Amazon require that I write a good review if I don’t think the product is any good. I do try to justify my review with specifics thinking of the readers who rely on reviews. In fact, I often find the negative reviews to be more enlightening but that is just me.
I’m not quite sure how Amazon selected me for this program. Probably because I buy a lot of books and other merchandise through them. I also write reviews even on the non-free items that I order, some of which have received high ratings.
But a few months ago I wrote a negative review on a book that I’d ordered several months ago. It was an art book and I felt the author was a fraud and didn’t have any skills except self-promotion. I realize that anyone can write a book and publish it. That is not the point. The point is that other people rely on the reviews when they make their purchases and would be wasting their money if they purchased the book thinking it was one thing when it wasn’t (in my opinion). So I wrote the review and even had several photos that I’d scanned from the book to prove my point. However, for whatever reason, I wasn’t able to upload the photos. But the review received several positive votes.
The surprise was when I recently revisited the review to see if I would be able to upload the photos now, the review wasn’t there anymore. Hummm…. A little internet research revealed that Amazon is now taking down some reviews. There’s some internet chat about the reasoning behind their decision, but the fact that they do makes me pretty skeptical about the entire review process.
The point here is, you ought to be wary of the review system, too. How do we know we’re getting honest opinions? I don’t know the answer to that question but I do know that I’m going to go back and re-review that book. Hopefully I’ll be able to upload the photos now.